Halloween Poison Toffee Apple Cake with Caramel Peanut Brittle Buttercream and Snow White Apples
210g salted butter, softened
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour, sifted
½ tsp (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp (15ml) cinnamon
½ tsp (2.5ml) nutmeg
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
145g finely grated Golden Delicious apples, squeezed well
75g flaked almonds, toasted
250ml (1 cup) water
360ml (1 ½ cups) cream
250g salted butter, softened
SNOW WHITE APPLES
8 small lunchbox apples
8 wooden skewers or clean sticks
200g white chocolate, chopped
Peanut brittle, crushed, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180C (conventional) and grease and line 3 x 20cm sandwich cake tins.
Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (about 8-10 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices and stir into the cake batter alternating with the milk. Stir in the squeezed apple and flaked almonds then divide between the 3 tins and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes, comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool, upside down, completely then remove from the tin.
To make the buttercream, place the sugar and water in a pan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer, without stirring, until the mixture begins caramelizing. Once the syrup reaches a dark toffee-colour (137 degrees celcius on a sugar thermometer), pour in the cream and swirl to combine. Allow to cool completely and divide the mixture in half. Cream the butter until very white and fluffy (about 8-10 minutes) then add one half of the toffee sauce and whip to combine – the buttercream should be very light and fluffy.
To assemble, slice each cake in half to create 4 layers. Sandwich the layers together with the buttercream, sprinkling a little of the peanut brittle in between each layer, then cover the top and sides with the remaining buttercream.
To make the snow white apples, insert the sticks into the apples then set aside. Melt the white chocolate gently over a double boiler then dip each apple into the chocolate. Allow to drip thoroughly before placing on a lined baking sheet to set completely.
Place the apples on top of the cake then drizzle with the rest of the toffee sauce, to serve.
TIP If the buttercream gets stiff while assembling the cake, simply whip again until fluffy.