Dished Up: Sticky Toffee Cake

Two things that I love are sticky toffee puddings and bonfire night. Let's be honest who doesn't love a good sticky toffee pudding? So after playing around with a few recipes I came up with this Sticky Toffee Cake to serve up as a sparkling treat as we remembered gunpowder, treason and plot this year.
You may find the icing a little tricky if you've never made a caramel before but this video will give you an idea of what to expect. And believe me, it's worth getting right!

What you need.....
200g Dates, chopped
200ml Strong Tea
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
125g Butter
200g Demerara Sugar
1tsp All Spice
250g Self Raising Flour
3 Eggs
2tbsp Golden syrup
And for the icing....
125g Caster Sugar
80ml Double cream
160g softened Salted Butter
200g Icing Sugar
Sparklers (optional)

What you need to do.....
1. Start off making a dry caramel by melting the caster sugar in a heavy based pan. Once the sugar has melted, cook it to look like a strong tea. 
2. When the colour looks right quickly pour in the cream and beat it in. You have to do this carefully as it will really bubble but you need to stand back and mix at the same time or you'll end up with just a hard lump. If you have a bit of a lump keep it over a low heat and melt it slowly. Set this aside and let it cool completely. You can put the pan in some cold water like this to speed up the cooling process.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius and grease and line a 20x30cm tin. In a small pan bring the tea to a simmer and stir in the chopped dates. Simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
4. Beat the butter and the Demerara sugar until it's pale and creamy. I did this in my freestanding mixer. Then mix in the flour, spice, eggs and golden syrup. Fold in the date mixture and pour into the tin.  Don't worry if it looks a little curdled. Bake for 30-35mins until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.
5. When the cake and the caramel are both completely cool make the icing by beating the salted butter and the icing sugar for 5 minutes with an electric mixer until really light and fluffy.

6. Beat in the caramel and slather the icing over the cake. Cut into squares and enjoy with your sparklers. (Don't worry though, if you haven't got any it's just as tasty without!)

Happy Bonfire Night, Cassie xx

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