The hubby's birthday was yesterday!
It was a gorgeous day here. While the folks just east of us in Louisville were forced to deal with 7 inches of rain and flash flooding over the weekend, we were somehow spared any sort of weather activity. I think we had a downpour Saturday afternoon, but that's about it. Sunday, however, was just an all-round nice day, and more than likely, our last summer-like day. That's ok, we took advantage. The hubby and I took the puppies into Portsmouth to walk along the river. We ended up trekking 3 miles, just enjoying scenery and letting the dogs indulge their sensitive noses. Haloti loved the entire ordeal, he didn't quit yanking on his leash until about the last half mile. Gizmo walked for, maybe, a mile and a half. He does have the smallest legs in the family, after all. The hubby carried him most of the time, but Giz still enjoyed himself. Sometimes I think he likes being carried better :)
After that, we pretty much holed up in the house for the day, bingeing on "Breaking Bad". We just started Season 5, Part 1. Man alive, I'm going to miss that show. I've managed to not watch or read any spoilers, so how it all ends will be a surprise. We did manage to tear ourselves away from our "Breaking Bad" marathon long enough to eat birthday cake. This year's cake choice was Sticky Toffee Cake.
I made this cake on Saturday, and I'm so glad I did. It took a long time. A really long time. This cake isn't for the faint of heart. I used a traditional British recipe (you can find it here), and it definitely required some elbow grease to get the job done. First of all, the recipe uses actual dates. Steeped in black tea, then emulsified. I'd never done that for a cake before. Second, the recipe calls for melted butter. Butter is usually where I incorporate air into the cake, by creaming it with sugar. This recipe calls for beating the eggs and sugar until fluffy to incorporate air. What the recipe didn't say is that this takes forever. About 20 minutes in fact. No joke. Third, the sticky toffee sauce is really sticky. I'm not sure why that's applicable, but it did get all over my hands- and subsequently my kitchen, hair, and body.
The effort was worth it. Everyone loved the cake. The hubby raved. It turned out oh-so moist, and incredibly flavorful.The hubby's mom, aunt, and uncle ended up taking home most of the cake. I did use American equivalents for British items not easily accessible to me. Other than that, I used a food scale to measure the ingredients since the measurements are in grams instead of cups. I'd highly recommend this cake if you have a toffee, caramel, or spice-cake lover in the house.
400g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 mugs of black tea
200g light brown sugar
50g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
4 large eggs, room temp
200g unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g self-rising flour
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Sticky Toffee Sauce-
100g light brown sugar
50g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
125ml condensed milk
200g unsalted butter, softened
400g powdered sugar
half the cold sticky toffee sauce
splash of milk
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease (2) 9-inch spring-form pans.
2. To make the cake: In a small saucepan, combine dates and tea. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Take an immersion blender, and blend mixture until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs with the sugars and honey. Beat with a hand mixer until fluffy, 15-20 minutes. Slowly whisk in the melted butter. Fold in the date mixture and vanilla with a wooden spoon. In a separate bowl, combine flour through salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet, folding together with the wooden spoon. Stir until just combined. Divide mixture among two spring-form pans. Bake in preheated oven 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pans.
3. To make the sticky toffee sauce: Make the sauce while the cake is baking. In a saucepan, combine the sugars through the salt. Stir over gentle heat, until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and whisk in the cream. Take a toothpick and poke holes in the top of the cakes. Pour a generous amount of the sauce over the tops of the cakes. Allow the cakes to completely cool in their tins before turning them out.
4. To make the buttercream: In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the rest of the sticky toffee sauce, reserving a couple of tbsp to drizzle over the top of the cake. If the frosting is too thick, add a little bit of milk until you reach your desired consistency.
5. Sandwich the cakes together with half the frosting. Spread the remaining on the rest of the cake. Drizzle the remaining sticky toffee sauce over the cake. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
|I think we still look like young-in's :)|