In honor of Martha, I actually took the time to lay out all my ingredients ahead of time, rather than just grabbing from my messy kitchen cupboard as needed. I also took a useful tip from the latest Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Baking magazine: Lay out all your ingredients on a baking sheet, then put them back in the cupboard after using them. That way, you can tell what ingredients you have already added to the mix just by process of elimination, instead of wondering, "Did I remember to add the salt?" Such a great idea!
This recipe also gave me an opportunity to break out my new 8-inch cake pan, which I purchased at Des Moines restaurant-supply store Bolton & Hay. The store has a showroom with tons of cooking and baking supplies, most of which are well below retail prices. Plus, most cake recipes call for an 8-inch round pan, and all I've been able to find at the local discount stores are 9-inch pans. So my cakes turned out shallow and baked too quickly.
The cake was very simple to make, and I loved that I could find all the ingredients at my local grocery store. The batter was lighter-colored than I expected. But when I pulled the cake from the oven, it was a golden brown. Another surprise was that the center was sunken in. Not sure what caused that. Hope it wasn't my nifty new pan.
Next came the best part: toffee sauce! I have to admit, this sauce was a little scary for me. It calls for two whole sticks of butter! That's three sticks in total to make this cake. I feel terribly guilty about the decadence, but I couldn't resist trying it.
The toffee sauce was out-of-this-world delicious. My one complaint is with the color. It looked a little like I poured gravy on top the cake.
My husband is eating a slice of this dessert as we speak, and he gives it good reviews. He says it tasted like a moist spice cake. The toffee sauce is extremely rich, so it's impossible to eat a very big piece. But overall, we enjoyed this recipe, and I love that it was so quick, easy and impressive. Thanks again to Martha and Me for giving me another excuse to bake!