Sticky Miso Toffee Pudding with Cardamom Ice Cream

Sticky toffee or sticky date pudding is one of those desserts I grew to appreciate during my time in Boston. I once ordered this gingerbread sticky toffee pudding with brown butter, apples, and sage, and it was absolutely delicious! The combination of super soft, fluffy, brown sugary cake drowned in a rich butterscotch sauce was such an eye-opening let delicious combination, and definitely something I wanted to pay a slight homage to in this recipe. For these cakes, I wanted to use a Bundt cake mold for this recipe, because a Bundt shape gives the cake more surface area to be covered and glazed with that amazing butterscotch. Just to really challenge myself, I made the dessert 100% vegan, just so that a lot more people can enjoy this recipe! For the toffee, I used cardamom to tie back with the ice cream, but also cinnamon, since it will add a note of familiarity, since lots of people associate cinnamon with sugar.

It might sound really weird to add canola oil to the toffee and ice cream, but the reason for this is that since the recipe is vegan, butter and cream are not allowed. Because of that, I needed another kind of fat to add to the caramel so that it would have a richer mouthfeel, which in turn allows the caramel to cling to the sides of the cake. With the ice cream, the oil helps the base freeze properly for an ice cream – if you tried to make the ice cream recipe without the oil, the base will freeze solid even if it is churned. The oil in there helps prevent the formation of ice crystals, so that your ice cream stays soft. I learned that the hard way back in college when I made tofu ice cream, and found the only way to keep it from turning into a frozen tofu rock was mixing melted coconut oil into the base. For both recipes, you can substitute the oil and tahini with coconut oil or vegan margarin, but I used canola oil in my recipe, since the cake and ice cream already call for it. Overall, these sticky toffee puddings are pretty tasty, and you won’t even be able to tell that they were 100% vegan.

For the cardamom ice cream:
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp white miso paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup soy or oat milk, in 4 parts

In a pot, whisk together the cornstarch, cardamom, canola oil, miso paste, sugars, and one part of the milk first. Place the pot over medium-high heat and continue to whisk for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture begins to boil and cling to your whisk. Take the mixture off heat and whisk in the remainder of the milk. Allow your ice cream base to cool down before churning in the ice cream machine, following the instructions.

Alternatively, you can also freeze the ice cream base, and blend it in the food processor to churn it. In either case, after churning the ice cream, re-freeze for at least an hour before attempting to scoop and use for the final dessert.

For the date cake:
1 cup soy or oat milk, in two parts
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar(I prefer balsamic for this particular recipe)
1 tbsp miso paste
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

In a pot, heat up one part of the milk with all of the dates on low heat, until the dates are softened. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until the dates form a soft paste. In another bowl, mix the remaining milk with vinegar and allow that mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes. Combine all of your ingredients together to form your sticky toffee pudding batter.

Line mini Bundt cake molds with cooking spray and a dusting of granualted sugar. Fill each Bundt mold 3/4 the way full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool before flipping them out of the molds.

For the miso toffee:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp miso paste
1/3 cup soy or oat milk
1 tsp canola oil
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a pot, heat up the dark brown sugar until it fully melts. Once there are no more visible dark brown sugar crystals, add in the miso paste, milk, canola oil, cinnamon, and cardamom, and stir until combined. Once everything is dissolved together, finish the caramel with the vanilla extract. Keep the toffee warm for plating.

To plate:
Dried dates, diced
Borage flowers

Start by placing your toffee into a pouring jug. Place down a cake and 1 tsp of the dried dates onto a plate. Over the dates, place down a scoop of the ice cream, and garnish the top of the ice cream with a borage flower. Pour the toffee over the cake prior to serving.

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