Alas, the Oriel took the Sticky Toffee off the menu, and now the Oriel itself is gone, a victim of redevelopment. I've had many Sticky Toffees since, but am still looking for one to compare.
Nor have I made it, as the recipes always seemed a bit overwhelming, but here is one that I'm definitely going to try, from the gloriously English Nigella Lawson. Apologies for the metric measurements, but if you go to the recipe on Nigella's web page, there's a handy conversion table. (Oh, and muscovado sugar is dark, raw sugar, so a good US equivalent would probably be Succanat.)
FOR THE CAKE:
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 175g self-raising flour
- 125ml full-fat milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- 200g chopped, rolled dates
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 200g dark muscovado sugar
- Approx. 25g unsalted butter in little blobs
- 500ml boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and butter a 11/2-litre capacity pudding dish.
- Combine the 100g dark muscovado sugar with the flour in a large bowl. Pour the milk into a measuring jug, beat in the egg, vanilla and melted butter and then pour this mixture over the sugar and flour, stirring - just with a wooden spoon - to combine. Fold in the dates then scrape into the prepared pudding dish. Don't worry if it doesn't look very full: it will do by the time it cooks.
- Sprinkle over the 200g dark muscovado sugar and dot with the butter. Pour over the boiling water (yes really!) and transfer to the oven. Set the timer for 45 minutes, though you might find the pudding needs 5 or 10 minutes more. The top of the pudding should be springy and spongy when it's cooked; underneath, the butter, dark muscovado sugar and boiling water will have turned into a rich, sticky sauce. Serve with vanilla ice cream, creme fraiche, double or single cream as you wish.