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Rooms & Suites





Driving Tour – Belfast (part 2)

We continue our day trip to Belfast with a stop at one of our favorite “casual” restaurants. Darby’s has been a bar or restaurant in Belfast since it was built in 1865. The current owners and operators, Gail & Jerry Savitz, remodeled the restaurant in 1985 and have been expanding and improving the restaurant since we first started going there over 13 years ago. Some of our favorites items on the menu are: Pad Thai, Big Buddha Bowl, Burgers, Cobb Salad and to finish EVERY meal…Scottish Toffee Pudding.

My in-laws insist on a trip to Darby’s on every visit from Michigan for this dessert. My version of the recipe (I call Sticky Toffee Pudding) is on page 160 of my first cookbook and is very comparable. Serve it with lots of vanilla ice cream and sauce. Here’s the recipe:

Sticky Toffee Pudding

serves 9

2 cups dates, pitted and chopped (11 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 Tablespoons rum
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 batch Caramel-rum sauce (recipe below)
vanilla ice cream
whipped cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan.

2. Combine the chopped dates and baking soda together in a small mixing bowl. Cover with boiling water, rum and vanilla and let set for 5 minutes.

3. In another bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and mix well. Add flour and date mixture and stir until well incorporated.

4. Pour into the prepared baking pan and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes.

5. To serve, cut the pudding into 9 pieces (3 inches by 3 inches) and serve drenched in Caramel-rum sauce with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on top.

Caramel-Rum Sauce

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark rum
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Bring all the ingredients, except the vanilla, to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes over low heat. Stir in vanilla and keep warm until serving.