I’m a huge fan of James Martin generally. While I appreciate and enjoy the work of chefs that are pushing the boundaries with foams, soils and microherbs, I also appreciate chefs like James Martin who excel at good, traditional, no nonsense food. It has a chef-fy twist, but the roots will be in classic flavour combinations and techniques. He’s opened a restaurant in a casino in Manchester that I hope to visit soon ( on my first attempt to visit, I wasn’t allowed in as I couldn’t prove I was over 18. As a 29 year old, I was naturally delighted. )
For now, I’ll have to stick to making his recipes at home.
This one is a winner! It’s the same principle as a chocolate fondant – where you cut into the pudding and a soft centre oozes out at you – but instead of chocolate, this one is flavoured with toffee.
I didn’t have enough soft brown sugar for the recipe, so topped it up with a few tbsps of treacle, so I ended up with a delicious treacle toffee. Which is also obviously why my toffee is darker than the photo on the recipe.
Recipe from James Martin via BBC Good Food
For the toffee centre
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 75ml double cream, plus extra to serve
For the sponge
- 75g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 75g soft brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 75g plain flour
- To make the toffee for the centre, put the sugar and cream in a pan over a medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat and let the toffee bubble for 3 mins until thick. Pour into a bowl and chill for 2 hrs until set.
- Remove the toffee from the fridge. Use a dessertspoon to scoop out 2 walnut-sized pieces, roll into balls and pop back in the fridge until needed. Any remaining toffee can be reheated to make a sauce to serve alongside the puddings.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Generously grease 2 small pudding moulds. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the flour and a pinch of salt. Divide the mixture between the moulds, reserving 2 tbsp. Push a toffee ball into each pudding, and cap off with the remaining mixture. The puddings can be frozen at this point or chilled for 2 hrs.
- Put the puddings on a baking tray and cook in the centre of the oven for 20 mins. Turn the puddings out straight away, serve with ice cream and a little extra reheated toffee sauce, if you like. To cook from frozen, heat oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4 and cook for 35 mins.