In The Magician’s Nephew, Polly and Digory plant a piece of toffee into the magical Narnian ground, and the next morning they find a toffee tree has grown in its place.
“Just beside them was a little, very dark-wooded tree, about the size of an apple tree. The leaves were whitish and rather papery, like the herb called honesty, and it was loaded with little brown fruits that looked rather like dates…
Polly and Digory got to work on the toffee-tree. The fruit was delicious; not exactly like toffee — softer for one thing, and juicy — but like fruit which reminded one of toffee.”
-The Magician’s Nephew-
I figured it would be pretty impossible to recreate the fruit of the toffee tree in real life. It’s got to look like a date, taste like toffee, and be juicy. While I was puzzling over how to pay homage to the toffee fruit, I discovered this sticky toffee pudding recipe from Nigella. It was the perfect compromise. It has dates and toffee in it, so I like to think this is what toffee fruit would taste like if it were baked into a pudding. Plus, sticky toffee pudding is a traditional English dish, and many English dishes are also traditional Narnian dishes. Fancy that!
Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups dates, chopped
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 cups boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a large pudding dish or souffle dish.
- Combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar with the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter, and stir until incorporated.
- Fold the dates into the batter, and pour the batter into the pudding dish.
- Sprinkle the 1 cup of brown sugar evenly on top of the batter.
- Dot the top of the brown sugar with the 2 Tbsp. of butter.
- Pour the boiling water over the whole mixture.
- Bake the pudding for 45 minutes, or until set.
After this pudding cooks, it will have a springy, almost cake-like upper layer, with a bottom layer of sticky toffee sauce. The dates added to this sticky toffee pudding recipe gave it a nice texture, and the toffee sauce was absolutely divine. It tasted almost as magical as I’m sure fresh toffee fruit tastes. Yum!
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