Saturday, November 07, 2015

Experimental Cookery 2015 #44: Caramel Sticky Toffee Cake

This week, in my ongoing quest to prove Sheldon wrong, I made half a cake - as you may recall, it was his contention that one couldn't make half a sandwich but rather that it should be a "small sandwich", but...

This recipe came from the BBC website, and was in fact Tamal's own recipe from his final Showstopper in the GBBO. I was certainly tempted by that particular cake, and especially when the judges said he'd basically created a new classic. Plus, I definitely thought "I could do that", so... (Though not the decorations. I'm not entirely crazy!)

So on Tuesday evening I gathered my ingredients and set to work. This involved chopping lots of fruit (seriously, lots of fruit), coating it in flour, then mixing up a cake batter, combining fruit with cake, and then baking in the oven for an hour or so. Easy enough, if rather time consuming.

So it came out of the oven, and it was a thing of beauty - my best cake to date. So I started in on the caramel sauce for the topping while the cake cooled a bit, and then it was time to transfer it to the cooling rack.

And then disaster struck. Because as I was transferring the cake, I managed to drop it a bit. Fortunately, it went on the work surface and not the floor, but less fortunately it hit the surface and exploded. And suddenly my cake resembled the second Death Star more than the first.

My exclamation of despair attracted the attention of Lady Chocolat, who abandoned her work to see what had proved this Vader-esque cry. So great was her sympathy that she proceeded to take a picture and post it on the internet. Which was much appreciated.

Anyway, I recovered from my despair. I reassembled the battered cake somewhat, and completed the task - cool it, cut it in half, spread the caramel sauce, then re-sandwich. Then, I left it all to cool overnight, before spreading the rest of the caramel in the morning.

And it worked. It still tasted great - he really has hit on something there - and although half of the cake was rather battered, it was still edible. And, really, who cares when you're about to chew it up anyway?

That said, the cake had been intended for consumption by other people. And so I proceeded to cut the good half from the battered remnants, and took only the assembled half-cake with me. And that's how I made half a cake.

But I think I might be giving up cakes. That's two in a row that have gone wrong, which is just sad. Either that, or I'll have to make lots of them, until I master the art...

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