Tasty Torte

By Chuck Fuller

Chuck Fuller is owner of Metro Specialty Products, a catering company aimed at medium- to high-end clients. He can be reached at charles.fuller@mchsi.com or 279-5922.

This cake recipe was featured at Catersource Conference and Trade Show, the industry’s annual holy pilgrimage, in Las Vegas. It’s a bit involved but well worth the effort.

Sticky Toffee Torte With Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped fine (you may purchase these already chopped)

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine these three ingredients in a bowl and set aside for later use.

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

4 ounces softened unsalted butter

3 large eggs

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger powder or fresh grated ginger

Heat oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. A non-stick surface works best.

Sift together all dry ingredients, set aside.

In a mixer bowl, whip butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

Gently fold together the flour and dates, including the water in three additions just until blended.

Turn into the prepared spring form, spreading top to make even. Place in baking pan and bake on center rack until the top is puffed and firm to the touch in the center, 45 to 55 minutes.

Cool cake in the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the ring and continue to cool until just warm.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes without stirring. Take care with this step. The sauce can boil over in the blink of an eye. I know this because I had a volcanic eruption.

Cut cake into 12 servings. Top with the sauce and a bit of whipped cream if desired.

This is an excellent finish to any family or company dinner.

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