I have to say, the words “sticky” and “blood” together in one title don’t do much in the way of selling this post to the reader. For that, I’ll blame the coworker whose birthday it was and who took advantage of my offer to bake him something by requesting this doozy.
Don’t get me wrong – for the most part, the people for whom I bake don’t know enough to request the tough stuff. And when it comes right down to it, this isn’t a very difficult recipe; it just has more steps than most. The problem, I think, is with the actual writing of the recipe. Between candying slices of blood orange and making caramel from the candying liquid, this requires a little bit of extra attention, and while I am of course not bitter at all,* it maybe would have helped if someone had mentioned a candy thermometer, or perhaps just a decently concrete indication of caramel doneness.
*not even about the bowl filled with brickish and irascible caramel and the spoon planted in it, both of which I will likely have to throw out.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try this recipe, though. It’s tasty, if the cake batter is any indication, and the birthday boy seems to enjoy it very much. Just do me a favor and seek out a slightly more informative guide to caramel.*
*Which I should have done, but was – tragically, as it turned out – too devoted to multitasking; next time, the laundry will wait.
Sticky Blood Orange Pudding
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
3 medium blood oranges
Combine the sugar and water on the stove to create a simple syrup. Slice the blood orange thinly, then place in the pot of syrup.
Reduce on medium low heat for about 30 mins, or until the blood orange peel is soft and sweet to taste. Let cool, then remove the candied orange from the syrup (reserving the liquid) and puree it until it reaches a jam-like consistency. Set aside.
Vanilla and Blood Orange Caramel
Reserved syrup from candying process
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all the ingredients into a small heavy sauce pan and reduce over medium heat until the consistency of honey.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 ounces candied blood orange puree
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-inch round cake pan. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs one at time, then add the vanilla. Gently stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the candied blood orange puree. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumb. Remove from oven and let cool.