A luscious but homey dessert, this recipe is served at Epoch Gastropub in Exeter, but why not try your hand at home? Executive Chef Tyler Brooks shares the recipe here.
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons butter, cold and diced
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup demerara sugar*
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups flour
Place chopped dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow dates to soften (roughly 10 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350°F, grease muffin tins with nonstick spray
Combine butter, baking soda, salt, demerara sugar, brown sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla extract in a food processor. Pulse ingredients until just combined.
Add softened dates and ½ cup of water from the dates to the dried ingredients. Using the food processor, pulse the mixture until well combined but not completely liquified.
Pour batter into greased muffin tins and bake for roughly 6 minutes, rotate and continue baking for another 6 minutes.
Remove from muffin tins after they are cooked fully.
Sticky Toffee Sauce
8 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
9 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar and gently simmer for 3 minutes.
Add salt and remove from heat. Slowly add cream while whisking.
Once cream is emulsified, return to stove and gently heat the mixture to serving temperature.
Pour ¾ of sauce over cakes and bake for roughly 2 minutes (the sauce will absorb into the cake). Once cakes and sauce are hot, place into serving bowl and spoon remaining sauce over the top of the cakes.
Serve with your favorite candied nuts and/or favorite ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Epoch serves theirs with vanilla from Memories Ice Cream in Kingston.
* Demerara sugar has a course grain and is a light brown. You can substitute with turbinado sugar, light brown sugar or granulated sugar, but for the latter, add a teaspoon of molasses.
Executive Chef Tyler Brooks is back at Epoch with a fresh new menu. The interior of the space was updated with yellow lucite tables in the dining room that give off an ethereal glow, while the banquette seating, thankfully, remains. The restaurant has been rebranded to Epoch Gastropub and their famous burger remains on the modern New England and approachable menu. The pretty patio, beautifully landscaped, is the perfect place to enjoy an early evening dinner and maybe a game of corn hole. The fire pit in the rear is ideal for chilly evenings and gathering of friends. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sunday.
The dining space and the hotel were closed during the height of the pandemic and used for Phillips Exeter Academy students. The restaurant reopened in early July.