Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake

by Julie Ruble on December 6, 2011 · 58 comments

Listen, this entire post is about turn signals. Like, the whole post (with the exception of some cheesecakey bits). I’m just warning you in case you’re not in a turn signal sort of mood.

(You are in a Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake sort of mood though, right? Good.)


sticky toffee love.

I am not a violent person in general, but there is nothing that makes me wish I had a rocket launcher stashed in my glove compartment more than people who don’t use turn signals. Turn signals are included on your vehicle to let other people know where you’re headed so they don’t plow into you and die. They’re, like, important*.

(Am I ruining the serene vibe we had going on here with all the pretty pastels and birdies and such? I’m probably totally harshing the mellow with my latent road rage. Sorry.)


Just think of cheesecake.

Actually, I don’t care if you ignore your turn signal sometimes. I’m not unreasonable. For instance:

Are you driving down a deserted road in the middle of the frigid Nebraska night, with no one but a few chilly cows to watch you with disdain as you turn left with no prior warning? It’s cool. No need to signal. The bovine haters will learn to accept your rebellious agrarian road rules.

Are you one of those bodacious** ice road truckers whose existence I honestly still kind of question? You crazy mythological creature, you! Forget those turn signals. No one needs to be notified that you’re about to veer in a different direction across the frozen tundra.


cheesecakes are also exempt from signaling.

Are you Abraham Lincoln? Abe, you were one honest, tall, admirable dude. I don’t think anyone would hold it against you if you didn’t signal before you turned your horse and buggy. Plus, you’re (sadly) deceased. Dead people do not need to use turn signals.

If you’re not a Nebraskan farmer, an ice road trucker, Abraham Lincoln, or dead, however, you’re going to have to suck it up and signal***.

And if you’re one of the billions of Charlotteans who seem to think it’s not important to use your turn signal when switching into the middle lane of a busy multilane highway in the middle of the night, well. The Charlotte police department has granted me the right to revoke your license (okay, no they haven’t.) But I think it’s just kind of implied that I’m allowed to do so.


the one with the cheesecake makes the rules.

Well. After all that road rage, I think we need something comforting. How about something so comforting you want to bathe in it? Something so comforting you want to wear it around like a sticky toffee snuggie? How about a thick, sloppy slice of Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake?

Just to address the elephant in the room: yes, the cake is about as ugly as sin (or as ugly as not using one’s turn signal? Sorry, I’ll stop.) The crust crumbled down to just the cheesecake height. The toffee pudding is puckery on top. The whole thing is decidedly brown. Please don’t be deterred, though. Firstly, you can dress it up with a drizzle of toffee sauce and some pretty flatware. Secondly, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

It’s not surprising that it’s good: it’s buttery toffee sauce on top of smooshy, date-filled pudding (in the British sense, y’all, not the Jell-O sense) on top of a creamy cheesecake on top of a gingersnap and graham cracker crust. It did surprise me, though, how good it was. And really, how freeing. Knowing that your goal is a homey, warm, comforting dessert instead of a beautiful one can make the whole process feel more forgiving.

Much more forgiving than I am with regards to your driving practices, for sure.


u-g-l-y, this cake ain’t got no alibi — but it’s nothing a little toffee sauce can’t fix.

*Full disclosure: I’m sure that at some point, I have neglected to use a turn signal. You guys are free to call me the crap out if you ever see it happening. This is probably safe to say since very few of you know what sort of car I drive. Heh.

**In writing this post, I came across this Yahoo! Answers post about how to talk about Andrew Jackson without using the word “badass,” and I admit I laughed for at least a full minute. I guess I can’t talk, because I was searching for a way to describe ice road truckers without using that word.

***I still love you even if you don’t use your turn signal. Please still love me even though I just wrote an entire post admonishing you.

Time for cake!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, using Food Network’s pudding recipe
Yield: 10-12 servings

There are no words for how delicious this dessert is. Buttery toffee sauce cascades over smooshy, date-filled sticky toffee pudding on top of a creamy cheesecake. The recipe can be made over several days and made in advance, making it convenient in addition to delectable. I served slices warmed for 30-40 seconds in the microwave and with a drizzle of extra toffee sauce. A scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream would be a lovely addition.

Cheesecake Ingredients:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 heaping cups cookie crumbs (I used a 50/50 mixture of graham cracker and gingersnap crumbs)
6 tablespoons butter

Sticky Toffee Pudding Ingredients:
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped (Oh Nuts! provided me with these)
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toffee Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar

Directions:
Notes: Cheesecakes are simple and super customizable. New to cheesecake making? Watch my 6 minute Cheesecake Video Tutorial for visual assistance! This recipe can be divided up over several days — you can make and refrigerate both the cheesecake and pudding in advance. Simply make the toffee sauce and assemble the day you’re serving the cake.

Make the cheesecake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a springform cheesecake pan. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Using a flat-sided glass, press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides (you want it to be tall — try to get to about 2.5-3 inches high and not too thick in any one spot) of your cheesecake pan. Bake the crust for about 6 minutes and let it cool as you make your cheesecake filling.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. Add in the vanilla and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Pour the filling into your crust.

Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken (about 40 minutes). Check while baking periodically and put a pie shield (or strips of foil) around the top of your pan to protect the crust edges if they’re getting too dark. Just don’t let the shield/foil touch the crust — it’s delicate and might crumble. Let cheesecake cool before chilling it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. (My crust kind of crumbled on top as the cheesecake cooled and pulled it inward, but don’t fret if this happens — everything will still be delicious! I just swept away the crumblies with a pastry brush.)

Make Sticky Toffee Pudding: In the meantime, grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Place a parchment paper round in it to line the bottom, and grease the paper as well. You don’t want your pudding stuck in your pan!

Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper (I love doing this with dry ingredients, because then the paper becomes a funnel for easy transport of your dry ingredients and you aren’t using an extra bowl). In a separate small bowl, gently mix the dates, boiling water, baking soda. Set this aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually mix in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in (I did a little folding and a little stirring, since it was quite soupy, but just be gentle with it) the date mixture with a spatula. Pour your batter into your prepared pan and bake until the pudding is set up and firm, about 35 minutes (jiggle the pan and watch the middle). Let the pudding cool completely on a wire rack before inverting it onto a wax paper lined plate and popping it in the freezer to firm up for easy handling (or leave it in the fridge overnight).

Make the Toffee Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar. Bring this to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil gently for about 8 minutes over medium low heat, or until the mixture is thickened.

Assemble the cake: Preheat the broiler. Spoon about 1/3 cup of toffee sauce onto the surface of your cheesecake to serve as a “glue” and gently place your sticky toffee pudding layer on top, pressing to adhere. Top this layer with about 1/3 cup of the toffee sauce and spread this around evenly on top. Place the cake under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute (keep a close watch! I rotated mine carefully every few seconds for even bubbling). Carefully remove the springform pan and using a sturdy spatula or two, place cheesecake on serving platter (if you’re nervous, just remove the sides of the springform pan and serve it straight from the base — no worries). Serve slices with extra toffee sauce and whipped cream or ice cream.

P.S. Oh Nuts! sent me California Medjool Dates to try free of charge. My opinions are always my own and always thoughtfully prepared with consideration for my readers — and I loved the dates! It was my first date experience and now I’m hooked.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Baker Street December 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm

love the idea of toffee pudding and cheesecake in one bite!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Thank you! It was so yummy!

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet December 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Can I come move in with you?

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Yes! We would have TONS of fun. And baked goods. ;)

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Lesley December 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Those are my two favourite things in the world together at last!! Definitely have to make this!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I hope you love it, Lesley!! It was a revelation for me!

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Karly December 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Oh! Where have I been? Your new design is adorable!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Thank you, Karly :D I’m loving it!

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Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board December 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I was shocked when I got to the part about the cake looking ugly – I thought it looks gorgeous (and incredibly delicious)!! I have to clean the drool off my keyboard now ..

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Aww, thank you, Natalie!

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Kelly December 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm

When I first moved to Miami, I was told NEVER to use my indicator. Of course, I was shocked. Why would someone not use an indicator? The response: “If you use it, people will know that you are planning on turning and then they will speed up on you.” I am still shocked 8 years later. And unfortunately, everyone seems to obey this “rule.” I was also told that when the light turns red, I still have a few seconds so I shouldn’t stop. Yes, Miami has a high accident rate. Yes, car insurance is sky-high. Why do you ask?

As for the beauty above. *Sigh* I am resisting only because I do not have dates right now and I am committed to baking something else. However, this is going on my to-bake list. I have never had sticky pudding and I am very curious.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm

LOL! Oh my goodness! I would’ve never guess there are regional “rules” about it. But you know, I noticed in San Francisco last year that they seemed to use their horns as just a tool for driving and indicating instead of as a warning blast — so you’d hear constant horns. It was so different from Charlotte. Even more bizarre, when I went back this year, it seems to have totally changed! No more horns! Is that possible? I wondered if maybe the mayor told people to knock it off. HA.

I’d never had Sticky Toffee Pudding before this either, and OH am I glad that’s changed! What a phenomenal dessert.

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Kelly December 7, 2011 at 12:41 am

Don’t get me started on the horns. See that red light rule above? It turns red but you should still go? Not e that people going in the opposite direction start honking at you to move if you don’t start moving BEFORE your light is green.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 12:43 am

Oh, that’s crazy! I’m a bit of a speed demon and a pretty assertive driver, but even that’s a bit much for me!! Good grief.

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Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) December 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm

This is a two-for-one. Hot dang!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm

You betcha!! ;)

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Jiawen December 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Looks so yummy, and love the idea. I’d love to try it this Christmas. Happy Holidays ^_^

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 12:21 am

Thank you, Jiawen! This would be so great on Christmas!

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Simply Tia December 7, 2011 at 12:17 am

This cake is truly a winner! It sounds great and looks even better! Well done.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 12:21 am

Thank you, Tia!

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Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie December 7, 2011 at 12:19 am

Ugh! I get so angry when people don’t use their turn signal!!!

And this cake looks amazing!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 12:22 am

I’m glad we’re on the same “signal” wavelength ;) Thanks, Mackenzie!

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Lauren W. December 7, 2011 at 12:37 am

Oh my goodness, sticky toffee pudding is one of my ABSOLUTE favorite desserts! and to pair it with cheesecake?! I’m in heaven! Can’t wait to try this recipe out!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 12:40 am

Hooray! I hope you love it as much as we did! :)

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Kathryn O December 7, 2011 at 1:03 am

I just found your site and seriously can’t stop drooling! This looks so, so good. I love toffee and paired with cheesecake? Just amazing :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 1:07 am

Thank you, Kathryn, and welcome! I LOVE the name of your blog — too cute!

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Gio December 7, 2011 at 1:48 am

I made sticky toffee pudding before but I’d like to refine the recipe. I’m glad you and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to this treasure from across the pond. haha I’ll make sticky toffee pudding (wow, mouthful! haha) for christmas. :D

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 2:01 am

I’d never tried it, but I ADORED this recipe for it — it was such an awesome texture and flavor. Ohhh, sticky toffeeee!

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Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats December 7, 2011 at 1:51 am

“Dead people do not need to use turn signals.”

Hahahhahaha!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 1:55 am

It’s a little known traffic rule ;)

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Joanne December 7, 2011 at 1:59 am

As someone who jay-walks…like…all the time, I fully second this post! How can I plan my jay-walking strategically if I don’t know whether you are going to come veering straight into me or not?!?!? Sheesh.

Pass the cheesecake. I need a slice now that I’m all worked up.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 2:01 am

I know, right! WE NEED YOU TO FOLLOW THE LAW TO MAKE IT SAFE FOR US TO IGNORE IT, PLEASE. I’m with ya.

Also cheesecake really does cure road rage. Proven fact.

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Jesica@Pencil Kitchen December 7, 2011 at 2:24 am

Julie, this combination is just out of the world. the sticky toffee with tangy cheesecake! Brilliant!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 2:29 am

Thank you, Jesica! :)

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Nora December 7, 2011 at 6:59 am

Please, where is the print symbol? I really want this recipe but don’t want all the pages. Thanks.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

Hi Nora! Unfortunately I don’t have a print function yet (working on that!), but you can still print it without all the pages. I just highlight the recipe, copy and paste it into a word document or email, and print from there. Hope that helps in the meantime!

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Sandra December 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

A ice of this would elevate my mood in a heartbeat!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

I still have two slices in my freezer — just sayin’! ;)

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Mom December 8, 2011 at 5:01 am

I love those dates, too! Very good in bread pudding (made with croissants & heavy cream) and served with vanilla sauce! YUM! This caramel sauce looks so thick and wonderful!

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Andrea (questfordelish) December 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

This looks so yummy. I am going to make this for the holidays.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Thank you, Andrea! It is such a perfect holiday dish — so comforting and indulgent! Hope you love it!

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Anastasia December 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Why must you do this to me!!!??? *drool*

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 8, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Only ’cause I love ya! ;)

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Tori @ eatori December 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

I use turn signals, I promise. And I’m dying at the sight of two of my favourite things melded together. This is brilliant, brilliant stuff.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 9, 2011 at 10:59 am

Thank you, Tori! Both for your kind words and your DRIVING SKILLZ. ;)

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Kaitlin December 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Ugly as sin? I think not! This cake looks homey and comforting. Yum!

Also, yeah – not signaling makes me SOOOOO angry. I get road rage for lots of reasons, though. I’m not a very fun person to drive with ;) lol

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 13, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Aw, thanks Kaitlin! And I know what you mean — I have some road rage issues myself. Yikes!

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Ashley December 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm

This sounds SO amazing. I need to make this ASAP. (And I always signal!)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 13, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hooray! Thanks, Ashley — especially for signaling! Ha!

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Jessica @Sunny Side Up December 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Holy Moses this look so freaking good!!

And I will join your crusade against the no-turn signal crowd. Except I’m not nearly as nice as you and think everyone (including Abe Lincoln and Ice Road truckers) should use them. It’s just good practice. One day they might find themselves out of that environment on a real road and be out of habit and not use it. No beuno.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

HA, well, Abe Lincoln will be disappointed, but I’m sure he’ll understand your motives.

Thanks, Jessica :)

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jules @ bananamondaes December 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm

OMG. This looks insanely good. What’s not to like about this. Yum!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Thank you, Jules!

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Kelly December 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm

This cheesecake looks absolutely amazing and your pictures are gorgeous! LOVE your blog, so glad to be a new follower! xoxo

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Thank you, Kelly! And welcome! So glad you’re here!

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April March 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Sticky toffee pudding is my favorite cake… Cheesecake is my favorite dessert… This looks like heaven on a plate!! And I’m with you, I’d rather have homey-looking desserts than glamorously decorative ones. I’m your newest follower, I love you already!! :)
~April

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babycakesbyrach November 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Hi Willowbird!

I’m a big fan of yours. I tried making your toffee recipe 3x today! 2x it broke, and I had toffee bits. The last time I pulled it off at 140 degrees (in less than 5 min) and it came out like fudge. All still tasty but not really toffee like. What am I doing wrong!?

Thanks for the yummy recipes! :)
Rach

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Julie Ruble November 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Hi there! I just recently made this toffee sauce 2 more times. Do you whisk constantly the entire time you’re cooking it — the breaking sounds like you’re not whisking constantly, perhaps? Once it starts to boil, whisk and cook for about 6-8 minutes until thickened — then pour it into a bowl and it should be perfect. Hope this helps.

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