"You want the bites to take you to different places," Maureen Meehan says of her multidimensional dessert. These do. Adapted from Five Points restaurant in New York City.
Servings: Makes 8 servings
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 container (10 ounces) pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter , room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toffee sauce:
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
  • Whipped cream for topping (optional)
To make pudding: Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a high-sided 9-inch round baking pan; line bottom with waxed paper. In a medium bowl, pour water over dates; stir in baking soda, and let stand until dates soften, about 5 minutes. In another medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until almost smooth. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture until just combined; add date mixture and vanilla until blended.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until top feels firm, 30 to 33 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make toffee sauce: In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream and light brown sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add butter, and boil 3 minutes.

Remove pudding from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Place waxed paper over top of pudding, and unmold by inverting pudding onto a plate; invert again onto a serving plate, top side up. Using a fork, poke holes in surface of pudding so toffee sauce will seep in evenly. Spoon 6 Tablespoons sauce, one at a time, over top. Serve remaining sauce alongside warm pudding, with a bowl of whipped cream, if desired.


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