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Sticky Toffee Pudding
vanilla bean ice cream

Serves 6-8
Ice Cream 
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream (35%) 
1 cup (250 mL) homogenized milk 
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 
6 egg yolks, form large brown eggs 
1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar 

Begin with two medium-sized mixing bowls, one set with ice, the other with a fine mesh strainer. Combine the milk, cream, vanilla beans and pod and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl to blend. Add milk mixture into yolks and stir. Return the mixture to pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until custard thickens (about 5 minutes). Draw your finger over the back of the spoon. When the line holds, the custard is ready. Strain the custard into bowl with the mesh, remove vanilla pod and place bowl over ice bath to cool rapidly. Once cold, pour the mixture into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer's directions. 

Toffee Sauce 
1 cup (250 mL) butter 
1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar 
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream (35%) 
1/4 cup (60 mL) fancy molasses 
1 freshly squeezed lemon wedge 

Combine the butter, sugar, and whipping cream into a pot. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat, stir in the molasses and lemon juice. 

Pudding Cake 
1/2 cup (125 mL) dates 
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter 
1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar 
5 egg yolks, from medium brown eggs 
5 egg whites, from medium brown eggs 
2 cup (500 mL) all-purpose sifted flour 
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Dice the dates and boil them in water until soft for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out moisture, and set dates aside. Place the flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir, and set aside. Whisk egg whites until firm and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the yolks and blend. Add the flour and mix slowly unitl just combined. Fold in the egg whites and the dates until combined. Mixture should be airy but free of heavy lumps. Pre-grease six 1/2-cup (125 mL) ramekins and dust with flour. Place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of toffee sauce into bottom of each mold. Fill molds ¾ high with cake dough. Place in a deep baking tray and pour hot water into baking tray ¼ way up the sides of the ramekin. Cover the tray with tin foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Place a toothpick into the middle of the cakes to test. If pick comes out clean, the cakes are ready. Cool until ready to serve.

To Serve 
This recipe can be made up to this point one day in advance. Reheat toffee sauce. To reheat the cakes, remove from ramekin by tapping it out upside down - they should release easily. Place into a steamer or a microwave until hot. Place cake on plate, pour sauce over top and serve with a small scoop of ice cream.