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Toffee apple cake with caramel drizzle recipe

This makes more than you need for a picnic but it looks so inviting in a big apple topped rectangle, and you can bring the remaining cake back home. If you don’t want to make the caramel drizzle (though this is what makes it a toffee apple cake) then just sift some icing sugar over the top.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 55 minutes

MAKES

1 large cake (enough to feed about 14)

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g dates, stoned and chopped
  • 200ml milk
  • 3 whole dessert apples
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 175g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 75g tart apples (like Granny Smith), peeled, chopped and tossed in 3 tbsp of the flour
  • 60g pecans, cut in half
  • ¾ tbsp caster sugar

For the caramel

  • 40g butter
  • 65g soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp double cream

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Butter a 30 x 20cm baking tin or equivalent round cake tin and line it so that you have greaseproof paper hanging over the edges to help lift out the cake later.
  2. Put the dates and milk in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for about four minutes (don’t let it boil over). Purée the mixture and set aside to cool.
  3. Halve and core the dessert apples and slice to about ¾cm thick at the thickest part, dropping them into a bowl with the lemon juice as you do so to prevent discolouring.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy then add the eggs slowly, beating well each time. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Stir in the cooled date purée and fold in the flour, baking powder, chopped tart apple and pecans. Scrape into the tin and smooth the top. 
  5. Lay the dessert apple slices over the surface (you should be able to make five rows across the shorter side) and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Leave in the tin to cool, then carefully remove the cake using the paper to lift it as it’s heavy and could collapse.
  7. To make the caramel, melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and mix, stirring a little. Bring to the boil and, when it looks like caramel, pull the pan off the heat, add the cream and stand well back (it will spit). Let it calm down, then stir until smooth.
  8. Allow to cool a bit then drizzle over the cake. Cut into squares to serve.

Original Source

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