Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding

Product name: Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding
Purchase details:
Cartmel Village Shop
Unsure – estimate 530 per 150g pudding
Country of origin:

For the majority of my life, I liked sticky toffee pudding, but it didn’t excite me, and I certainly never classed it as a favourite. That was until a few years ago when I was introduced to the delights of Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding which originated 20 years ago in the small Cumbrian village of Cartmel. I can honestly say that this version is unlike any other sticky toffee pudding I have ever eaten and, as a result, I have refused to eat any other kind since!

Unfortunately, I hadn’t actually had this wonderful pudding for a year or so, by my parents kindly brought me back this 150g pudding after their latest visit to the Cartmel Village Shop, so I was really looking forward to tonight’s snack time. My excitement built further on reading the cardboard sleeve which recommended that the product is served when it is ‘warm, sticky, and the sauce is nice and dribbly’ – the memories this description invoked caused my mouth to water. I also noted that this packet contained one to two servings, but there was no way I sharing this with anyone!

On removing the foil container’s lid, I was hit with a strong, syrupy smell. Some of the smooth, runny toffee sauce had stuck to the lid so I couldn’t resist trying this cold. Its dark colour was reflected in its flavour which was a rich, buttery toffee that was like a nicer version of a Werther’s Original. This sauce was lovely and sugary with a very slight granular texture and, when looking at it en masse (covering the pudding), it was almost a chocolate shade of brown.

Although this pudding can be microwaved for 40 seconds, I decided to enjoy mine the ‘proper’ way, by cooking it in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. One of the best things about this method is the fantastic butterscotch-scented heat that floods over you when you open the oven door.

When I retrieved my hot, bubbling pudding, I wasn’t quite sure how to remove it from its foil case without completely ruining its appearance. I decided to tip it upside down into a bowl, but then realised the error of my ways when the toffee sauce, which made up 37% of the product, was now almost completely underneath the sponge. Despite my picture showing what appears to be a lack of sauce, I can assure you that it was very much present, and it turned out to be a bonus having it at the bottom of the cake as it saved the best bit until last when it came to the taste experience.

One of the most surprising thing about this pudding, for me, is that the sponge contains a lot of dates (they make up 19% of the whole dessert and the packaging even warns of ‘cheeky’ stones that may have been missed in the production process)...I hate dates! However, I still struggle to believe that this is what I was eating since the flavour didn’t suggest this. There was a slight tang to the sponge which, I suppose, may have been caused by the dates, but the main flavour was that of the toffee sauce that had been absorbed by the sponge. The colour of the pudding was also largely affected by the sauce, with the innermost sections of the sponge being a slightly lighter shade where the sauce hadn’t seeped as deeply. Texturally, it was beautiful: hot, soft and moist.

It is, of course, the sauce that made this Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding what it was (it’s so good that it can be bought on its own!), and it also provided the main flavour which was a very rich and sweet, dark sugary one. It had caramelised, in places, which provided an additional twist on the flavour, as well as a slight chewiness to the texture.

I’m pleased to report that this pudding was as delicious as I remembered it and it was a real treat. I was eating this as part of my diet plan (I’m hoping MyFitnessPal's calorie estimate wasn’t too far out!), but if I hadn’t been, I would have gone the whole hog and added cream for an extremely indulgent treat. The addition of ice cream is also great when combined with the hot pudding, but personally, I find this takes away from the pudding’s amazing taste.

If you’re ever in or around Cartmel, I highly recommend you popping along to the shop to sample this original dessert, or some of their other local products. If not, you may be lucky enough to find one of these beauties in an independent supplier in other parts of the country, or you can buy online here. Enjoy!

Appearance: 7.5/10
Overall score:

1 comment:

  1. Yummy, my favorite dessert, thanks for sharing this recipe..



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