Sticky Toffee Pudding Cakes

I know yesterday was Fat Tuesday. I ate king cake, too; and no, I didn't find the baby. But, I did find a way to continue the sweet tooth throughout this week as we lead up to Valentine's Day. Inspired by Memphis' culinary master Wally Joe, I took a toffee sticky pudding cake from the dessert menu of Acre into my own kitchen. I added a caramel toffee sauce simmered with Pipcorn, a delicious all-natural mini popcorn. It's vegan, gluten free, non-GMO and high in fiber. But most importantly, it's addictively delicious.

Try it out with your hon' this weekend. Or treat yourself. Either way, you'll be sweetly satisfied.

Makes 2 servings

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 2/3 cup dates, pitted, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices 1/4 cup warm water 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed 1 large egg 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 1/3 cup heavy cream 1 1/2 teaspoons rum 1/4 cup sea salt Pipcorn

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease and flour two 8-ounce ramekins and line bottom of each with round of parchment paper cut to fit. Set prepared ramekins in deep-side baking or roasting pan lined with clean dish towel.

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.

4. Combine half of dates with warm water and baking soda in glass measuring cup and soak for 5 minutes. Drain dates, reserving liquid, and transfer to medium bowl.

5. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in another medium bowl. Set aside.

6. Process remaining dates and brown sugar in food processor until just blended, about five 1-second pulses. Add reserved soaking liquid, eggs, and vanilla and process until smooth, about 5 seconds. With food processor running, pour melted butter through feed tube in steady stream.

7. Transfer mixture to bowl with softened dates. Gently stir dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined and date pieces are evenly dispersed.

8. Distribute batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Fill roasting pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of ramekins, making sure not to splash water into ramekins. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, crimping edges to seal.

9. Bake pudding cakes until puffed and small holes appear on surface, about 40 minutes.

10. While baking, melt butter, cream

adapted from