Sticky toffee pudding, with its mocha-brown color, its dense interior, and its sweet-and-salty topping, is different from any other cake. Medjool dates are the stars of the show, making the cake incredibly moist while packing it with flavor. Add some freshly scraped vanilla beans and a bit of butter, and you have a decadent, complex sweet.
You could stop with just the cake itself, but it’s the holidays, so go ahead and punch a bunch of holes in that confection, then drench the entire thing in whiskey-spiked toffee and sprinkle a fat pinch of flake salt over the top. If you’d like, you can follow that with a giant dollop of hand-whipped cream and add some ripe figs and cherries for a splash of color. Then set out the spoons, take your seat at the table, and succumb to the sticky toffee pudding. Move over, bûche de Noël. Holiday dessert just got a whole lot sexier.
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