Birthday season in the Caked Crusader family is well upon us; this week marks the halfway point and it’s the turn of the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma). I asked her what flavour she would like her cake to feature and was surprised to hear the reply of “chocolate or toffee”. I would’ve bet anything on lemon!
Being a good daughter I know the importance of keeping the CCM happy so hunted for a recipe featuring both chocolate and toffee – and here it is! However good you think chocolate sticky toffee pudding cake will be, multiply that expectation by 10... and you’re still nowhere close!
The flavours are clean and identifiable which pleased me; often, when you combine robust ingredients they get lost and the overall taste is indistinct. On a blind tasting you would guess that this was a chocolate sticky toffee pudding. I have to keep typing that – it’s a wonderful collection of words!
I put the toffee sauce in the fridge - this is how thick it became:
Then, I whisked some of the toffee sauce into some whipped cream and piped it on top of the cake to add an extra element of naughty luxury to the dish. It worked really well – I feel that’s somewhat a redundant statement...like anyone would read that sentence and say, “well that must’ve been a disaster”!
I had to take a photo of the elaborate candle I got for the cake. You light the centre and a plume of sparklers shoot up and out lighting all the candles on the flower petals which open, and then rotate playing “happy birthday”. Classy? Perhaps not. Crowd pleasing? Oh yes! I think this photo really captures the speed of the rotating candles:
Happy birthday CCM
For the cake:
300ml boiling water
150g stoned dates, chopped
150g dark chocolate – I used Green & Blacks 70%
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g light brown sugar
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the toffee sauce:
275g golden syrup
275g light brown sugar
100g unsalted butter
225ml double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
To serve: whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.
Place the water in a saucepan and reduce to a simmer.
Add the chopped dates and leave for 10 minutes – still on a low simmer.
Melt the chocolate – I used a microwave – and put to one side.
Beat together the butter and sugar until paler and lighter. As it is brown sugar, it won’t go as whippy as if you were using caster sugar but you should notice the texture lightening.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Stir in the melted chocolate.
Fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
Stir in the dates and their liquid.
Pour the mixture (it will be runny) into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Mine took 55 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin, on a wire rack. The cake will be very soft and trying to de-tin it too early may cause heartache!
Now make the toffee sauce: place all the ingredients into a saucepan (use a bigger saucepan than you think you’ll need as the sauce increases significantly in volume while it’s bubbling away) and heat, over a high heat, until the mixture comes to the boil. Stir regularly.
Let the mixture boil for approximately 5 minutes (still stirring) until the sauce is glossy.
Place the warm cake on the serving plate and pour some of the toffee sauce over the cake, putting the rest in a jug for people to serve themselves.
Alternatively, you can serve the cake at room temperature, also with some toffee sauce poured over the cake, and some whipped up with cream as a decadent extra treat!
Serve in generous slices.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.