A spicy cake for foggy February nights

TRAVELLING chef Philippa Davis has been back in Dorset for the first few weeks of 2017 – back to freezing fog and other seasonal delights. So here’s a totally delicious cake from her festive and New Year baking, to enjoy with a mug of hot chocolate (perhaps with a little something extra to keep the cold out!)

foodmenustickycake2Spiced Sticky toffee apple and pear caramel cake

There are certain foods I will always make sure are in stock around this time of year. Layers of locally smoked trout, wedges of Dorset Blue Vinny, home made mince pies (I am still working my way through the pots of 2013 filling that I over-enthusiastically made), mint chocolates (currently stocking six different varieties) and of course mountains of clementines.

The other staple that I like to have waiting in the wings for those unexpected guests or hungry family members or even a pre-breakfast-breakfast is plenty of cake (after all mince pies alone are not a balanced diet).


5 small apples
1 tbs demerara sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger

Caramel sauce:

150g salted butter
110g golden caster sugar
60g dark muscovado sugar
260ml double cream

Cake batter:

250g soft salted butter
250g caster sugar
250 g self raising flour
4 organic eggs
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
2 pears

Line a 10 inch deep cake tin with baking paper.

foodmenustickycakeIn a small saucepan gently bring all the ingredients for the caramel sauce to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Pour half of the sauce into the cake tin.

Peel and core the apples then split in half horizontally toss with 1 tbs demerara sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp ground ginger. Place into the cake tin and move around to coat with caramel sauce then arrange flat side up.

To make the batter: In a bowl beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add half the flour, all the spices and two of the eggs. Gently beat until combined then add the rest of the eggs and flour and gently beat again.

Grate the pears, skin and all, discarding the core. Stir through the batter then pour on top of the apples.

Bake on the middle shelf for 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean (it’s just the batter you don’t want to see on the skewer – there may be caramel sauce

Leave to cool in the tin then turn out on to your serving platter. Gently warm the rest of the sauce and pour over the top of the cake.

This is delicious with whipped cream or even brandy butter.

For more of Philippa’s travels and recipes visit www.philippadavis.com

Pictured: Freezing fog envelops one of Shaftesbury’s churches; Philippa’s sticky toffee apple and pear caramel cake.