Welcome to Sugar High, a new series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.
The sticky toffee pudding served at both Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337) and Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue; 314-241-2337) presents itself proudly on a nearly full-sized dinner plate, a towering slab of dessert bathed in rich, indulgent caramel and served with a scoop of fresh whipped cream. With a portion big enough for sharing, you'll need at least two spoons.
Known simply as "STP" to Schlafly staff, the English dessert translates into a moist, dense cake that gets its depth of flavor from chopped, cooked dates, though you wouldn't know it from the texture nor taste. The cake is served warm in a pool of gooey caramel toffee, a simple mixture of dark brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract and heavy cream.
According to Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman, the original recipe comes from Udny Arms Hotel in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
"My wife, Sheena Cook, is from Aberdeenshire and worked at the hotel in the restaurant in the late 1970s," says Kopman. "When we moved from Scotland to St. Louis to open the Schlafly Tap Room in 1991, it was great for Sheena to have a bit of home, and it fit the menu concept of pairing classic European beer styles like oatmeal stout with a dessert like "STP." It remains one of the great beer pairings at the Tap Room."
Home bakers can attempt to tackle the recipe on their own, thanks to the recipe shared via Daily Candy (or try a cupcake version via Cupcake Project). Either way, be sure to enjoy this comforting treat with a Schlafly brew to offer a nice, dry counterbalance.
We're always looking for some sweet ideas. E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.