Cooking The Books- March 2017.

It’s been a long time since I did my monthly Cooking The Books Challenge. Every month for a few months back in 2014 I chose a book and aimed to bake or cook one or two recipes from each chapter throughout that month. It meant that any book I’d bought and let gather dust on the shelf would get some use out of it.

Or so that was the plan…

A couple of weeks back I bought Mary Berry’s new cookbook “Everyday”. There’s so many recipes in there I want to try out and it’s not all about baking.  Especially as if I bake, I end up eating it.

Mary+Berry+Everyday

The original idea in the Cooking The Books Challenge was to choose at least one recipe from each chapter of the book I was using that month.  It could vary depending on the amount of chapters and what sort of things were being cooked. With a Mary Berry cookbook and also one which featured family meals, I knew that the Everyday book challenge wouldn’t be so hard after all.

The strapline for the book is to “make every meal special”.  I cook most of my dinners from scratch but we do have the odd takeaway and use shortcuts. I don’t have time after a busy day in the classroom to make every meal special.  In fact if I have been working as with a lot of working families, it’s what you can grab at first.

So as I opened the book I laughed my head off to see the contents of Everyday’s first chapter: Food For Sharing.  Mary does love her dinner party food with canapes and little nibbles.  The only time I do anything remotely like this is at Christmas. Do people really have nibbles and bites like this everyday? Perhaps I’m missing out.

The rest of the book is divided into eight other chapters and to me  they include more of your everyday foods and meals. This does do what it says on the book cover.  The recipes are mainly every day meals but with a special twist. Also there are ideas which look very fancy but actually don’t take as long to cook as they first appear.  I was keen to try out a few recipes on my family.

What is going to be tried out in the SmartCookieSam kitchen over the next few weeks?

Food For Sharing:  I won’t be holding any fancy dinner parties this month. I’m far too busy.  But I do love the sound of the two Samosa recipes in this chapter; Curried Beef Samosas and Spicy Mexican Samosas.  I’ve got some filo pastry in the freezer I’ve not managed to use up. I might try out the Guacamole with Coriander and the Olive Tapenade if I have time one weekend.

First Courses and Light Lunches: Often at work I take along a salad, a Mug Shot, yoghurt and fruit or a sandwich.  I sometimes take soup.  Or if I’m forgetful I end up rushing out of the house and forget my lunch meaning I have to stop off at the M&S at the local garage near me.  Better get my act together.  There’s a mouthwatering recipe in this chapter for a Winter Vegetable Soup.  I also fancy trying out Mary’s Crispy Bacon Rosti one Saturday lunchtime.

Beef, Pork, Lamb and Game:  I can’t stand lamb but don’t mind venison.  There is a twist on the Cottage Pie recipe here by using minced venison in place of beef.  It looks delicious but I’m not sure whether Mr SmartCookieSam and our son will eat it. I know they will love Mary’s special Chilli Con Carne,  the Fillet Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and the Sausage  and Herb Plait.  I’m really keen to try the Portguese Pork and Rice too.

Poultry: As with lots of people, we love chicken in our house. It’s a joke that when Mr SmartCookieSam cooks it’s always Garlic Chicken.  My son said until recently, “If Dad’s cooking, it’s garlic chicken!” Though recently hubby has started cooking curries.  Now my son says “Dad’s cooking curry again!”  I’m grateful for hubby cooking and he is a great cook but sometimes I like to try different things.  So I’m going to test out Marsala Mediterranean Chicken Thighs, the Chicken Stir Fry with Teriyaki Sauce and Chicken Dijon on them. I might even try more.

Fish:  I’m not a huge fish lover though I’m doing my best to eat more fish and seafood.  I had a lot of bad experiences as a child with my Nana Margaret’s terrible cooking and it’s put me off for life.  Even smelling kippers now at breakfast in a hotel room makes me want to throw up. But I’m not going to throw up testing out Mary’s Very Posh Fishcakes, her Yuzu Salmon with Buttered Leeks and her Fragrant Light Prawn Curry.

Vegetarian: I was really struggling with this chapter.  Not because I didn’t like any of the recipes.  It was more about what on earth my carnivore mad hubby would eat.  Any recipes which contain courgettes, aubergines or are risottos are out!  I think I might have to try out the Sun dried tomato pasta with Mozzarella and the Potato, Leek and Cheese Pie though.

Sides and Salads:  Lots of variety to choose from here but I think the two different salads with bulgar wheat in as well as the Satay Chicken Salad look delicious.Once again what I would eat and what Mr SmartCookieSam would eat is another thing!

Puddings and Desserts: Now for an everyday occurence, I definitely don’t have puddings and desserts.  I’ve even stopped having out weekly Sunday lunch dessert.  This is mainly because my son now works on a Sunday so we don’t eat our dinner until late. Eating a pie or a crumble late in the evening gives me indigestion so I don’t bother. All of Mary’s pudding recipes look scrumptious and I’m so tempted by her Apple and Lemon Galette and her Blackberry and Apple Crumble Pie.  But when would we eat it though?

Teatime: Now as you all know I’m a baking addict and I confess to always looking at the baking chapter first in a book like this.  As Mary Berry is the baking queen herself, her baking recipes never disappoint.  I’ve seen several recipes in this chapter I want to try but of course if I bake them, I eat them.  I would love to try out Mary’s Hummingbird Cake, her Pistachio Shortbreads, the Lemon Meringue cupcakes and her Chocolate Reflection Cake.

Watch this space and read on throughout the next few weeks to see how many recipes I actually do get to try out.

Love Sam xx

 

 

Forever Summer with Nigella Lawson

Forever Summer? Now wouldn’t that just be the ticket? As I look out of my kitchen window at a cold, wet and rainy landscape I can’t help thinking we have been just a little bit short-changed here in the UK when it comes to summer.  I was lucky enough to escape to Ibiza for a week in August which was wonderful, even though we were blessed with rain and thunderstorms when we were there. But it wouldn’t be a British Bank Holiday if it wasn’t raining would it?

When I came back from Ibiza I was determined to hold on to the concept of summer.  I am definitely a Spring and Summer person. I have much more energy and get up and go when the sun is out. To me, summer is a time when I can open up the patio doors, sit out with a drink and my cross stitch and to relax.  Being a teacher in my day, this relaxation is very important to me in the school holidays when I’m not rushing around after my teenagers.  To me, summer is also a time when you can eat simple but delicious food or even get the BBQ out. Though to be honest we have only had about 3 BBQs this year. The last one was nearly cancelled as the heavens opened when my husband pulled the BBQ out and got it set up!

Another thing I tend to do when I have more time is to cook from recipe books I’ve bought but not had time to do anything with. I love Nigella and use her recipes a lot but there’s one book on my shelf of hers that I’ve hardly used.  To be honest it’s my brother’s book which I’m borrowing off him. He lives in Canada but he’d left two of his Nigella books at my mum’s house! So Paul if you’re reading this I hope you don’t mind, I’m looking after them for you and making good use of them!  One of the books is Nigella’s “Forever Summer” and upon reading it you are immediately transported into a world of dinners and BBQs on a terrace, with the blazing sun pouring down as you chat and sip on a delicious cocktail.  Instead I’m thinking it’s more like bangers and mash weather than bangers on the BBQ here.

But it is a shame that the UK climate and all our wishes of a gorgeous hot summer were dampened down this year. I’m determined to still enjoy some yummy food though.  Over the last few days I have enjoyed testing out a couple of the recipes from Forever Summer in the vain hope that we might get some better weather to take us into September.

Last weekend we had a quiet Bank Holiday weekend at home and when it is like this you want to enjoy good food and great company of family and friends.  For Sunday I attempted some Mint Chocolate Mousse which is one of the delicious dessert recipes in Forever Summer.  Nigella says it “tastes best when made with the best quality mint chocolate”. I tend to use Lindt Mint Chocolate Intense bars as they have mint pieces and oil in it rather than a soft fondant. But when I was out meeting my friend for coffee we went to a local farm shop which didn’t sell any mint chocolate bars. There were some other gorgeous ones to choose from but I had my heart set on a mint mousse.  In the end I bought good quality chocolate buttons and added some peppermint extract that I already had at home.

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I bought two large packets of Montzenuma organic dark chocolate buttons from a local farm shop. They were absolutely gorgeous. To make them minty flavour I added a couple of drops of natural peppermint extract bought from Lakeland.

I was a bit nervous about making chocolate mousse as it involves separating eggs which I always muck up. Then I had to whisk egg whites.  I managed though and the mousse turned out much better than expected.  Shared out equally and spooned into rather retro looking sundae dishes, this pudding turned out to be a lovely decadent treat.

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The chocolate mousse made five large dishes full. Served in my late mother-in-law’s sundae dishes which was a great excuse to get them out of the cupboard! The mousse was filling, creamy and rich.

For Bank Holiday Monday I wanted to create a Strawberry Meringue Layer Cake.  The picture in the book showed a mouthwatering sandwich cake.  Each layer had the sponge cake and was then topped with a layer of chewy meringue and finished off with a sprinkling of flaked almonds.  Well, it serves me right for not reading the recipe right.  I did separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl.  But that’s where it ended.  Instead of keeping the meringue separate, I wasn’t concentrating and threw the egg whites in with the rest of the sponge.  That wasn’t meant to happen! So in the end I was left with a flatter version of a Victoria Sponge!  I didn’t have any flaked almonds in either, so I sprinkled on some icing sugar hoping that it might make the cake half decent!  We were far too full up after our gammon. and pineapple so the cake went in the fridge to eat during the week.  It tasted ok and a small slice was very welcome when I got in from work absolutely exhausted after a long day.

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Here is my bungled attempt at the Strawberry Meringue and Cream Cake in Nigella’s Forever Summer book. As you can see it looks as flat as a biscuit and no sight of any meringues!

For our Bank Holiday dinner I cooked a gammon joint.  I usually boil gammon in a large pot on my hob so it takes all the salt out of it.  This time I tried it in my slow cooker which didn’t turn out too well.  It was still very salty and the meat instead of coming out in slices, fell apart like pulled pork!  I attempted to make the accompanying pineapple salsa.  None of my family liked it though, which was disappointing.

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We tried some Gammon with Pineapple last weekend for the Monday Bank Holiday. It didn’t turn out how it should have done as I tried cooking it in my slow cooker. The pineapple salsa wasn’t my cup of tea either!

For me, summer conjures up beautiful coloured and tasty salads.  One of my favourite salads is a well made Greek Salad so I was keen to try the version in Nigella’s book.  Her version includes fennel though which I can’t stand as I don’t like anything with an aniseed flavour.  I left it out.  This version also includes some finely sliced red onion which was marinated in olive oil, red wine vinegar and sprinkled with black pepper.  The salad was absolutely delicious, the feta cheese and olives were just delicious, a mixture of creaminess and saltiness in the same dish.

Nigella's Ultimate Greek Salad, was delicious as a side with roast chicken and roasted Mediterranean vegetables.
Nigella’s Ultimate Greek Salad, was delicious as a side with roast chicken and roasted Mediterranean vegetables.

I have really enjoyed cooking from Forever Summer over the past few days. There are a lot of recipes in the book which my family won’t touch with a bargepole but I’m keen to dip in and out of it.  Let’s hope we have a decent summer next year!

Love Sam xx

 

Baking With Reeses Peanut Butter Chips.

Here’s yet another blog post I’ve forgotten to write about over the past few weeks.  I had only been in my new job a couple of weeks and baking was the last thing on my mind.  Though I do like to bake a cake or a pudding on a Sunday to go with our lunch.  I don’t know how they’d managed to stay in my baking cupboard as my two teenage kids are always nicking things out of it!  I had found a large pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips back in January and sneakily hid them behind a bag of flour hoping my kids wouldn’t look behind it!  I intended to do lots of baking with these little beauties!

My family adore brownies and they always go down well for pudding on a Sunday.  I put half the packet of peanut butter chips into my regular brownie batter. What’s more is that the chips did not melt but you got an instant hit of peanuts which contrasted beautifully with the dark chocolate in the brownies.  I insisted on putting the remaining brownies in the freezer or else we would have scoffed the whole lot there and then!

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Chewy and gooey Peanut Butter brownies baked with Reeses Peanut Butter chips into the batter.
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Chocolate and peanut butter heaven…. don’t mind if I do!

If that wasn’t enough peanut butter to be going on with, I had half the packet to finish off.  So a few days later I thought about what I could bake with the remaining pieces. I adore peanut butter cookies and could eat them all day long.  So I planned to bake some cookies to stick in the freezer.  But they didn’t quite get there.. well some of them did!  I adapted a recipe I had for peanut butter and chocolate cookies but was angry to find that the bar of dark chocolate I had in my baking cupboard had now turned from a 100g one to a 50g one! So I had to add something else to the chocolate, I ended up tipping in 50g of raisins instead.

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Gorgeously moreish peanut butter and raisin cookies.

I was very impressed with the cookies.  They tasted chewy and there was a good balance of the peanut flavour against the sweet chocolate and raisins.  I ate a couple with a cup of tea and although they tasted fab I regretted it thinking of all the calories in them.  So I saved some for my family and the rest got stuck in a box and put in the freezer before I demolished those as well!

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Only half the cookies made it to the freezer!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Salted Caramel and Pretzel Brownies

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Not a very good picture- taken in poor light but it doesn’t do justice to these gorgeously calorific treats.

I love baking brownies.  They are so easy to make yet are so naughty but nice at the same time.  I used to make loads of them when I had cake stalls as they were always popular with customers.  One man was so taken by my brownies that he came back and bought some more and proposed to me!  No, it wasn’t my husband! It was a joke though it was nice that he liked my brownies!

Last week I had some ingredients I wanted to use up and I had a free afternoon at home.  I had a packet of Cadbury’s Chocolate Pretzels and some caramel sauce which originally was going to be for my daughter’s birthday cake.  In the end she had cupcakes for her birthday but I didn’t get round to using up the other stuff.  If I left the caramel sauce in the fridge, well it wouldn’t be there as I could imagine my kids fishing out spoonfuls of it!

I’ve always wanted to try Salted Caramel Brownies and looked through my recipe books for ideas.  I would take the brownies into school to share with my work colleagues.  I found exactly what I was looking for in Miranda Gore Browne’s latest book “Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can”.  Her recipe is the Salty Dog Brownies.

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Miranda Gore Browne’s recipe for her Salty Dog Brownies in her latest book Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can was a great source of inspiration for these brownies.

  I used my own  standard brownie recipe for the bottom layer using some Lindt dark chocolate and Green and Blacks cocoa in the mix.  I then swirled in the caramel sauce which was some Bonne Maman Confiture de Caramel.  I expect you could make it with Dulce de Leche or make your own using condensed milk.  I used the same quantities of the sauce as Miranda did, which was about 6 tablespoonfuls.

Then to the mixture I added the topping which was flavoured with sea salt and like the same texture as the brownie minus the chocolate.  I could see the calorie count going through the roof here!

The brownies came out of the oven after about 30 minutes and I couldn’t wait to cut them up and see if they were squidgy and gooey.  They were exactly what I wanted them to be like.  As soon as they were nearly cool I cut them up into 16 large pieces and topped them with the chocolate pretzels.  These complemented the brownies beautifully.

When my  kids got home they wanted to eat some and I told them that they weren’t allowed, they were heading off into work.  I knew if I left them at home I wouldn’t see them for dust and if there were any around I would polish the lot off!

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The recipe produced enough brownie mixture to make 16 large pieces. They had a big depth to them and I baked them in my large Alan Silverwood traybake tin.
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The Cadbury’s Chocolate Covered pretzels went perfectly with these salted caramel brownies.

The verdict? Well I took them into school and they went down very well with the staff.  I took a small piece to eat at playtime and wished I could have eaten more.. too addictive!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Mary Berry’s Classic Swiss Roll

It was Sunday lunchtime and that means a cake or a dessert in our house to follow the roast.  Once again I turned to my trusty Mary Berry’s Baking Bible to bake another recipe from my Cooking The Books Challenge.  Mary’s Swiss Roll is one of the recipes featured in her Classic Recipes chapter, along with a couple of variations.  As I have only ever made one fairly successful Swiss Roll in my life, I decided I needed a bit more practice.  When my daughter saw I was planning to bake a Swiss Roll she asked if she could do it.  As the one she made in her GCSE Catering Practical got an A* from her teacher I think she is definitely the Swiss Roll expert in our house.

So here’s how my daughter (with a tiny bit of help with one stage from me) made this utterly scrumptious bake!

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Whisking the eggs and sugar together.
The Swiss roll tray all lined and greased.
The Swiss roll tray all lined and greased.
Self raising flour was carefully folded into the whisked egg and sugar mixture.
Self raising flour was carefully folded into the whisked egg and sugar mixture.
Pouring the mixture into the prepared tin.
The mixture was spread about so that it reached all corners of the tin.
The mixture was spread about so that it reached all corners of the tin.

Once the cake had gone into the oven (my oven is a fan assisted electric one, so the temperature was 200oC) my daughter disappeared upstairs to do whatever teenagers do in the depths of their bedrooms.  As the cake was only going to be in the oven for about 10 minutes I didn’t dare leave the kitchen.  It seemed to bake very quickly.  Anyway, as soon as it was out of the oven I called my daughter and told her to come down.  She had got engrossed in something so I said I would take it out of the tin and do the trimming bits.  She could finish off the rest seeing as she wanted to do it in the first place!

Another piece of baking parchment bigger than the swiss roll was put on the worktop.  It was sprinkled liberally with caster sugar.
Another piece of baking parchment bigger than the swiss roll was put on the worktop. It was sprinkled liberally with caster sugar.
Here's the baked Swiss Roll just fresh out of the oven.
Here’s the baked Swiss Roll just fresh out of the oven.
After a little while the Swiss Roll was turned out of its tin and onto the sugared piece of baking parchment.  This would be used to help it be rolled up later!
After a little while the Swiss Roll was turned out of its tin and onto the sugared piece of baking parchment. This would be used to help it be rolled up later!
The Swiss Roll was trimmed to give it neat edges.
The Swiss Roll was trimmed to give it neat edges.
Then a scored line using a sharp knife was used about an inch from one short end of the cake.
Then a scored line using a sharp knife was used about an inch from one short end of the cake.

By this time my daughter had come back downstairs.  I wanted her to get finished with the Swiss Roll as I needed to get started on the rest of the dinner.

This was some homemade jam leftover from last week's Eton Mess which was great to go inside the Swiss Roll.
This was some homemade jam leftover from last week’s Eton Mess which was great to go inside the Swiss Roll.
My daughter spreads the jam onto the top of her Swiss Roll.
My daughter spreads the jam onto the top of her Swiss Roll.
Then, she whipped up some cream to go with the jam for the filling.
Then, she whipped up some cream to go with the jam for the filling.
Starting to spread the cream onto the top of the Swiss Roll!
Starting to spread the cream onto the top of the Swiss Roll!
Slapping it on!
Slapping it on!
My daughter expertly rolls up the Swiss Roll inside the sugared parchment.
My daughter expertly rolls up the Swiss Roll inside the sugared parchment.
Ta-dah! A very impressive, delicious and scrumptious Swiss Roll just asking to be eaten.
Ta-dah! A very impressive, delicious and scrumptious Swiss Roll just asking to be eaten.
We couldn't resist nabbing the end piece before dinner.
We couldn’t resist nabbing the end piece before dinner!!

Well I was totally amazed by this yummy bake and we were rather greedy over it.  Not only did I share the end piece with my daughter before dinner but I had another slice for pudding!  The following night my hubby finished it off.  It was just too scrumptious for words.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Cooking The Books March 2014- Eton Mess from A Passion For Baking.

Now there’s two days until the end of the month and I have two recipes left to try out from Jo Wheatley’s A Passion For Baking as part of my Cooking The Books challenge for March 2014.  Today, being Mothers’ Day I wanted to make a scrummy dessert for our lunch.  I wanted something everyone in our house would eat and something not too heavy and sickly.  All of the desserts in Jo’s first book looked lovely and I want to try them all out eventually.  I chose Eton Mess because it meant I would have to try out making meringues, something which I haven’t really done. Normally I just buy the ready made meringue nests you get in the supermarkets, but Jo’s recipe would not only test my meringue skills but jam making ones too! I would have to make a strawberry jam like sauce, now jam making is something else I really struggle with.  I can never get it to set properly!

Late this morning I was also trying to make an Onion and Cheese Tart  for our lunch with the Eton Mess as the pudding.  The meringue was going to be the time consuming bit as they would be in the oven for an hour baking plus the time they had to stay in there after to cool down.  This was a bit of a pain as I needed the oven to bake the tart in.  I have a double oven range cooker but I only cook roasts in the other one. It was funny as I was trying to sort out the Eton Mess downstairs in my kitchen, my hubby was upstairs moaning at my kids for the mess in their bedrooms.  I give up!

Anyway, I was well out of it down in the kitchen and I got down to it straightaway. Here’s how I got on:

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I had to make the meringues first. Here, I am whisking up three egg whites until they held soft peaks.
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After that, the second stage was to add some caster sugar bit by bit to the egg whites. It took a long time to get the meringues stiff!

The meringues were a bit runnier than I expected but I managed to pipe them onto some baking parchment ready to pop in the oven.  They were baked for about an hour on a low temperature (of 100oC), then were left to cool down in the oven afterwards even when the oven was switched off.  This helped them to crisp up and set a little bit.

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Here are my finished meringues. They don’t look very pretty but then it didn’t matter as I was going to break them up in chunks anyway!

While the meringues were baking I got on with the jam.  Jo’s recipe mentions strawberries but being as strawberries aren’t in season at the moment I used a mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to make up the same quantity needed for the jam.  I got the pan to the boil first to get the sugar dissolved which was also in the pan, then the heat was turned down and cooked for another 15 to 20 minutes longer to thicken up. Once this had happened I set it aside to cool down until I was ready to assemble the pudding.

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Boiling the jam.
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Whipping double cream and half fat creme fraiche together.

When it was time to get the pudding ready I got out some double cream and half fat creme fraiche.  I’d had to use some of my double cream in the onion and cheese tart so there wasn’t enough to put on the Eton Mess!  You needed 600ml of double cream, I only had 350ml, so I added in a small tub of half fat creme fraiche I had in the fridge.  This was whipped up together with my  electric hand whisk.

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A huge bowlful of whipped cream and creme fraiche.

When it was ready I started to assemble the puddings.  I don’t have any tall sundae glasses so I used some tumblers.  The strawberry jam went in the bottom of the glasses first, with pieces of crushed meringue, cream with jam stirred through, followed by plain cream and finished with more meringue pieces. I’d forgotten to save some fruit to keep for the top of the puddings.

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My finished Eton Messes!
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Showing the crushed homemade meringues on top of the cake.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our puddings and they were very naughty but nice.  My hubby is convinced that Eton Mess has vanilla ice cream in it, I told him he was wrong! To me Eton Mess is like a pavlova but messed up! If he wants ice cream with it I suppose you could have a scoop of it on the side.  I couldn’t help him out there, we didn’t have any ice cream in to give him!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Sticky Toffee Cake.

About three weeks ago we had a special family Sunday meal at our house for my Dad and step-mum.  After some gammon which was the smallest joint ever and had to be padded out with pigs in blankets and lots of veg, I had to think of a pudding that everyone would like.

When it’s cold, dark and miserable outside I love nothing more than Sticky Toffee Pudding.  It’s simple to make yet tastes gorgeous and most people I know love eating it.  I wanted to try out the Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Cake in The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook as the photo in the book looked absolutely mouthwatering.  The recipe was created by Jane Edgar who is a member of the  Pudsey and West Leeds Clandestine Cake Club. It also came with a separate toffee sauce which would work really well to cater for everyone’s tastes.  My step mum can’t eat cream which is in the toffee sauce so this was perfect for her.  She could eat the cake without the sauce and have custard if she wanted to instead.

First of all I had to put some chopped, stoned dates into a pan with some milk and water.  These had to cook until all the liquid had been absorbed.
First of all I had to put some chopped, stoned dates into a pan with some milk and water. These had to cook until all the liquid had been absorbed.
Once the liquid had been absorbed, I removed the dates from the heat and added some bicarbonate of soda.
Once the liquid had been absorbed, I removed the dates from the heat and added some bicarbonate of soda.
The bicarbonate of soda fizzed up when it was added to the date mixture.  It was fun to watch this happen!
The bicarbonate of soda fizzed up when it was added to the date mixture. It was fun to watch this happen!
Into my mixer went Pure Soya spread and  soft light brown sugar.  This was creamed together, then eggs were added to the mixture gradually.
Into my mixer went Pure Soya spread and soft light brown sugar. This was creamed together, then eggs were added to the mixture gradually.
Sifting in some flour.
Sifting in some flour.
Folding in the date mixture with a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.
Folding in the date mixture with a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.
The mixture was then spooned into a prepared cake tin.  This was a 20cm round cake tin.
The mixture was then spooned into a prepared cake tin. This was a 20cm round cake tin.
After the cake baked in the oven for about 45 minutes it was left to cool out on the worktop.  It came out a lovely dark golden colour.
After the cake baked in the oven for about 45 minutes it was left to cool out on the worktop. It came out a lovely dark golden colour.
While the cake was cooling I made the toffee sauce.  I heated double cream, brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan.
While the cake was cooling I made the toffee sauce. I heated double cream, brown sugar and butter together in a saucepan.
The cooled cake was put onto my stand and the sauce into a separate jug.  In the recipe book Jane, the recipe creator suggests pouring the sauce all over the top.  I chose to serve it separately so my step-mum could still eat some.
The cooled cake was put onto my stand and the sauce into a separate jug. In the recipe book Jane, the recipe creator suggests pouring the sauce all over the top. I chose to serve it separately so my step-mum could still eat some.
Here is the separate jug of toffee sauce.  I doubled the quantities suggested in the recipe as the toffee sauce would be great with some ice cream for the kids.
Here is the separate jug of toffee sauce. I doubled the quantities suggested in the recipe as the toffee sauce would be great with some ice cream for the kids.
All ready and waiting to be eaten.  Yum yum!
All ready and waiting to be eaten. Yum yum!

The Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Cake really lived up to it’s name.  It was delicious and everyone enjoyed their piece of cake.  We also had some Kelly’s Clotted Cream Ice cream to serve with it which was perfect.  There was even some left over for my hubby to eat after his tea the night after.

Definitely one I will bake again and again as it’s perfect for a Sunday lunch or a dinner party and I found it easy to bake.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx