Autumnal Eve's Pudding with Spiced Toffee SauceĀ 

I can hardly believe almost six months have passed since my last post. Summer came and went in a whirl and here we are enjoying some of the best autumn weather we’ve had for a few years. Crisp mornings, crunchy leaves underfoot and that rich, low sunshine we only get this time off year. Perfect for hearty warming comfort food and this twist on Eve’s pudding certainly fits the bill. A total mash up between three of my favourite flavours, apples, pumpkin spice and toffee, you’ll have to have some pretty impressive willpower to resist seconds of this indulgent treat. 
Ingredients for the pudding:

3 large bramley apples, peeled cored and finely diced 

350g butternut squash, peeled and chopped

150ml vegetable oil

2 large eggs

250g soft light brown sugar

180g self raising flour

1 tsp bi-carb soda

Pumpkin spice mix made by mixing 3 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 1 whole grated nutmeg and half a tsp ground cloves. 

For the toffee sauce:

250g butter

250g light brown sugar

400ml double cream 

2tsp pumpkin spice mix

Method:

Put the squash in a bowl with a splash or two of water. Cover with cling film and microwave on high for 5 minutes. 

While it’s cooking grease a large oven safe dish and put the apples in the bottom. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of the spice mix. 

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are the same consistency of a thick milkshake. By now the butternut squash should be tender. Put it in a blender with the oil and whizz until you have a smooth puree. I used my nutribullet which works a treat. 

Fold the flour and bi-carb along with 1 rounded tablespoon of the spice mix into the eggy milkshake before gently folding through the butternut puree. 

Pour the mixture on top of the apples and bake at 160oC (fan) for approximately 50 minutes until a skewer comes out of the cake clean.

To make the sauce, melt the butter, sugar and spice mix together until totally combined then pour in the cream stiring constantly. 

Serve with custard and the toffee sauce! Divine! 

Whole baked cauliflower cheese

For me, a Sunday roast just isn’t a Sunday roast without a cauliflower cheese. Usually I segment the cauli, but yesterday decided to leave it whole.

I took the tough outer leaves off, leaving the more tender smaller ones in tact, and steamed the whole head for around 12 minutes. 

While it was steaming, I made the cheese sauce by melting a generous knob of butter in a saucepan and whisking in a couple of dessert spoons of pain flour to form a roux. Season with pepper and a small pinch of salt (the cheese is salty, so don’t go overboard). Then I whisked in milk, stiring continuously until I had a smooth and thick sauce. At this point I threw in a large handful of strong cheddar.

I set the sauce aside and removed the cauli from the steamer, letting it dry off a little.  While it was drying, I made a simple crumb by blitzing a piece of wholemeal bread up with salt and pepper. If you have any parsley and pine nuts to hand you could throw them in too. Mix with a bit more cheddar and some parmesan.

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Put the head of cauli in a large oven proof dish and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle the crumb over the top and bake for about 35-40 mins in a 170oC oven.

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Slice to serve and spoon over some of the delicious sauce. 

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