Holy Moses, cover me in caramel and call me a toffee apple. Well, they are two things that sit together in harmony, caramel (or toffee depending on what you call it) and apples.
Every Halloween or Bonfire night, I would break my teeth on those little blighters. Or more so I would bite all the toffee off, throw the gently softening apple in the bin and be on a massive sugar high for a couple of hours before I’d crash. You know what’s better than a toffee apple though? A toffee apple cake! That’s right, cake. Most things are better with cake.
This is what you could call a “first impressions” post. I went in, not having tried it before, which meant a whole lot of saying ‘is that right?’ ‘Is that supposed to look like that?’ ‘What does a fluffy egg look like?’ So I was already flapping a bit, blindly following a new recipe, but this recipe is meant to make a 10″ cake. Instead, I decided I wanted to make cupcakes. Cue a hell of a lot of ‘oops’s, ‘umm’s, ‘nevermind’s and ‘ah well, just shove it in’s.
Because I wanted cupcakes instead of one large cake, this meant I needed to adjust the cooking times and not knowing what the mixture would turn out like, how many it would yield and what size they would be, meant that I had no idea what I was actually doing. I asked myself the question, “what would Mary Berry do?” Something must have clicked because they turned out ok.
Below is the link to the recipe I used for you to peruse if you fancy giving it a bash, as well as a few notes on what I discovered whilst absolutely devastating what I’m sure is a wonderful recipe for a 10″ apple and pecan cake with a toffee glaze.
Turns out you need to preheat your oven to 160℃ (fan assisted). I managed to make around 18 large-ish cupcakes with the above recipe, filling each cupcake case around 2/3 full. They didn’t rise huge amounts, probably due to the fresh apple used in them, adding extra moisture and weighing them down. Each batch took around 25 minutes on average to cook. I went with 20, then checked them by poking them with a tiny stick, giving them a bit more time if needed.
I also didn’t use the full amount of apples or pecans. I was eyeballing it, but only used around about 250g – 300g of diced apple and 100g of crushed pecans (oh yeah, I couldn’t chop the pecans. The little buggers didn’t want to be chopped. My knife went through and the bits were pinging off left, right and centre, so I gently smashed them to bits with a heavy, marble rolling pin, then broke the big chunks with my hands. Same result.)
Instead of the toffee drizzle or sauce or whatever it recommends in the recipe, I topped them off with a swirl of vanilla buttercream streaked with caramel or, if you’re from my neck of the woods, dulchay doo leechey (dulce de leche). Honesty hour, I tried making salted caramel buttercream, but I forgot to get the butter out of the fridge, so it was too cold. I tried anyway and the bloody lot of it curdled and ended up too runny… so I went for the emergency icing option. Canned frosting and canned caramel, artistically swirled together so they looked less crap.
Then I squashed them all when I put them in the carrier to take to my friends (I couldn’t challenge myself to eat all 18 now, could I? Not because I wouldn’t have won, but because I’m trying not to head to the dentist unnecessarily.) I had also panic iced the second batch, which was still warm at the time, so when I unveiled my masterpiece… it was a runny, gooey explosion. Still, they tasted good.
Moral of the story: try new things, share with your loved ones and don’t judge a cake by it’s icing.