Toffee Apple Traybake

Could this bake be any more autumn? I think not!
That classic flavour combination of toffee and apple finds itself becoming more and more popular around this time of year. Therefore, it was enviable that I was going to bake a delicious toffee apple bake of some sort. I decided to do a pudding as I haven’t done one on the blog yet. I opted for a traybake as this seemed like the most convenient way as it was for a pudding. I debated between using apple inside the sponge itself as using it as a way of presentation can be tricky with it browning quickly, however I decided to ignore that and use a few simple methods to prevent the apples from browning which I will share with you. With this decision being made I went for a rich, spicy and moist sticky toffee sponge base, because it’s such a warm and comforting pudding perfect for the colder months. I made a simple toffee sauce with I drenched the cake in to keep it extra moist and sweet. To stop the apples from browning I like to slice them and cover them in the juice of a lemon and a heaped tablespoon of icing sugar. The toffee sauce acts as a preserving method to but this is an extra I like to add to keep them looking fresh. Like a traditional sticky toffee pudding I like to serve this with custard however you could serve with cream or ice cream too. And that’s how I developed the perfect bonfire night pudding, check oy the recipe below.

Ingredients:
For the sponge:
• 250g stoned dates
• 250ml water
• 75g butter, softened
• 175g light brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 175g self raising flour
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ nutmeg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the toffee caramel sauce:
• 120g butter, softened
• 100g caster sugar
• 20g light brown sugar
• 2 tbsp cold water
• 100ml double cream
For decoration and serving:
• 2 apples, sliced and covered in the juice of 1 lemon and 1 heaped tablespoon of icing sugar
• Custard, ice cream or pouring cream
• Remaining toffee sauce

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square 9-inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Roughly chop the dates and place in a pan with 250ml water and bring the boil then simmer for 2-3 minutes, the mixture should be thick and have absorb the water.
3. Mash the date mixture with a fork to ensure its smooth.
4. Next beat the butter and sugar together till smooth and creamy.
5. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs lightly with a fork and add the vanilla to this.
6. Then mix the flour, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.
7. Add the bicarb to the date mixture, this should foam up. Then mix this into the butter mixture.
8. Gradually add the egg to the butter mixture with a tablespoon of flour until all the ingredients are combined.
9. Then place this mixture into the lined cake tin and place into the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes.
10. Whilst the cake is in the oven start to make the toffee sauce. Place the butter, caster sugar, light brown sugar and water into a saucepan and melt the butter, stirring once to combine.
11. Then simmer the mixture for 2 minutes.
12. Bring the liquid to boil and keep on a high heat for 6 minutes whilst continuously stirring till the mixture becomes thick and brown.
13. Next turn off the heat and stir constantly for one minute.
14. Pour in the cream and continue to stir.
15. Leave to cool to room temperature and then this can be stored in the fridge, microwave for 30 seconds to make it runt again when removing it from the fridge.
16. Once the cake has been removed from the oven and cooled down prick with a fork and smoother the cake in the runny toffee sauce then place the apple slices on the cake and smoother in toffee caramel sauce.

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