Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee-Apple Sauce
I thought we would start with a simple classic to get things going; the croquembouche and vacherin can come later…
This serves 10 people, though in my house that translates to 5.
200ml Apple Juice
5oz Dates (de-stone and roughly chop – 2 to 3 cuts per date)
2tsps Bicarbonate of Soda
6oz Butter (soften in the microwave, full power for about 10-15seconds)
6oz Caster Sugar
3 Eggs (crack on a flat surface to avoid any rogue egg-shell in your cake)
2tsps Vanilla Extract
12oz Self-Raising Flour
1 Apple (diced)
For the Sauce – 300ml Double Cream, 4oz Light Brown Sugar, 1oz Butter and 50ml Apple Juice
Line a round cake tin (see Mama Molloy’s – The home of home-baking)
In a small pan, place the 200ml of apple juice, 5oz of dates and 2tsps of bicarbonate of soda. Put the pan on a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once it is bubbling across the whole surface of the liquid, take off the heat and allow to cool completely. Be careful; if you leave it to boil for too long, the liquid goes jet black and makes the cake taste burnt, not that I’ve ever done this of course…
In a large mixing bowl place the 6oz of caster sugar and add the 6oz butter, cut into cubes. Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon by pressing the mixture into the base of the bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy (like a cloud with jaundice…). Beat in the 3 eggs, one at a time, using an electric whisk if you have one. Add the 2tsps of vanilla extract and whisk. Once the apple juice mixture has cooled, stir it into the cake mixture.
Pre-heat the oven to 160oC (325oF, Gas Mark 3).
Sieve the 12oz of flour into the large mixing bowl, holding the sieve as high as you can in the process (within reason, you don’t want to cover your head in flour, it’s bad for the nits). Also add the apple and then fold the flour into the mixture by dragging a wooden spoon around the edge of the bowl in one complete circle and then pushing the spoon through the middle from one side to the other. Repeat this until fully mixed but don’t get carried away; the more you mix, the more air you lose and the denser the cake is.
NB: it is quite a wet cake mix
Pour the cake mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for 40mins. Cover the cake with foil halfway through once it has achieved a golden-brown colour (see Useful things to know before baking).
Once the cake has been in the oven for 10mins, combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium-size pan and bring to the boil on a medium heat whilst stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to a low heat and simmer for 20mins.
Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and poke numerous holes in the top of it with a knife or skewer and then pour a third of the sauce onto it. Bake the cake for another 15mins.
Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool. Serve with the rest of the sauce and vanilla ice-cream.
And that my friends, is how to make a sticky toffee pudding. For anyone past the age of 18 who feels that apple juice is beneath them, replace it with Irish Whiskey, and for anyone who wants more of a challenge, drink a bottle of Irish Whisky and then try making the cake.