A sticky (toffee) situation

Look, it’s been almost a year of lockdown, we should all have graduated from baking banana bread by now.

This isn’t an anti-banana bread post per se, it’s just that I fear we’ll always struggle to disassociate it with being confined against our will. I’m just thankful we didn’t all rush to make sticky toffee pudding in our times of desperate tedium. That would have been a huge loss, one I’m not sure that I could ever recover from.

Alas that didn’t happen, and so let’s make some happy memories by eating copious amounts of this sticky toffee pudding cake with miso caramel buttercream and a dark chocolate ganache.

[Delilah Montagu – Faultline, Sony Music, 2021]
[Sierrra – Discoteca, Phonica Records, 2018]

Shopping list (serves 6 easily)
Sticky toffee cake:
Unsalted butter (slightly softened) x 75g
Dark muscavado sugar x 40g
Light muscavado sugar x 40g
Eggs x 2
Plain flour x 100g
White rye flour x 100g
Dates (pitted & chopped) x 200g
Bicarbonate of soda x 1 1/2 tsp
Baking powder x 1 1/2 tsp
Boiled water x 300ml

Dark chocolate ganache:
Dark chocolate 70% (finely chopped) x 200g
Double cream x 230ml

Miso caramel buttercream:
Caster sugar x 130g
Double cream x 70ml
Unsalted butter (slightly softened) x 150g
Miso paste x 1 1/2 tsp
Icing sugar x 80g
Cold water x 4 tbsp

Pecans (toasted) to garnish x 50g

For the cake, start by covering your chopped dates with the boiled water and the bicarbonate of soda.

Grease the inside of a round 20cm springform cake tin and set your oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C.

Beat your sugars and soft butter together until pale and fluffy. I’ve found that popping the butter in the microwave for 15 seconds before this really speeds things up. Add your eggs and continue to whisk well for a couple of minutes.

Mix together your other dry ingredients, before removing your dates from the water and retaining 200ml of the water. Add this water with the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar, mixing well continuously. Now fold in your dates and pour the batter into your cake tin.

Bake in your hot oven for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack and set about making the buttercream.

In a saucepan, gradually heat your sugar and cold water until bubbling and the colour has turned amber. Remove from the heat and add your cream, making sure to whisk throughout. Leave this to cool and move on to making your ganache.

Chop your chocolate into fine pieces and then heat your cream up to the boil, before removing and pouring over the chocolate in a pyrex bowl. Mix together whilst still warm until glossy and smooth. Allow this to also cool for around 15-20 minutes.

Once your caramel has cooled completely, you can beat together the soft butter and icing sugar until creamy and light. Add this to the caramel, mixing well, before adding your miso paste. Continue to whisk for a further couple of minutes before setting aside.

Take a sharp knife and cut your cake into two halves. You’ll need some patience and concentration for this, but once done you can get to work doing the satisfying job of spreading your two sweet fillings onto it.

On one of the halves, spread all of the buttercream. On the other, spread about 1/3 of the ganache.

Put the two halves together and spread the remainder of the ganache evenly on top of the cake. Scatter a couple of large handfuls of toasted pecans to finish.



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