Hot Toddy Pudding Cake

I don’t ever re-post past recipes, but I’m going to make an exception just this once.  And you have to know that for me to make an exception, this has to be something pretty special, right?  As a matter of fact, the answer is a resounding yes, this is some pretty special stuff, and so perfect for the holidays that it was just killing me to see it languishing in the back of the blog with horrible photos and not looking scrumptious at all.  Therefore, being Master of this blog, I made the executive decision to re-shoot the photos and elevate this Hot Toddy Pudding Cake to the premier status it so deserves. (I have also removed the first posting, which was dated December 13, 2009).

Because, people, trust me... you want to make this.  Especially if you love the cozy, warming, lovely feeling of a hot toddy on a cold, winter night.  Especially if you love booze-y holiday desserts that are easy to make, yet appear terribly impressive.  Especially if you need a dessert for that holiday party next week and have no idea what you’re going to make.  You just might want to make this.

Let us speak for a moment about this pudding cake’s namesake, the ubiquitous hot toddy.  Folklore has it that back in old Ireland when one was down with a cold, the flu, or just feeling under the weather, a hot toddy was brought to the rescue.  The basic ingredients of a hot toddy are hot water, lemon, honey and Scotch whiskey, but as people will do, the variations are limitless. 

 

I suppose we can consider this cake a variation, but it really is so much more…egg whites are whipped to foamy loveliness, and then folded into the cake batter that has been infused with lemon and whiskey (or bourbon) and honey

and then baked until  golden brown and just a little crisp on top,

while underneath the batter has created a rich, moistly luscious pudding, and at this point I’m not sure which is more impressive – the pudding cake or the fact that this entire paragraph is only one sentence.

Leave it to Gourmet magazine to turn our favorite hot toddy into a dessert that I believe not only tastes incredible, but may even possess a few healing powers, in case you’re in need of such.   Here’s the recipe…

HOT TODDY PUDDING CAKE

Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine
Although the original hot toddy usually calls for Scotch whiskey, you may use whatever liquor you like or might have on hand... bourbon, brandy, or Tennessee whiskey are all worthy substitutes. You may also substitute individual ramekins for the baking dish used here. If using individual ramekins, decrease the baking time to 25 or 30 minutes.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Scotch Whiskey (see head note)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons mild honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar

whipped cream for serving 

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 1 1/2-quart (8" round or square) baking dish.

Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, Scotch, butter, honey, zest, and yolks, then stir into flour mixture.

Beat whites with an electric mixer at medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until whites just hold stiff peaks.

Stir about one third of whites into flour mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Pour batter into baking dish and bake in a water bath until puffed and golden-brown, 45 to 50 minutes (25 or 30 minutes if using individual ramekins). Serve warm topped with whipped cream, if desired.