A modern twist can breathe new life into a classic. Simply add a chef spin to your favourite dish, just like Lynn did with her Sticky Toffee Pudding. By adding a caramel made with fresh cranberries and topping the cake with a full spoon of eggnog mousse, you are guaranteed to be an exquisite host and cook. Courtesy of: Chef Lynn Crawford
Cranberry Caramel: In a medium saucepan, cook sugar over medium-low heat, stirring slowly with a fork until sugar is melted and pale gold. Cook caramel, gently swirling pan until deep golden.
Remove from heat and carefully add cream and butter.
Return to heat and simmer, stirring until all ingredients are dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries.
Eggnog Mousse: Prepare an ice bath; set aside.
Combine spirits in a small bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin; let soften, about 5 minutes.
Combine egg yolks and ½ cup (125 mL) sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; whisk until mixture is pale and fluffy, 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in gelatin mixture.
Set bowl over pan again; cook, whisking, until gelatin has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Transfer bowl to ice bath; scrape down sides of bowl, and whisk until cooled slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the remaining ½ cup (125 mL) sugar with cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of whipped cream into gelatin mixture, then gently fold gelatin mixture into remaining whipped cream.
In a clean bowl of the electric mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream mixture.
Transfer to a serving dish; cover. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight. Serve chilled, garnished with cranberry caramel and other recommended toppings.
Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9 x 11-inch (23 x 28 cm) pan.
Bring dates and 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan with tall sides. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Set aside; let cool.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Add 1 egg; beat to blend. Add half of flour mixture and half of date mixture; beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and date mixture.
Pour batter into mold.
Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Invert pudding onto rack. When cool cut cake into 6 portions.
To serve, first place a piece of the sticky toffee pudding cake on a plate, then pour cranberry caramel on top, finish with a scoop of the eggnog mousse. Finish with shaving white chocolate on top of the mousse.