A Deliciously Sticky Post...And Treets turns 2!


Ok, so Treets turned 2 like, 2 months ago. I know, where has time gone?? I actually had this prepped as a blogiversary post but just totally lost track of time but as always, found time to eat the cake but not blog it.

But here it is, despite the delay...Which leads me onto talking about perseverance, whether it be hobbies, daily life, interests or even work.

Perseverance: "Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success." - Oxford Dictionaries

Where would this blog be if I didn't insist on posting (even in this sporadic manner)? If I didn't stick to my guns and start chipping away at a painted brick wall, how would the beautiful brickwork be revealed? Okay, okay so I had a little help but it would still only be a white wall if I hadn't started. A and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary in September. Yes, I'm a little grumpy and he can be a little moody at times but if it wasn't partly for perseverance, we would never have been together for so long and ultimately enjoy each other's company along the way, despite the slight niggles in between. Where would I be if I called it quits each time something doesn't go to plan? If I didn't insist on going for a 10 mile run to practice (even though feeling slightly under the weather), I may never have had a target finish time in mind for myself on the day of the race. And yes, I beat my practice time by over 10 minutes!

You don't have to be a competitive person, you don't need to be a very proactive person to persevere in something. You just need to want to do it. You want to be with that person, you want to run a 10 mile race within a set time, you want to make your office pretty with a lovely brick wall. Stick to whatever you're doing, aim to push yourself and the effort will pay off in the end.

So to sum up this post's topic, here's a deliciously sticky toffee post to celebrate you sticking to your guns.



Sticky toffee pudding is one of those typical British desserts that is undoubtedly no good to your hips whatsoever but is ohhhh so nice. Rich sponge studded with chopped dates, drowned in buttery, creamy caramel-y treacle-y sauce and served with custard/ cream/ ice cream (or a combination of all of all three, as my preference.)

Sticky toffee pudding is traditionally steamed, but here's a baked version, which in my opinion tastes just as good and in the form of a layered cake, even better. I've used Swiss meringue buttercream here- I think it's rather ice creamy tasting - but feel free to use any other buttercream you fancy. You'll notice that I've used meringues to decorate the top, which isn't very sticky toffee pudding-y buuuut...anything to make it look pretty! ;)



STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING CAKE
Cake slightly adapted from BBC Good  Food
Toffee sauce from James Martin, via BBC Food
Yields 1 3 layer, 6" cake.

Cake

200g dried pitted dates
175g boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
85g butter
100g soft dark brown sugar (light/dark muscovado sugar will also work)
2 tbsp black treacle
100ml milk

Filling & Topping

50g butter
50g soft dark brown sugar
25g black treacle
50g golden syrup
300ml double cream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream 

100g egg whites
165g caster sugar
226g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

To Decorate
Mini meringues
Butterscotch pieces
Honeycomb pieces
Mini fudge pieces

Toffee Sauce:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring in between. Once boiled, turn the heat to low and simmer the mixture until it is a rich toffee colour and starts to thicken- the longer you cook the mixture, the thicker the sauce will be. Make sure to keep stirring during cooking.
  2. Pour into a clean jar and leave to cool. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge.


Cake layers:

  1. Stone and chop the dates into small pieces. Add the boiling water and leave to soak for approx. 30 mins, or until well soaked. Mash the soaked dates with a fork and stir in the vanilla.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C and line three 6 inch cake tins with baking parchment.
  3. Sift the bicarbonate of soda and flour into a bowl and set aside. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and lightly whisk. Using a stand mixer or electric hand whisk, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time, beating well in between each addition. Add the treacle and mix until incorporated.
  4. Fold in 1/3 of the flour, followed by half the milk. Repeat until all the flour and milk are used up. Fold in the mashed date mixture.
  5. Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for approximately 18-20mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake in the tins for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Buttercream:

  1. Place egg whites and caster sugar in a squeaky clean heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir frequently with a whisk until the sugar has dissolved. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water, and keep whisking so the egg whites don't scramble!)
  2. Using an electric whisk, or pour into the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium high to stiff peaks and the bowl is cool to touch.
  3. Add butter, approximately a tablespoon at a time to the meringue and whisk on low until each addition is incorporatedTurn the speed up to medium high and keep whisking until the butter and meringue mixture come together into a silky smooth buttercream.
  4. Lastly add the vanilla extract and mix to incorporate.

To Assemble:

  1. Place one layer onto your favourite cake stand/ plate, spread a thin layer of buttercream on top, followed by piping a ring of buttercream around the circumference of the cake - this will create a dam and prevent any toffee sauce spillage. Spoon toffee sauce into the centre and place the next layer on top. If the toffee sauce is a little firm from being in the fridge, warm in the microwave 5 secs a time until spoonable consistency.
  2. Repeat the process again until you have 3 stacked cake layers. Crumb coat the cake with buttercream and chill for half an hour in the fridge.
  3. Once chilled, smooth another layer of buttercream on the cake - this doesn't have to be terribly neat. I preferred smooth(ish) sides on mine.
  4. Drizzle more toffee sauce on top and decorate with fudge/ butterscotch/ honeycomb pieces, as well as meringues. 

Notes
  • I've used two types of meringue to decorate - shop bought mini meringues and piped swiss meringue, torched lightly with a blowtorch. I've not included a recipe for the piped meringue, as it was something I had left over from a previous bake. Feel free to omit the latter, if you wish.

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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.