My Cinder Toffee Bonfire Cake is made with rich milk and dark chocolate and topped with honey comb – a firm favourite at this time of year. Get the recipe below.
It’s that time of year again where the skies across the UK are filled with fireworks of all shapes, colours and sizes. Some whizz, others fizz and my favourite of all POP! I just love fireworks so it’s no surprise that Jon and I found ourselves back at Alexandra Palace for their display last night.
For Brits, bonfire night is a celebration of the failur of Gay Fawkes’ plot to blow up parliament on the 5 November 1605. So, along with the rest of the country, when bonfire night comes around, Jon and I wrap up warm and head outdoors to wave a sparkler or two in the glow of a rather large bonfire.
Now a celebration isn’t really a celebration if you haven’t got a show stopping cake! Seeing as a huge bonfire is usually at the heart of the festivities (often with an effigy of Guy Fawkes burnt on top) it seemed fitting that I bake a bonfire cake to match.
There are all sorts of food stuffs associated with bonfire night, from Toffee apples, to parkin and even the jacket potato, all of which are traditionally eaten around Bonfire Night in parts of the United Kingdom. Out of all of them, cinder toffee is my favourite! Though, try as I might I can’t seem to work out why cinder toffee has become associated with bonfire night.
Cinder toffee (also known as honeycomb) is a hard, but light toffee full of air bubbles. It’s sweet and delicious and incredibly simple to make. In fact, I have fond memories of making it as a child. The molten sugar mixing with bicarbonate of soda to form this pillowy mass which sets rock hard is pure alchemy. It is so fun to make from scratch and I highly recommend giving it a go.
Of course, if you’re not brave enough or just running out of time, you can use store bought honeycomb for this cake.
How to make cinder toffee at home
- 200g granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
Line a tin with grease-proof paper.
In a heavy bottomed pan, add the sugar and golden syrup and heat on a low/medium temperature until the sugar starts to melt.
Stir the sugar mix often, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan.
Continue to cook until it has completely melted and changes from a straw like colour to a darker brown (this should take between 4-8 minutes).
Using a sugar thermometer check that the sugar has reached the “hard crack stage” which is 149-154C (300-310F).
As soon as it has, remove from the heat and then quickly add the baking soda, whisking it in to the hot mixture, then pour into the prepared tin.
Set to one side until it has hardened completely (about 1-2 hours).
When t has set firm break into shards.
My recipe for Cinder Toffee makes a very generous amount. You’ll have plenty for the top of the finished cake if you snack on it while baking the sponge. But, just to be on the safe side I’d put away a handful or two of the best shards which will form the “flames” for the bonfire.
- 200 caster sugar
- 200g butter
- 4 eggs
- 200g self raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 200ml double cream
- 200g milk chocolate (broken into cubes)
- 200g dark chocolate (broken into cubes)
- Shards of honey comb
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (160 C), and line two 6 inch cake tins with grease proof paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar until soft.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until and beat well until the mix is creamy and pale.
- Sift the cocoa powder, flour and salt into the bowl and fold through until fully incorporated.
- Pour the cake mix into the two tins and bake for 35-45 mins or until springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
- Once completely cooled, make the ganache by gently heating the cream until it's almost at a simmer.
- Take it off of the heat and add in all of the chocolate and stir.
- Keep stirring allowing the heat of the cream to melt the chocolate.
- If the chocolate stops melting you can heat the mixture over a bain marie or in the microwave no more than 30 seconds at a time.
- Once smooth and glossy, sandwich the two cakes together with the ganache.
- Pour half of the ganach over the cake and smooth around the edges.
- Leave for a minute or two until firm and repeat.
- Finish by topping with the honeycomb.
If the ganache looks like it has split add 1 tbsp of milk and mix until smooth and glossy again.
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