Toffee Apple Dump Cake

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If you’re looking for an easy autumn bake that would be perfect for Bonfire Night look no further than this toffee apple dump cake. Don’t be put off by the name. This style of cake comes from the US and refers to the stir-and-dump-it-in-a-tin method. It makes a moist cake with pockets of apple and toffee topped with a toffee frosting. It only needs one bowl for the cake and is actually very easy to make. Mr Birdie took some into work and came home telling me that his colleagues had been raving about it which was lovely to hear (he also said I needed to put it on Twitter which is usually his way of saying he likes something!).
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Sticky toffee pudding

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Well it may be Spring but I’m not sure the weather is quite aware of this. It was a blustery, wild day in Hampshire yesterday – it was definitely not been feeling like Spring at all. We had our friends Simon and Louisa over for dinner so I made this sticky toffee pudding for dessert. With yesterday’s weather a comforting, warm pudding was definitely needed!
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Banoffee coffee bread

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I’ve just started following Donal Skehan on Twitter and was looking at some recipes on his website when I came across this recipe for Banoffee coffee bread. A banana loaf cake with toffee and chocolate chips and a coffee glaze sounded like my kind of recipe. Luckily when I was in Waitrose during the week they had some bananas that were reduced to clear, so this weekend’s bake was decided. The recipe isn’t actually by him, but is by Barry Lewis.
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Banana & pecan fudge loaf

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This was a big hit in the staffroom today and was just what we needed to keep us going through the craziness of working in a school as Christmas approaches! I had been given lots of bananas that were past their best so investigated a whole host of banana cake recipes. I found this one on the BBC Good Food website and thought it would make a change from traditional banana bread. It has a very moist texture and is quick and easy to make. The original recipe uses chewy toffees but I had some fudge that needed using up so swapped the toffee for fudge. You can also swap the toffee yogurt for fudge yogurt depending on what you can find in the shops. I also didn’t have the exact amounts of pecans or fudge but it still worked just as well. You will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
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Pear & Toffee Muffins

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We had a team night out last night to watch two of our colleagues in a production of ‘Acorn Antiques’. We decided to arrive early to allow us to indulge in some tea and cake. Myself and another of my colleagues offered to bake. I had seen this recipe a few weeks ago when I had some pears to use up and decided they would be pretty easy to whip up yesterday when I was short of time.

This is a recipe I found on the BBC Good Food website that you can find here. The recipe makes 12 muffins.
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Dulce & banana cake

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I received Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Fast, Fresh and Easy Food’ as a Christmas present from Mr Birdie. One of the recipes that caught my eye was this ‘Dulce & banana cake’ which is an upside down banana cake with a sticky toffee topping. I am a big fan of banana cake and had been keen to try making it. This weekend gave me the opportunity to try it out as we had a training day at work today and I thought it would make a good break time snack. It was definitely well received and kept our brains going. It works well cold as a cake or warm as a dessert with cream or ice cream. You can find the recipe here on the BBC website. You will need a 20cm square tin.
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Toffee Pecan Roulade

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Christmas is a time for catching up with your favourite people which is just what we did yesterday afternoon. We went for a pre-Christmas lunch at our friends Simon and Louisa’s yesterday and I offered to make dessert. After much trawling the Internet I decided upon a toffee pecan roulade. It’s a popular dessert at this time of year – if you Google it you will find all the major supermarkets offer their own version.This is a recipe by Ruth Clemens that you can find on her Pink Whisk website here.

I’ve only ever made a roulade once before (this chocolate and cranberry one) so I’m not really an expert. I was in a bit of a rush yesterday and didn’t have a big enough tin so it ended up as more of a flat rather than circular roulade. The meringue was also quite chewy – I don’t think I cooked it for long enough. It did taste good though – you can’t really go wrong with toffee and cream can you? I would definitely make this again and would highly recommend it for your Christmas festivities. A bonus is that it is also suitable for freezing.
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Toffee Apple Pudding

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We are big Aldi fans in the Little Birdie household. Their fruit and vegetables are cheap and good quality. So when Mr Birdie spotted some bargainous Bramley apples over the weekend (4 for 99p) I decided it was time to make an apple-based pudding. After some investigation work I found this BBC Good Food recipe for toffee apple pudding which looked easy enough and I had all the ingredients for. I did consider making this treacle apple pudding, especially as I have pudding basin that I have used yet but opted for ease instead! Although this dessert isn’t a ‘looker’ it was tasty and went down well after dinner on Sunday.
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Toffee Apple Pie

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Apologies that it has been quiet on the blog front. Mr Birdie and I jetted of to the west coast of America during half term and then we have been busy catching up with friends and meeting our gorgeous new nephew Elliot (congratulations Ian and Steph!) I plan to do a blog post on our foodie adventures in America and have a couple of recipes to catch up on but for now here is my most recent adventure in baking.

Autumn is in full swing and comforting, warming baking is the order of the day. This recipe for toffee apple pie is from Ruth Clemens of ‘The Pink Whisk’ which you can find on her blog here. I’d never made an apple pie before and as I think I’ve mentioned before pastry scares me. This recipe uses flaky pastry which I was surprised to find was actually quite easy (for someone who has a pastry phobia!) I am quite tempted to try it again for some mince pies this Christmas. I was pleased with my first attempt at this recipe however I did find that the toffee sauce separated and a lot of butter was at the bottom of the dish (having read comments on The Pink Whisk website other people have had this problem too). It did meet my husbands approval despite this!

You will need an 8 inch pie dish which was something I didn’t possess so this was an excellent opportunity to go shopping. I purchased this lovely teal number in TK Maxx.

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Marbled Millionaires Shortbread

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As the summer term comes to an end in schools across the country, attention turns to the members of staff leaving for pastures new. We have two amazing ladies leaving us and so are holding a tea party to celebrate their many years of service – so of course I had to offer my baking services!

Tray bakes were the order of the day so after my successful banoffee pie I decided I would try another caramel-based adventure – marbled millionaires shortbread. Not ideal in this baking hot weather but a classic favourite and hopefully a safer bet than cupcakes (icing in this weather – not a good idea!)

I used a combination of a Nigella recipe from ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ and a recipe from the Carnation website which you can find here. The Nigella recipe said to use a 23cm tin and the Carnation recipe a 20cm tin but I used a 21cm and it seemed to be ok.

They were a big hit – it’s just a shame they didn’t survive the weather particularly well – squidgy millionaires shortbread is never nice! If you’re making them in our current heatwave make sure you keep them in your fridge.
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