So the great british bake off is over, and nobody really knows what to do on a Wednesday night, or with their lives for that matter… And therefore it’s unfortunately the end of our GBBO weekly inspired bakes, however we’ve decided to do all the bakes from the final because we can’t let go. This bake is going to be inspired by our beloved Tamal and his Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake in the showstopper.
Even though we weren’t the ones being judged by Paul & Mary, it’s like the pressure is off and a weight has been lifted off our shoulders but we are going to try and pull out all the stops. Bring on the cake!
First we have started with a sticky toffee pudding inspired cake – which is basically a date based cake with dark muscovado sugar, syrup and spices. We decided to do three smaller layers rather than two big layers just to give our cake some height. Rather than making multiple cakes like on the bake off we have decorated just the one cake, because frankly we will have cake for days if we made more! So we’re keeping it simple but with a bit of jazz.
Secondly we have filled and covered the cake with a brown sugar frosting, an italian meringue based frosting, which should tie in with the sticky toffee inspired theme and making it a little lighter than covering in a thick layer of toffee sauce (although I don’t think we’d complain).
We have then finished the cake with a rich toffee sauce that we have poured over the top and allowed to trip down the edges.This is great as you don’t need to ice your cake really neatly & smooth to make it look perfect.
The icing and toffee sauce in this recipe are truly delish! (if we may say so ourselves…) and there was a lot of it going straight into our mouths before we’d even started decorating. Fortunately there was plenty and still some left over when we had finished decorating, I bet you can guess where that went.
Try not to be alarmed at the look of the dates. They look disgusting. When they boil they fall apart and look gross and when you blend them they turn into a slodgy greeny brown coloured mush that smell a little funny from the bicarb but don’t let it put you off! Once it’s mixed into your cake batter it’ll smell delicious and taste even better. Also those mushed up dates are going to make your cake extremely moist (sorry for the use of the word moist). But its just really moist. After all it is a sticky toffee cake.
- 325g dates
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 eggs
- 250g brown sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 200g butter, melted
- 350g self raising flour
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 3 egg whites
- 185g dark brown sugar
- 50ml water
- 225g butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 220g brown sugar
- 110ml double cream
- 110g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- In a saucepan boil 220ml of water in a pan with your dates. Stir in the bicarb and remove from the heat.
- Blitz together the dates and water in a processor until the mixture is smooth.
- In your stand mixer, whisk together the sugar & eggs till paler, add the melted butter, golden syrup, vanilla and the date mixture.
- Fold in your flour with a pinch of salt and the mixed spice and pour into lined & greased tins.
- Pop in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.
- In a saucepan, combine the water and brown sugar, stop stirring when it begins to boil. Allow the sugar to bubble away till it reaches 115C
- Whilst your sugar is heating you want to prepare your egg whites. Beat them in a stand mixer till soft peaks form.
- Pour the syrup into the egg whites at a slow thin stream with the mixer on a medium speed.
- Once you have incorporated all the syrup, turn the mixer on high to bring the temperature down the room temp. Gradually add the butter with the mixer continuously on till all the butter is in and smooth.
- Fill each layer of your cake and cover the sides and top using a palette knife. Don't worry if its messy, most will be covered and a rustic look can be pulled off with this cake. Pop in the fridge to set.
- Melt the butter and sugar in the cream and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir till the toffee has thickened (about 5 mins).
- Set aside to cool for a bit, but not too much. We want the sauce to be pourable but not too warm or it'll melt the icing.
- Leave to set, now its time to decorate!
Now it’s time to bring out the showstopper. This part is obviously optional! We have gone for some meringue kisses but you can add spun sugar, mini macaroons, fudge, truffles, the kitchen sink….. Whatever you fancy.
To add a little extra decoration, we added some cocoa powder to our piping bags to create a brown stripe in our meringues. And then also dipped, drizzled and topped some with chocolate.
Even though we forgot to put a memory card in the camera and lost the photos of the pouring and dripping of the toffee sauce (they were so much fun). There are still lots of pictures in this post, cos we loved the look of the cake and took tons of pictures that were very hard to narrow down! #bloggerproblems