So I teased you a little with a picture of James’s birthday cake on Friday. It was a real labour of love, I had a couple of complete disasters when making it.
First, I decided to make cookies at the same time as the sticky toffee pudding cake. You’ll see in the recipe that you have to leave dates to cool off and I decided to spend this time making cookie dough.
That’s when the first mistake happened. I poured the date mixture into the cookie dough mixture. And then then remained of the cake ingredients over the top. Then realised my mistake and paniced. A lot.
I thought I’d see what the mixture was by putting into into a loaf tin, cupcakes and cookie sheets. The cookies didn’t work but I did get these..
A date loaf and cupcakes, which are surprisingly tasty!
And some cookies too:
Then came my second disaster of the night. This recipe calls for making a gorgeous sticky toffee sauce. I didn’t quite appreciate the difficulty of this or what burning sugar looks and smells like. Needless to say, there was a lot of swearing and late night pan scrubbing.
But it did work out with the end and I’ve put a few tips in this recipe to ensure you don’t do the same.
You should make this cake for a number of reasons. It isn’t overly healthy, although I’ve made a few swaps to lighten it up but it’s an occasion cake, the point is not to be virtuous. It tastes incredible, keeps for at least four days and the flavour actually develops over time.
Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
Adapted from The English Kitchen
For the cake
225g of dried dates
300 ml water
170g soft brown sugar
115g margarine (I used Stork)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs beaten (I put cracked these into a mug and beat with a fork)
170g self raising flour
For the icing
6 tbs double cream
85g soft brown sugar
50g icing sugar
* Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ Gas mark 5. Line two baking tins
* Cut each date into three pieces. The easiest way to do this is to not go for the quick slice – they are too sticky! Instead, line three or four up, press the knife through them, put your hand flat on the top of the knife (the not sharp bit..) and wiggle it. Sounds odd but it works!
* Pop the dates in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil, leaving to boil for about 10 minutes until all of the water is gone. Don’t put a lid on the pan.* Remove from the heat and stir in the bicar before leaving to cool.* In another bowl, cream together the margarine and brown sugar, before stirring in the vanilla. * Slowly beat in the eggs and fold in the cooled dates. Stir in the flour.* Spoon the battewr equally into the two pans. The easiest way I found to do this was by alternating a spoonful in each pan. Smooth the tops.* Pop in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The cake should be risen and set. Leave in the tin for around 20 minutes before popping onto a wire rack to cool completely.* Making the icing does take a little patience but it completely makes the cake. The hardest bit comes first and then it is plain sailing!
* Put the cream, sugar and butter in a small pan and heat super gently on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.* Bring to the boil and cook – without the lid on – for four minutes. It will not look nice at all and will still look separated but don’t panic. Most importantly, do not stir.* When it has cooled down, beat in the icing sugar. You can add more if you want a thicker icing, or less to taste.* You have to beat quite a lot but you do get this beautiful creamy icing that you can easily spread over the cake.* Decorate! I used chocolate chips sprinkled round the edge but you could do anything you fancy.
It was a challenge fitting 25 candles on it though