Monday, January 24, 2011

L. A. Westside Tavern Restaurant: Warm Toffee Cake

Check out how a Los Angeles restaurant has updated the dessert comfort food for a heavenly taste experience.

From Denny:  This rich amazing dessert is a favorite with diners at the Westside Tavern in West Los Angeles, California, located inside the Westside Pavilion. At 534 calories, this is a diet buster but well worth the indulgence! Warm toffee cake is a dessert comfort food from decades past - and still popular today.  A little scoop on the side of whipped mascarpone cream, cream or ice cream makes for a  heavenly taste experience.

Check out the Westside Tavern

Their concept description: An expansive, social and urban-minded restaurant, Westside Tavern features chef-driven yet affordable interpretations of California Tavern Cuisine alongside a complementary selection of fresh cocktails, craftsman beers and thoughtful wines. Encompassing 10,400 square feet and 300 seats, Westside Tavern is open for dinner daily and is designed to be used as a casually upscale gathering place by a broad cross section of Los Angeles professionals.

Warm Sticky Toffee Cake

From: Westside Tavern, West Los Angeles, California (inside the Westside Pavilion)

Total time: About 2 hours

Servings: 6 to 12

Warm Sticky Toffee Cake


English toffee sauce


1 1-2 cups heavy cream

3-4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 1-2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon) butter, cut into 1-2 inch cubes

1 1-2 cups dark brown sugar

3-4 cup maple syrup


In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the cream, butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. Blend the mixture using an immersion blender until thickened and emulsified. Alternatively, the mixture can be blended in batches using a standard blender (be careful as the mixture is very hot). This makes 4 cups sauce.

Toffee Cake and Assembly

2 tablespoons (1-4 stick) butter, plus extra for buttering the ramekins

Sugar for dusting the ramekins

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water

3/4 cup plus 2 1-2 teaspoons (3.4 ounces) flour

Pinch salt

3/8 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons dark brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup coarsely chopped dates

Hot prepared toffee sauce

Whipped mascarpone cream, cream or ice cream


1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with butter, and dust with sugar. In a saucepan, whisk the baking soda into the boiling water.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until fully incorporated.

4. To the butter mixture, add the egg and beat until fully incorporated. Over low speed, slowly and gently add the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl to make sure the batter is fully mixed.

6. Over low speed, slowly stream the hot water into the batter. Add the dates and continue mixing over low speed until the batter thickens. This makes about 2 cups batter.

7. Divide the batter between the prepared ramekins. Bake until the cakes are a dark, caramel color, about 45 minutes.

8. Remove the ramekins and cool the cakes for 5 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the hot toffee sauce onto the cakes until they seem saturated (extra sauce will pool at the bottom, this can be gathered for additional glazing and serving), then glaze the cakes a second time with the sauce.

9. Set the cakes aside for about 30 minutes to set up and cool. The cakes can be made a few hours in advance and held on a baking sheet, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature.

10. To serve, cover each cake with one-fourth cup warm toffee sauce. Serve with a generous quenelle or dollop of mascarpone cream or whipped cream, or scoop of ice cream.

Each serving: 534 calories; 2 grams protein; 73 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 27 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 102 mg cholesterol; 63 grams sugar; 115 mg sodium.

*** Photo by Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times

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