Tuesday 8 February 2011

Sticky Toffee Birthday...

Yesterday was the birthday of a good friend of ours, Steve. As he was on his own on Sunday evening, we gave a tiny supper party for him...just four of us (our friend John came too!) I made mushroom, red wine & thyme pie, baked chicken w lemon, mashed potato, brussels sprouts and roasted parsnips...it all went down very well on that dark & blustery evening.
For dessert...I didn't want to bake a cake, as I knew that the remainder would probably go to waste. But Steve adores 'nursery' type puddings...so I had a brainwave and made a Sticky Toffee Pudding instead, with a birthday candle to make it festive! It had a beautiful, dark, caramelly sauce under the soft date sponge...
and, just for Paul who was brought up in Devon and loves it, we accompanied the pudding with...

wicked, delicious clotted cream...

of course, this was bought in the supermarket and not quite the same as the crusty yellow cream that you can buy when you go to Devon or Cornwall. But authentic and delightful enough to please the birthday boy (and his friends!) which is all that mattered.

This morning, I made yet another recipe from the Fat Witch cookbook. And, once more, I had to twiddle the quantities which has really put me off trying anything else from it, I'm sorry to say. But these turned out well, in the end...

Marbled Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bars. They were supposed to have a brownie bottom and a pumpkin top...but the base was so liquid that I ended up swirling the two mixtures together a bit...hence the 'marbling' in the title!

I managed to find some tins of real American pumpkin puree, which is the only thing to use when baking I think. These bars were nice and tall, quite squidgy... and they smelt lovely. So fingers crossed that they went down well at the Coffee Tree!

I'm sure I'll find out tomorrow...!

It's such a beautiful day today...not a cloud in the sky and the sun has warmth in it for the first time in months. I didn't want to come back from my walk with Alice this morning!

I hope you're having a lovely day too...xo


  1. Sticky toffee pudding mmmm. my two like it made with sticky gingerbread, (no fruit of course). Sometimes I make individual ones and keep a jar of sauce in the fridge for instant mini ones. Just to make my children like me of course! The weather is much nicer here today too, at least it's stopped raining. can put the ark on hold now!

  2. How lovely of you to hold a dinner party for your friend & I bet he sure appreciated the wonderful meal & delicious dessert!! Oh, how I wish we could get that clotted cream here in the US. Guess the pumpkin puree makes up for it (well, maybe not!) Ha! I am so happy that the sky is blue and sun is shining today! Go seize the day!! Hugs, Sherry xx

  3. I've been catching up on your latest posts, Rachel, and I'm happy to say that, for once, I have something yummy baking in the oven as I read. It's a good thing, too, because all this delicious reading has given me an appetite. If mine tastes even a tenth as good as yours (I can tell how delicious yours are just by looking!), I'll be a happy camper :)

  4. Oh doesn't your blog look pretty all freshened up with the blue spring background. Maybe spring will be in your lap soon. Seems like it's been here all winter.

    Your dinner sounds wonderful. I love roasted anything. And the sticky toffee thing looks great. I'm sure Steve was in his glory!

    Too bad the new cookbook is such a dud. Giving you lots of kudos for continuing with it. I think you could shake sand out of a little boy's ears and turn it into an edible miracle!

  5. How sweet of you to give your friend a little birthday supper complete with dessert and all! The sticky toffee pudding looks fabulous (and with clotted cream too).!
    Sorry your new book isn't what you hoped for, but of course, knowing you like I do, you can adapt any recipe to make it work for you. Thanks for sharing your evening with us. So glad it was a warm day for you. Here it is freezing cold again, with extreme cold advisory. Enjoy sweetie. xoxo

  6. I am not being original, but it looks absolutely delicious.

  7. What lucky friends you have in that you have spoiled them silly!! It all sounds so delicious; real comfort food on a blustery night! I agree with the challenges of some recipes; it's typically 'most' of them for me as I have to adjust, if nothing else, for the altitude differences. You do a fantastic job of it though and it is your keen sense of what the desserts are 'supposed' to look like that make you so successful with the outcomes. I'm sure the Coffee Tree found them irresistable! Did they like the frosted chocolate pearls cake? Your treats are filled with love! xx

  8. Mmm you cannot beat a sticky toffee pudding and clotted cream! We had the largest tubs of Rodda's I have ever seen at the wedding for the scones...I could really snaffle one right now with lashings of cream and hoemade jam!
    Shame about the book, it is sucha nuisance when recipes have been thought up, written and published, yet never tried and tested before going to print. At least you managed to rescue the bars and I am sure they were very well received.
    Morwenna xoxo


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