Hubby doesn't enjoy fondant (who really does?), so I looked for a new yummy cake recipe to try. Found THIS RECIPE on Pinterest and gave it a go. It's always a bit hit and miss trying something off a blog but the cake itself was really delicious, along with the 'crunch' and toffee sauce.
The buttercream was a huge disappointment and really let the cake down. A block and a half of butter (NZ$12.50 worth!!) was WAY too buttery and you could no longer taste the delicious Swiss meringue part of the icing (7 standard egg whites)!! The cost worked out to be NZ$30 to make, quite a lot for a cake, but I'd leave out 3/4 of a block of butter next time, so that would save a bit.
I switched the corn syrup (terribly unhealthy and not easy to find in NZ) for treacle and it worked super well. If you wonder what granulated sugar is in the recipe, it's just standard table sugar, the type you put in your coffee. However I used castor sugar when it called for granulated sugar in the Swiss meringue buttercream. However the recipe calls for heating the egg whites and sugar, so normal sugar is probably just fine as it would dissolve anyway. You do need a candy thermometer for heating the egg whites. I do suspect this process is all just to ensure the eggs are safe to eat, which probably isn't too much of an issue in NZ.
Whole milk is just blue top milk. 3 cups of apples works out to be around 2 apples. I used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Braeburn apple. I used Airborne Bush Honey, it had a really nice flavour in the "crunch" but you can use anything. Make sure you heat it a little bit in the microwave to make it liquid though, or it makes it hard to stir in. Heavy Cream is just Thickened Cream (Anchor make it), it has gelatine in it and is available with the cream at the supermarket.
I did find the cooking took much longer than they stated, about 1 1/2 hrs or so and the whisking took FOREVER, about 10 times longer than they specified.
All in all, this is a lovely cake on it's own with only icing sugar dusted over it, or with the toffee and the "crunch". I'll make it again one day for a special occasion but leave out half the butter in the icing and it will lovely.