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 the goods

toffee cake:

1 1/2 cups superfine / bakers / castor sugar

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour'

1/2 cup corn flour / starch

3 tspns baking powder

8oz / 220g  butter

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 cup milk

1 tspn vanilla

caramel buttermilk frosting:

4 oz / 110 g butter

1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk soured with 2 tspns lemon juice)

2 tblspns golden syrup

1 tspn baking powder

active time: 20 minutes for cake, 20 minutes for frosting

total time: 1 1/2 hrs

you will need:

  • skillet
  • medium sized saucepan
  • electric beaters
  • food processor or blnder
  • mixing bowls
  • 2 x 9 inch cake pans
  • baking parchment
  • baking tray
  • aluminium foil


Mitzi, the sugar rush toffee torte with caramel buttermilk frosting

Mitzi Gaynor; sweet, perky, caramel topped and adorable. A showgirl Bob Mackie'd to within an inch of her life. The perfect namesake for this cake.

I nearly christened this confection Sugar Rush, but that felt like either a stripper or drag queen from somewhere  nondescript but definitely south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The sugar in the cake was melted into toffee, broken into shards and then ground back into powder. Some small chunks of toffee remained and they gave this moist, buttery cake some snap and crackle.

But the frosting is the hero here. It goes on like a never ending 'good hair day'; silky and glossy. And the most perfect caramel flavour you've ever tasted.

Serve small slices. The sugar rush is instant. And the leftovers? Do I see a caramel apple trifle in my immediate future?

Melt the sugar in a non-stick skillet. This will take about 5 minutes over a pretty solid heat. Make sure the sugar is evenly spread over the base of the skillet.

Line a metal baking tray with foil and grease it ever so lightly with butter or oil. (a spray is ideal)

Pour  the melted sugar onto the tray and let it cool and harden.

Pre heat oven to 375f

Break the toffee into pieces and grind down to a powder in a blender or food processor. If there are a few small chunks left, that's okay.

Combine the toffee sugar with the other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add gradually to the mixing bowl whilst beating with an electric mixer. The mix will form a damp, pebbly texture.

Whisk  or beat the eggs, yolks, milk and vanilla.

Pour liquids gradually into the dry ingredients and beat on a medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Pour batter into 2 greased and lined 9 inch cake pans and bake for about 20 minutes. Cake will not brown too much, but will feel solid when tapped lightly on top.

Cool  cakes in pans.

Caramel Buttermilk Frosting:

Pour milk into a cup or jug and add 1-2 tspns lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes (or use regular buttermilk).

Pour everything into a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat.

Boil for 10 minutes. Do not leave this unattended. Stir with a wooden spoon to make sure there is no burning sugar on the sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, but make sure the liquids keep bubbling.

Turn off the heat, beat the mixture for 8-9 minutes with electric beaters. Do this in the saucepan and start the beaters at a low speed. Be careful not to spatter the hot syrup. The frosting is ready when it becomes creamy and golden brown.

Frost the cakes whilst it is still warm as it is easier to spread. Pour 1/3 on top of the bottom cake, place the second cake on top and pour the remaining frosting over the top. Like some kind of lolly-lava, it will meander to the sides and undulate of its own accord.