Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sticky Toffee Cinnamon Rolls

On the heels of my sticky toffee pudding post I managed to rekindle my love of caramel.  Okay, let's face it, it was never really gone.  I love caramel on EVERYTHING!    In fact, there really are few things that I love more.  I started to think about what else I could do with it and then it hit me ... caramel cinnamon rolls!  Yup, genius.  Okay, I'm probably not the first one to think of this, but since it did feel like one of those 'ah-ha' moments that Oprah kept talking about (I'm almost sure she was talking about baking) I'm taking credit for this idea ... at least for the next few minutes.

I had tried to make regular old non-toffee cinnamon rolls about 2 weeks ago but it didn't go so well.  They were kind of dry and really uninspiring.  The good news, however, is that I figured out all the things I did wrong and now they're AWESOME!  I just ate two of them before writing this to double check their awesomeness ... and yup, still there.  I actually think these are even better the second day warmed up in the microwave .. go figure.


For the rolls:
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 cup white sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted
6 oz buttermilk
2 tsp dry instant yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
adapted from

For the Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the Toffee Sauce:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the icing:
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
3 Tbsp heavy cream


  1. Add the yolks, egg, buttermilk, and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer.  With the whisk attachment, beat for a few seconds.
  2. Add the yeast and wait for 10 minutes.  Once the yeast has 'dissolve' give whisk again quickly.
  3. Add the flour and salt.  Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed until it comes together.  It should be soft but not really sticky.  If it's really sticky, add some more flour.  Mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  4. Take the dough ball out onto a clean surface and kneed with your hands for a minute.
  5. Lightly oil the empty bowl of your stand mixer and put your dough ball back in.  Then lightly oil the top of the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap is touching the dough.
  6. Let sit for 2-3 hours until the dough ball doubles in size

dough after mixing
the risen dough
While the dough is rising, make the toffee and mix the filling:
  1. Roast your pecans (put chopped nuts into a dry frying pan on medium heat until roasted)
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the 1/2 cup butter with the 1/2 cup brown sugar.  On medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add the 1/3 cup cream, salt, and vanilla.  Then add the nuts.
  4. Pour mixture into a 9x13" pan
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the cup of brown sugar with the cinnamon.
A bad picture of my toffee sauce :-)
  1. Once your dough has doubled in size, roll the dough into a 12x18" rectangle
  2. Brush with the 2 Tbsp of melted butter leaving about a 1/2 inch on one long end
  3. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture onto the butter and press down
  4. Roll up the dough tightly starting at the other long end
  5. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 1" pieces.
  6. Place the 1"pieces into the 9x13" pan.  Into the awaiting toffee sauce.
  7. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight

Take the rolls out of the fridge about an hour before baking and let them come to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake for about 30 minutes until the tops are lightly browned.

To make the icing, put the sour cream and butter into a small bowl and mix well with a spoon.  Add the icing sugar and mix well again.  Then add the heavy cream.  Put the icing into an icing bag or a plastic sandwich bag until ready to use.  Keep refrigerated between uses.

Serve the rolls warm (toffee side up), drizzle with icing by cutting a small hole in the icing bag or sandwich bag.  Tastes awesome when warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds and drizzled with icing.  YUM!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ahhh .. I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted a recipe!  But believe me, it's not because I haven't been baking.  Actually, it's quite the opposite.  I've had to bake so much, and so frequently in the last couple of weeks that there just hasn't been enough time to take pictures of my creations.  Plus, it's hard to destroy my desserts the way I like to take pictures when I have to take it over to someones house :-D  If you are curious about what things I'm making in between posts, look me up on Instagram.  You can see all my 'inbetweeners' there, you can also see some shots of the stuff I'm making in my baking class at George Brown.

Time to tell you about my favourite recipe book ... Rose's Heavenly Cakes.  If you don't have it, go and get it.  It's written by Rose Levy Beranbaum who also wrote The Cake Bible.  While the cake bible is a wonderfully fantastic book, I prefer Heavenly Cakes just because it has pictures of all the recipes :-)  What can I say, I'm a visual person.

This recipe is one (of many wonderful ones) from this book.

Okay, I'll admit, this is something that would be perfect on a cold winter's night, but I so rarely have dates in the house that I got super excited and just had to make it.  And let me tell ya, it's DELICIOUS.  Moist spiced cake with a healthy dose of gooey caramel sauce and a dollop of whipped cream (or heck, go all the way and add ice cream!) ... I fell in love.  It also gave me a reason to finally bust open that jar of whole nutmeg spice that I bought from William Sonoma a month ago.



1 cup       Guinness (or any other stout beer)
1 tsp        Baking soda
170gm     large pitted dates (make sure to weigh this one, it was about 8 dates for me)
6 Tbsp     unsalted butter at room temperature
225 gm    sugar (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp)
2 tsp         pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste cause I love it)
3 large     eggs, at room temperature
228g        all-purpose flour (about 2 cups not packed down)
1 tsp         baking powder
1/2 tsp      salt
1 tsp         cinnamon
1/2 tsp      nutmeg (I used whole nutmeg and grated about 1/2 tsp into the bowl)

Toffee Sauce:

1 cup       dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp        vanilla extract
1 cup       unsalted butter
1/2 cup    heavy cream
1 Tbsp     lemon juice (optional)
pinch of salt


Prepare the dates:
  1. Put Guinness in a saucepan and bring it to a boil
  2. Turn the the heat off and add the baking soda (it will bubble up a lot) then add the dates
  3. Let the mixture sit until it comes to room temperature
  4. When cool, put mixture into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth
  5. Remove and put into a bowl - cover until you're ready to use it
Make the cake:
  1.  Add the butter, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on medium speed (with the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, make sure you scrape down the bowl between each egg addition
  3. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whisk together.
  4. Add a 1/3 of the flour mixture to your butter/sugar and mix just until incorporated
  5. Add half the date mixture and mix just until incorporated
  6. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the date mixture, and finish with the flour mixture.  Each time mixing just until incorporated and scraping the bowl down in between additions.
  7. Scoop batter into a prepared 9x13" pan (I just lined mine with parchment paper, but you can also butter and flour the pan if you'd like)
Bake the cake:
  1. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pan, and then bake for another 10-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. The cake should spring back when pressed lightly in the centre.
  2. While the cake is baking, you can make the toffee sauce
  3. Let cool for 10 minutes once it's done.  This is best served warm, so either serve immediately or warm it up before serving.   

Make toffee sauce:
  1. In a small saucepan, add the butter and the sugar.  Using medium heat, bring mixture to a boil and then turn off the heat (you don't want to burn the sugar, you just want it to be completely melted)
  2. Stir in the heavy cream, salt, and lemon (if you're using it).  While the lemon did go well with the cake, I think I preferred the sauce without the lemon.  It is entirely up to you.
To assemble:
  1. Cut pieces of cake
  2. pour on toffee sauce
  3. top with a dollop of whipped cream (or ice cream)
  4. sprinkle with toasted nuts such as walnuts or pecans

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