I realize that it might seem strange to start a blog and have the very first entry about something called Sticky Toffee Pudding. This does not seem to be a topic that would change anyone’s life. Think again.
I recently returned from a short little jaunt to London. Little jaunts to London are filled with a lot of walking, a lot of pub visits, and as any good trip would have, a fair amount of dessert eating. The usual justification: the walking and desserts cancel one another out.
So I took on this task as a pro, and the first evening after touring King Henry VIII’s Hampton Palace and learning more about how he divorced 2 wives, beheaded 2 others, mourned over one’s death and ended up with the last, all within a period of 15 years, it was time for a glass of wine and a hot meal, followed by a luscious dessert at Blubeckers Hampton Court. The highlight of the evening: they did not have a dessert menu. They had a pudding menu. There is something so endearingly British about that. So we picked our pudding of choice, hopes held high by its description, “Sticky Toffee Pudding with hot sauce, pecans and vanilla ice cream.” Turns out, this description did not do it justice. If the menu could have been a short story, or even a small book, that would be fitting for the words I have for this decadent concoction.
I’m not even sure how it is possible to create something so luxurious. Butter, lots of butter. Growing up, pudding meant JELLO. An artificially flavored and colored blob of brown, jiggling in an ivory Pyrex bowl, scooped up and topped with a non-dairy frozen dessert, made of hydrogenated oils and other ingredients that are apparently not real. Pudding has taken on an entirely new definition for me. It was a spongy cake, so supple yet tender that when I pressed my fork into it, it would spring back up like a Tempurpedic foam mattress, beckoning me for another bite. Partnered with speckled, creamy vanilla bean ice cream and topped with pecans, the crown jewel of it all was in the sauce. It really is all about the sauce. I am convinced that it was a combination of 90% butter, 8% sugar and 2% gold flecks. For 10 minutes, I couldn’t talk. I could only roll the sauce around in my mouth and whimper with delight. Never before have I been so sad to see something go. I thought about asking for another, but I didn’t. Swimsuit season. Now I regret it.
So if you find yourself in London anytime soon, it is a delightful city. Visit the gardens and museums, learn about the Tudor history, drink some good beer. I will be going back to London for sticky toffee pudding at Blubeckers. Try it. I think you’ll agree.