The Bake Off Bake Along || Caramel Week – Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Bake Off Bake Along Caramel Week Apple Cake 2

CARAMEL WEEK!

(also as a side note, the longest post title in the world…)

As you could probably tell from last week’s Bake Along post, I was pretty excited by the idea of caramel week. Mainly because who doesn’t love caramel?!?!

If we’re discussing current favs, I’m also loving Liam right now, yes, he hasn’t shone through yet so far as a particularly fantastic baker, caramel week was his week, and I feel as though he should have won star baker, especially as I’m not a fan of colour spun sugar on anything other than candyfloss or toffee apples.

Having made many many caramel slices in my 25 years, and featuring a recipe already back in the archives when I’d just started blogging, I decided to go for something fun. Stroopwaffels are delicious, but alas I have no waffle maker, and wasn’t about to invest for the sake of one post, plus Lidl’s version are pretty tasty as an alternative!

This week’s caramel bake along also happily coincided with my wonderful Babcia’s 80th birthday, and so a caramel themed cake could easily fit in as a birthday cake! Hooray for palming off my bakes onto anyone I can and avoid getting chubs from eating it all on my own!

Bake Off Bake Along Caramel Week Apple Cake 3

As we’d also said we would conjure up a magnificent Chinese feast (because, bless, of all the fancy dining options available to her, all she wanted to celebrate the big 8-0 with was a family Sunday lunch takeaway at her house!). It turns out, all Chinese takeaways within a 20 mile radius do not open on a Sunday, and as my darling other half is a dab hand at Asian cuisine, we cooked up cashew chicken, crispy chilli beef, pulled pork spring rolls, vegetable spring rolls, and cashew mixed veg for all of us.

I baked the actually apple cake using this recipe, and made it the night before as Adam was helping his uncle out. I also happened to make a vegan version with this recipe, which actually turned out pretty tasty too. We were lucky enough this year to get an absolute glut of apples on our one little tree, and have so far harvested well over 100 fat juicy sweet cookers – so any excuse to bake with them is marvellous!

Now my idea was for carefully smoothed salted caramel buttercream, with dripping salted caramel sauce, a sugar spun nest with a blown sugar sphere filled with apple mousse. As you may or may not have noticed, I only got halfway through.

Bake Off Bake Along Caramel Week Apple Cake 4

Cake. Done. Buttercream. Done. Salted Caramel Sauce. Delicious, worked perfectly first time – Done! As for the blown sugar spheres? Bloody nightmare!

I found a recipe, and set about at 8am in my pjs trying it out, expecting, as the recipe promised, that it would be simple.

It required getting the sugar up to 298F, and it only took the first attempt to realise my sugar thermometer, in fact, was broken, as the sugar boiled, caramelised and subsequently burnt, before it had even reached 200 degrees! Attempt two was using my naked eye alone, and a little pot of water to test the soft ball method. It looked great, I was confident. That is, until I poured it all out and it instantly crystallised into a hard messy rock. Fail. This is where poor Adam was awoken (which was a bit mean seeing as he hadn’t got home until 4am!) to help. His attempt turned out exactly the same as my second one. Crystalised sad sugary mess. So naturally I gave up. Screw you sugar spheres. I would take my big pot of apple mousse and simply splodge a bit on everyone’s plates instead.

Bake Off Bake Along Caramel Week Apple Cake 1

Other than the fact the sugar attempts had left me sticky and very late leaving, the caramel bake was still a huge success. The birthday girl loved her apple cake, all slices were consumed, and the leftover salted caramel in the fridge tastes fantastic cold, exactly like those soft Werther’s originals. I had great plans for extravagance, yes, I also should have probably lit the candles to take the photos, but hey, celebrations came first, and a great tasting cake is all that really matters!

  • It looks gorgeous and happy birthday to your nan! (i wanted to make Stroopwaffels too, but alas, also no waffle machine!) xx

    • For a simple little cake it was very tasty and I was satisfied that it was made with our apples and the main showpiece (the caramel) was delish! xxx

  • Ive just moved house and the oven in the new place is completely broken, meaning I haven’t been able to bake (waaaa), but the next thing on my list to bake is caramel as caramel week has left been CRAVING it. The caramel drizzled on this cake looks HEAVENLY, I am salivating as I type. Happy Birthday to your Nan, what a cracking cake to have! xx

    Lynsey || One More Slice

    • Ohhh no how are you eating? microwave/ camping cooker? That’s so annoying, when will your new cooker arrive? She was overwhelmed I think – whole family around celebrating, and was very complimentary about the cake so that was a joy! xxxx

      • The oven got fixed so now I can finally COOK! We had the stove, so a lot of stir frys and stews! xx

        • Hooooooray!!! What are you going to make now you have an oven again?? xxx

  • Ooh this looks lovely. We have soo many apples this year I have no idea what to do with them all.
    What recipe did you use for the apple cake?

    • Wrote the whole post, forgot to add any links! I was tired last night! Haha – link is now included but it’s the dorset apple cake on BBC Good Food! xxx

  • Oh my that caramel just looks so dreamy! Love a good toffee apple cake :) Liam is definitely my favourte too – how did he not get star baker this week?! x

    • I know poor thing! He deserved it! How is toffee and apple such a great combination?! So good! Xxx

  • Sugar spheres and apple mousse sounds SUPER ambitious! You did great xx

    http://abondgirlsfooddiary.co.uk/

    • The apple mousse worked a treat, we just had it piped onto the plates to serve instead, I was SO annoyed I couldn’t softball the sugar properly. If it crystallized, would it have been heated too long or for not long enough? I don’t know if it was too hot or not hot enough, and I think I need a new sugar thermometer! Xxx

      • Get a Thermapen! Can’t recommend enough, use it for absolutely everything. Crystallisation is actually usually due to technique rather than the wrong heat – or often, the wrong pan. If you see if start to go, add a splash of water, turn the heat up as high as you possibly can, and stir xx

        • It was fine in the pan it seemed, I guess maybe it was the cooling instead as I poured it onto parchment paper to cool, tried folding it over as the recipe suggested and boom, instant crystallisation everywhere!! Xxx

          • That’s so weird! No idea I’m afraid, I haven’t seen that before! xxx

  • That looks gorgeous! I failed at caramel week so I’m enjoying looking at everyone else’s fab bakes!! Xx

  • That cake looks freaking amazing. If I get to 80 and no one makes me one of these I’m gonna be very upset 😉

    • Haha same! I was sad it wasn’t more extravagant, in my head the sugar spheres were the size of the cake pretty much! Alas, at least it was tastyyyyy!! Xx

  • Cate in the Kitchen

    I’m also loving Liam – Julia too! This looks goooooorgeous.

  • This looks SOOO good! I love apple cake and I love apples and salted caramel together – you’re still living in the South West right? 😉 I haven’t seen tonight’s Bake Off yet as Michele is out and I have to wait for him before I can watch it apparently… boo… I’m just loving all of the bakers at the moment, my favourite changes pretty much every minute! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • i’m lucky in the fact that I am at my parents on a Tuesday night each week, so we all sit and watch it together, followed by Dr Foster! Yes, in the South West! Mon-Wed near Taunton then Thurs – Sun near Saltash. :) Hope you get to watch it tonight together, it’s a good episode!! Oooooh you should bake this cake then, it complimented each flavour very well! xxxx

  • This looks so delicious! I love the apple flavour so this is pretty much the perfect cake for me! Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

  • Sounds like it was well worth the effort to make =o) Looks delicious

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

    • Yes definitely! :) Not the most effort I’ve ever put into a bake off bake, but it was a tasty one!! xxx

  • aww what a birthday cake! you continue to make gorgeous bakes :)

  • This looks amazing! Like so crazy good! Lovely post :)

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

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