I've just come back from Christmas week in London and I have lovely memories of a fantastic new year's eve dinner at the venerable Rule's on Maiden Lane, and especially of their deliciously dense and rich "Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce," which was served with custard sauce genrously ladled over it all. It was heaven.
But now I want to make it myself, and the different varieties of recipes for it that I am finding online (including in Chowhound threads) are more confusing than elucudating.
Is the real, authentic sticky pudding baked, steamed, or baked in a bain marie?
Does the batter contain white sugar or demerara sugar?
Does the batter contain treacle or golden syrup, or not?
Does the sauce contain treacle or golden syrup, or not?
Is the sauce made with white sugar caramelized or brown sugar?
Is the sauce poured on the pudding and broiled until bubbly before serving, or just poured on the pudding?
Is the pudding served with custard sauce ladled over it, or with cream?
Is it Scottish in origin, or English?
Can I even make a reasonable facsimile in the U.S. using American ingredients? Cook's Illustrated came up with a recipe using American ingredients such a molasses; is the recipe any good?
All these issues raised by the different recipes make me want just to make Nigella Lawson's simple, pudding-cake version of it, which I have tried and find to be very delicious. However, the baker in me wants to be able to make the Real Thing.
At the risk of starting a war among stalwarts, please let me know what you think.
Thank you for your help!