Dessert recipes from Rob

I got one of those round-robin recipe emails the other day. I don’t normally take part, but it was from an in-law so thought I’d make the effort. Glad I did as have had some awesome recipes from some friends. Two were dessert recipes from my friend Rob: Francis’ Sticky Toffee Pudding and Maple Pecan Pie. Enjoy!

Francis’ Sticky Toffee pudding

STP can be a bit complicated (and this recipe has some additional steps too!) but it is so delicious and alyways worth it.

Ingredients for a 8” x 12” pan (for a 4″ x 8″ pan halve the ingredients)
For the cake:
– 4 oz  softened unsalted butter (plus 1 tsp)
– 10oz granulated sugar
– 4 eggs
– 6oz pitted, chopped dates
– 2 tsp baking soda
– 8oz self-raising flour, sifted
– 2tsp vanilla extract

For the sauce:
– 2 pts double cream
– 7 oz demerara sugar
– 4 tbsp black treacle

Method
For the cake:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit, grease a 8″ x 12″ loaf pan with 1 tsp of the butter and set aside.
– Whisk the remaining butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
– Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Batter will look slightly curdled. Set batter aside.
– Put dates and 1 cup plus 2 tbsp water into a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove pot from heat and add baking soda; the mixture will bubble up immediately. Once the bubbles have subsided (about one minute) pour date mixture into batter in bowl and mix well.
– Add flour and vanilla and mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until firm when touched and a wooden skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 55 minutes.
– Let cake cool completely in the pan. Cake may be sliced and eaten and eaten with the sauce at this point, if you like.
– Wrap cake in pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one day. Transfer cake to the refrigerator to let thaw, then unwrap.

For the sauce:
– Combine cream, sugar and treacle in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and simmer sauce, stirring constantly until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
– Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.
– Pour half of the sauce over the cake in the pan, cover with foil, and warm cake through in the oven 30 to 40 minutes.
– Slice cake in pan into 8 to 10 slices. Serve cake with some more sauce spooned on top of each slice and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, if you like.

Maple Pecan Pie

Best sweet pie EVER. Great for the Festive Season.

Ingredients
For the rich shortcrust pastry
– 5½ oz (155 g) of plain flour
– 4 oz (115 g) of lard or vegetable fat
– 2-3 tbsp of chilled water
– 1 tsp of cinnamon
– pinch of salt

For the filling:
– 5 fl oz (140 ml) of golden syrup
– 3 fl oz (85 ml) of maple syrup
– 4 oz (115 g) of pecan nut halves
– 3½ oz (100 g) of dark brown sugar
– 3 large beaten eggs
– ½ tsp vanilla essence
– pinch of salt

Method
– First of all prepare the pastry. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt and cinnamon.
– Cut the fat into small pieces and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
– Add the water, 1 tbsp at a time and mix the pastry together with a knife or fork until it begins to come together. Finish off by gathering the pastry with your hands.
– Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
– Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.
– Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and carefully line a greased 9 inch pastry tin with it. Push the pastry to the edges and make sure that there are no gaps between the tin and the pastry.
– With a fork prick the bottom of the pastry all over. Bake in the oven for 10 -15 minutes or until the pastry has set and is light brown in colour.
– Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
– Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C.
– In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients except for the pecans.
– Layer the bottom of the baked pastry case with the pecans and then pour the filling mixture over the top.
– Bake in the oven for 35 -40 minutes or until the mixture has set and the pastry has browned.
– Allow to cool and serve.

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