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Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

One of my most popular recipes on my blog is my review of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Pudding. I had never tasted sticky toffee pudding before but now I actually prefer this to plum pudding.   This recipe has become one of my favourite desserts over the holidays and has since become an annual tradition.

The original post was written the first year I had my blog, and has consistently done well.   When I look back at the photos from this post, I laugh at how bad they are, I’ve come a long way! Since this dessert is one of my favourite recipes, I wanted to do the post justice and decided to reshoot the sticky toffee pudding this year.

I also modified the recipe a bit, as my current boyfriend is lactose intolerant.  I substituted the double cream with coconut milk and it worked out very well. The coconut milk adds a light, creaminess to the sauce, but needs to simmer a little longer to reduce and thicken.  I also omitted the cocoa for this version, because my taste buds have changed over the years and don’t like sweet desserts as much as I used to.

I’m still a big Gordon Ramsay fan and have blogged a few of his recipes throughout the years like his deliciously fluffy scrambled eggs.  These days I’m busy creating my own recipes and look to him more for tips and techniques.  But I still love how easy this recipe is, and his sticky toffee pudding continues to impress my friends and family.  Light and fluffy, this slightly bittersweet pudding soaks up the lightly salted toffee sauce perfectly, and is a delightful dessert to indulge in over the holidays.

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding


Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding


    For the pudding:
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp espresso, cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • For the toffee sauce:
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


    For the pudding:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter a sponge cake mold and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper as well, ensuring that all the sides are properly covered. Instead of a sponge cake mold, 8 x 175ml-200ml pudding basins can be used as well.
  2. Place the dates, sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer gently for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the dates are soft.
  3. Leave to cool, then blend in a Magic Bullet or similar food processor until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the dates, butter, vanilla and espresso. Add eggs and whisk again until well blended.
  5. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In two batches, fold into the wet mixture with a spatula until just combined.
  6. Carefully pour into the prepared baking dish of choice and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick emerges fairly clean when inserted in the thickest part.
  7. For the toffee sauce:
  8. Place all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until the butter and sugar have dissolved and the sauce is smooth. Reduce sauce until thickened, about 10 minutes. Keep warm and give it a stir every once in a while to prevent a skin from forming on top.
  9. When the pudding is cool enough to handle, but still warm, run a small knife along the sides, then invert onto a serving plate. Peel off the baking parchment. Pour a generous drizzle of warm toffee sauce over the puddings and serve immediately.

Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

What dairy free desserts do you like to make over the holidays?  Did you like this dairy-free version of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee Pudding?  Let me know!

The Babadook

The Babadook

The Babadook

Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent

Released 2014. Available on DVD as of April 2015

Starring Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney and Barbara West

*spoiler alert!

Moody, beautifully shot with a haunting, ominous soundtrack, The Babadook slowly reels you in and gets under your skin. The feature debut of Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent, The Babadook tells the tale of a widowed single mom Amelia (Essie Davis) her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) and the tragedy that has haunted their family. One fateful night when the husband was driving pregnant Amelia to the hospital, their car was involved in a fatal accident that left her newborn son fatherless. Ever since then, she has been unable to deal with her grief, refusing to celebrate Sam’s birthday, and living a very sheltered life. Needless to say, Sam grew up to be a bit of a odd child, so when he reads the darkly disturbing The Babadook storybook and claims to see monsters, this doesn’t strike his mother as strange at first. However, as he continues to persist that he is telling the truth and his behavior becomes more erratic, Amelia starts to believe that there might be something more to the book than just a creepy story.

Essie Davis anchors the film with her portrayal of Amelia, playing the character with a balanced intensity that starts off as a fragile and mourning widow who is gradually driven to a sleep deprived state on the brink of madness. Noah Wiseman lets loose as the unhinged kid, making us question whether he is possessed or just a real brat. The stage for their performance is an overly gloomy, German impressionistic palette inspired house, almost humorous in it’s obvious attempt to be as dark and creepy as possible.

*The theme of grief is an interesting monster analogy, threatening the family unit as Amelia slowly loses grip on reality. The longer she denies the existence of the Babadook – a monstrous version of her dead husband – the stronger the Babadook becomes. He represents her suppressed grief and until she deals with what she is repressing, it continues to grow and come back to haunt her in a terrifying form.

There was quite the hype surrounding The Babadook after it premiered at the end of 2014 with William Friedkin, the director of The Exorcist being quoted as saying “I’ve never seen a film more terrifying than The Babadook”. This is quite the statement coming from the man who made the “scariest movie of all time”, and having read that I have to say I was disappointed. While I was at first drawn into the story by the strong performances and elegant cinematography, the grieving monster became such an obvious connection early on that The Babadook no longer felt like a threat. The tensions shift throughout the film, first the child terrorizing the mother than the mother terrorizing the child. This made the film feel a bit disjointed at times, the audience losing interest as their sympathies shift.

While The Babadook is a fun ride through a fantastical reality of nightmares and demons, it nonetheless wraps up a bit too neatly, choosing to end on a childlike note instead of really opening the door to hell.

Scream 4 Review

Scream 4

Property of Dimension Films

Released: 2011
Director: Wes Craven
Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

When I heard Wes Craven was confirmed to make a Scream 4, I was actually excited and didn’t groan the way I usually do at the news of a sequel/remake/prequel etc.  Scream was probably the highlight of Craven’s career – what better person to do a satire on slashers then the very director who helped propel the genre with classics such as The Hills Have Eyes and A Nightmare On Elm Street?  I loved the first Scream, it was refreshingly clever, with quirky characters and lots of blood, breaking the rules and revamping a tired genre while introducing slashers to a whole new generation of horror buffs.  Scream 2 I didn’t mind, but I always felt that Scream 3 was a missed opportunity to complete the series.  Ironically, Scream 3 could not escape the trilogy curse – and fell flat on its face, failing to keep up the genre it fought so hard to keep alive.

But Scream 4 had promise – enough time had passed to believe that Craven and writer Kevin Williamson wanted to do justice to the series, and end on a high note.  The original cast was back; even Courteney Cox and ex-husband David Arquette were willing to reunite.

The first minutes of Scream 4 brings us back to what we love about the series: the sequel-within-a-sequel-within a sequel sequence is clever, zipping through a host of appearances by the latest in pop pretty faces: Anna Paguin (True Blood), Kristen Bell (Heroes) and Shenae Grimes (90210) to name a few.  Before you can say “scantily clad blond” the first victims have fallen, and Ghostface is back with a scream.

Our favourite heroine, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), returns to Woodsboro on the last leg of her book tour for Out of Darkness: a tale of how she survived the Ghostface murders.  Her return brings out a copycat killer, and this time Ghostface goes after Sidney as well as her long lost family: her aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell looking pretty weathered since fighting cylons on Battlestar Gallactica) and cousin Jill (Emma Roberts, Hotel for Dogs).  Sheriff Dwight ‘Dewey’ Riley (Arquette) is not-so-quick on the scene, but tries to hold it together, despite having to ward off the persistent inquiries of his wife, ex-reporter Gale Weathers (Cox).  Together the old team hunt down and try to solve the new wave of Ghostface murders as the usual crop of victims are killed off in fantastically bloody ways.

An array of smart-ass Kevin Williamson characters add some more flavour to the mix.  Hayden Panettiere is surprisingly good – Heroes alluded to her being a one-note actress but with an edgy new haircut and attitude, she made a pretty cool character out of Jill’s friend, Kirby Reed.  Alison Brie (Mad Men, Community) is frickin’ hilarious as Sidney’s bitchy, over-the-top publicist.  Rory Culkin and Canadian Erik Knudsen play film club students Charlie Walker and Robbie Mercer – the film geek role that originally belonged to Jamie Kennedy as Randy.  Robbie films campus life live, streaming directly online via his helmet cam, and along with some other social media references sprinkled throughout, they attempt to make the film relevant – Ghostface App anyone?  Out of all the characters however, I found Sidney kind of disappointing.  Her character really lacked the strength of the previous installments and she seems neither that surprised nor too pissed off that Ghostface is after her again, and it feels as though Sidney is just going through the same old “fight-off-the-killer-in-the-cheap-costume” routine.

The film becomes a little disjointed in parts, succumbing to the very monster it mocks and unable to break out of its self aware mold.  The narrative becomes lost amongst characters who try to explain their motives with all the rules and exceptions of sequels when really, there aren’t any, and no one seems to care anyway.  The film zips along  at a fun pace, with Ghostface popping up and killing with even more zeal and ferocity than ever before.   When the killer is revealed in the end, it’s a bit far fetched but satisfying enough; it is a sequel after all.  In the end, nothing will beat the first Scream, but this one definitely helps us forget about Scream 3.