I don’t think that I have ever been to a bonfire night celebration as an adult, though the holiday is tinged with nostalgia; as a child I remember being bundled up warm and heading out as a family to watch the local firework display and burning of the guy; or building a bonfire in the back garden (check for hedgehogs!) and fashioning a guy from old clothes and newspaper and then gleefully setting fire to it… There are certain foods that are always reminiscent of Guy Fawkes night as well; crisp, cheesy jacket potatoes, mulled apple juice (though I prefer the grown-up kind now!), squidgy gingerbread, toffee apples, and marshmallows toasted on the bonfire; I used to let mine catch fire so that they were burnt on the outside and liquid on the inside…
I decided to combine a couple of the classic bonfire night recipes – gingerbread and toffee apples to make this loaf cake. It is a soft, moist, spiced gingerbread cake with juicy apple mixed through the batter and arranged in slices on top, drizzled with a gloriously sticky toffee sauce; it is immensely satisfying, warming and more-ish. It is a very easy cake to make, and although it takes a while to bake, the batter itself comes together very quickly and the smell while it bakes is fantastic and makes the house feel very warm and homely. Making the toffee sauce is merely a matter of melting some chewy toffee sweets in a pan with a little bit of milk then pouring it over the cake, it will take you no more than five minutes but for so little effort it is extremely tasty; it took all my willpower not to just eat it all from the pan with a spoon…
With cake you need tea, and this cake goes perfectly with Taylors spiced apple tea, a delicious blend of apple and warm spices; I am already slightly addicted to it and it is good to drink at all times of day (or night). A steaming hot mugful and a wodge of toffee apple gingerbread loaf is just the ticket to keep you toasty while you head outside to watch the fireworks. So tell me, what are/were your bonfire night traditions? Do you celebrate it or is it just for the children? Also, check out Lucy’s fantastic looking easy spiced apple turnovers for another Bonfire Night treat! There’s also some more information about Taylors spiced apple tea and some more recipe ideas here.
- 100g (7 tbsp) softened butter
- 100g (1/2 cup + 1tbsp) dark brown soft sugar
- 125g (4.5oz) golden syrup
- 50g (1.75oz) treacle
- 2 large eggs
- 175g (1 + ½ cups) self raising flour
- 3tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tbsp milk
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 large eating apples, peeled and cored, one cut into small dice, one thinly sliced
- 100g (3.5oz) chewy toffees
- 1½ tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Grease an approx 22x11cm (8.5x4in) loaf tin and line with a strip of baking parchment.
- Cream the butter, sugar, golden syrup and treacle together until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, ground ginger and cinnamon.
- Beat the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time, whisking well after each addition and adding a heaped tablespoon of the flour mix with each one. Add the rest of the flour along with the milk and salt and mix until just combined. Finally fold in the diced apple.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Arrange the sliced apple in a row along the middle of the loaf. Bake for 1 to 1½ hours until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean; cover the top of the loaf with foil after about 40 minutes to prevent it from getting too dark.
- Leave to cool in the tin for about half an hour then carefully turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the toffee topping, place the toffees and milk in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the toffees have melted and the sauce is smooth, add a drop more milk if it is too thick to drizzle.
- Drizzle the sauce all over the cake and serve. The cake will keep well in an airtight container for up to a week, though the toffee sauce will lose it's shine.