I’ve told you before how much I enjoy receiving your comments and emails, I really do - they have brightened some dark days I’ve had. Since some of those emails are packed with questions and doubts I thought a list of hints and tips would be useful – and I’ve added one to the blog menu now.
I don’t mean to sound presumptuous, please – I still have a lot to learn and I do not have any professional training, but the 589 recipes on this blog and the 116 books on my bookshelf have certainly taught me something. :)
I hope you like the link and I’m open to suggestions – in the meantime, how about some cake? The nut+caramel combo got me hooked after this tart. :)
Brown sugar cake with mixed toffee nuts
slightly adapted from Donna Hay magazine
150g unsalted butter, softened
165g brown sugar
1 egg yolk
150g all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup (60ml) whole milk, room temperature
2/3 cup (133g) caster (superfine) sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup mixed nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter an 18cm round cake pan and line the bottom with baking paper. Butter the paper as well.
Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well. Add flour and baking powder and beat until combined. Fold through the milk. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 20 minutes, then carefully unmold onto a wire rack. Cool completely, then transfer to a serving plate – a plate with high edges, preferably, so the toffee doesn’t ooze out.
Make the toffee nuts: combine sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir just until sugar dissolves – do not stir after that, just swirl the pan occasionally. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until caramelized and golden brown. Remove from heat, gently add butter and cream and stir to combine – be careful because caramel will bubble and may spit. Stir in nuts and spoon immediately over the cake.
Serves 4-6 – I made 1 1/3 of the recipe above and used a round 20cm (8in) cake pan