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RECIPE: The Continental Westhampton's Sticky Toffee Pudding

This season, take a holiday in Britain without ever leaving the house.

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As the Richmond dining scene continues to heat up, the folks at Blunt Objects have been busy compiling recipes from area chefs. The second book in the series, “804ork Vol. 2: Back for Seconds,” came out this year, and we asked editor Carrie Fleck Walters to share a holiday recipe with us.

Walters suggests the Continental’s riff on the British classic, sticky toffee pudding. “When I was working on the book,” Walters says, “I kept singing the phrase, ‘now bring me some sticky pudding’ to the tune of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ over and over again in my head.”

Both volumes of the book can be purchased at 804ork.com.

The Continental’s Sticky Toffee Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
Yield: 16 servings

Walking into the Continental Westhampton feels a bit like stepping into a time capsule. The mint green building with aluminum accents, vintage-style posters, and other midcentury fixtures bring out a 1950s diner vibe —yet updated for a modern crowd. The elevated diner concept was carefully crafted by owner and restaurateur Johnny Giavos, in collaboration with chef Stuart Lowrie and Giavos’ son, Dean. “Johnny wrote a menu, and then he asked me to write a menu, and then his son Dean had several ideas,” Lowrie says. “We mixed them all together and came up with what we have now.” The sticky toffee pudding was one to come from Lowrie’s’s side of the menu. It’s a traditional British recipe that’s popular in his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland. Lowrie serves his pudding with vanilla ice cream, but also suggests a homemade whipped cream or English double cream.

Ingredients
12 ounces dates
4 ounces golden raisins
1 pound butter
1 pound dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 eggs
1 pound flour
Salted caramel sauce (recipe below)
Mint

Instructions
In a large bowl, barely cover dates and raisins with hot water. Soak overnight.
Preheat oven to 345 degrees.

Drain soaked fruit, and puree in a food processor, leaving it a little chunky. Set aside. In a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar. Mix in vanilla, salt and baking powder.

With mixer on low, add eggs and flour little by little, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Fold in pureed dates and raisins.

Pour batter into a lined cake pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool overnight. Cut into serving portions.

Ladle 2-3 tablespoons of salted caramel sauce over each portion of the cold pudding and microwave 1-2 minutes to warm. Serve with an additional drizzle of salted caramel sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of mint.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1⁄2 quart heavy cream
2 tablespoons water
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

In a medium pot, add sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar starts to brown.

When sugar has caramelized and is a rich golden brown, pour in heavy cream.

Return to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add sea salt. Taste the sauce and add more salt if you like.

Reprinted by permission from “804ork Vol. 2: Back for Seconds”  ©2015, Blunt Objects LLC

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