Baking a Sticky Toffee Loaf Cake with Fudge Icing

My all time favourite pudding is sticky toffee. Now if like me you know a clear distinction between cake, pudding and dessert. For the pudding category, sticky toffee pudding wins every time. So when I considered the idea of using my favourite pudding to inspire a new loaf cake, i started researching. To my delight I found Delia had similar notions. I found her recipe and decided to give it a whirl. I just changed a few small details which you will be able to see below.

This week I decided to bake a Sticky Toffee Loaf cake with fudge icing. Do not be fooled into thinking this cake will be like a sponge pudding, oozing with syrup, it is definitely more cakey. It has more bite. The dates work beautifully with the sweetness of the pecans. Then topped with the fudge icing it works beautifully, and isn’t a far cry away from it’s sister the sticky toffee pudding. I haven’t come across icing like this before. It was literally like smooth fudge, spread over the top. Not icing. Fudge!

My addition, for taste and in more so, decoration, I decided to chop up some ready made fudge into cubes and decorate a small cluster on top. With a sprinkle of icing sugar this cake felt like a masterpiece to me, and certainly radiated a warm cosy christmassy vibe.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 50g pecan nuts 
  • 110g stoned dates 
  • 110g spreadable butter or stork 
  • 50g black treacle 
  • 175g golden syrup 
  • 150ml milk 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225g plain flour 
  • 1 tsp mixed spice 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda 

For the Icing 

  • 4 tbsp evaporate milk
  • 3 tbsp dark brown soft sugar 
  • 50g unsalted butter 
  • 150g icing sugar 
  • 200g of fudge to decorate (chopped into small cubes)

METHOD 

  • Preheat the over to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  •  Line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment.
  •  Roughly chop the dates and pecans into relatively small and equal pieces. 
  • For the cake mixture: place the butter, black treacle and syrup in a large saucepan and melt them together over a gentle heat. Stiring with a wooden spoon. Remove the mixture from the heat, let it cool for a few minutes, then mix in the milk. 
  • When the mixture is cooled beat the eggs and add those to the syrup mixture as well. If the mixture is not cool the eggs might curdle. 
  • Next sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and gradually whisk the syrup mixture into the dry ingredients, bit by bit, until you have a smooth batter. Then lightly stir in the pecans and about two thirds of the dates, and pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  •  Now lightly drop the rest of the dates on the top, pushing them gently in with a skewer. I find adding this amount of dates last of all gives a better distribution of fruit as the mixture is a fairly slack one. 
  • Place the cake on a lower shelf so that the top of the tin is aligned with the centre of the oven and bake it for 1 hour to 1½ hours by which time it will have a very rounded, slightly cracked top. 
  • The cake should be cooked when a knife inserted to the cake comes out clear. Cool it in the tin for about half an hour before turning it out. 
  • To make the icing: in a small saucepan melt together the evaporated milk, brown sugar and butter, then simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. After that tip it into a bowl and leave it to cool.
    Then sift in the golden icing sugar and whisk everything together till smooth. Finally, using a palette knife, spread the icing all over the top of the cooled cake. Decorate with chopped fudge.
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