Giveable City

The treat of Austin eats

Hey, Puddin'

'Tis the season that we remember Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Christmas pudding so lovingly prepared by Mrs. Cratchit. While traditional plum pudding may be a bit scarce in Central Texas, we're fortunate to be home to the Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. (472-0039,, whose owner/founder, Tracy Claros, produces what must be the finest English-style puddings this side of the pond.

Giveable City
photo by John Anderson
Everybody loves a local success story, and Claros is a brilliant example of a home baker with a vision, who first created a delicious product made by no one else and then figured out how to successfully produce and sell it. A native of England's Lake District, Claros first arrived in Austin in 1988 to study communications at UT. Armed with a B.A. and M.A., she worked for eight years in England as a speech pathologist, all the while dreaming both of returning to Austin and baking for a living. Sometimes dreams do come true, and 2003 found Claros, along with son James, happily selling her handmade Sticky Toffee Puddings to devoted fans at the downtown Austin Farmers' Market. It wasn't long before the puddings were available at Central Market and Whole Foods and then at independent groceries all over town, as well as at Costco.

Claros describes her Sticky Toffee Pudding as light sponge cake flavored with puréed dates soaked in vanilla and coffee and coated with brown sugar and pecan toffee sauce. Served warm with cream or crème fraîche, it is a rich, moist, elegant, and indescribably scrumptious dessert. This year, Claros has introduced the equally wonderful English Lemon Pudding and Molten Chocolate Baby-Cake and plans to launch Sticky Ginger Pudding in early 2007.

The puddings, made from all-natural ingredients, are sold in individual serving-sized pudding basins that Claros imports from England. They keep well for weeks in the fridge and freeze just beautifully. (I'm such a fan that I keep an emergency supply in the freezer at all times.)

The best news for holiday gift-givers is that you can now purchase and send the Sticky Toffee Pudding Co.'s products online in packages of four, six, or 12, ranging from $15-45 at the Web site. Also, check there for retail locations where you can buy the puddings directly ($3.99-4.99, individually). These English puddings are not only for Christmas, but what better time to share the tradition with those you love? God bless us, every one, y'all.

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