January is a quiet month for work and although I relish the time off from cooking mass quantities of food I do get bored quickly. And when I am bored, I bake. This last week my frame of mind was such that I just didn’t know what to do with myself, I then realised that it had been far too long since I last made a cake; Personally I’m not one for a heavily iced buttercream cake, my preference is an uncomplicated, simple, rustic and easy to make bake. This is all of that.
Toscakaka is a traditional Swedish and Finnish cake comprising of a light, moist and buttery sponge topped with a heavenly, crunchy almond caramel. Some recipes call for buttermilk in the ingredients, I like to use milk and then add a teaspoon of lemon juice. As you can imagine the topping is pretty sweet therefore I’ve cut back on the sugar in the sponge and added the zest of half a lemon. This cake is luscious when it’s served still warm from the oven but it’s also good on the second or third day.
Grease the tin well with butter and dust with a coating of flour then line the bottom with parchment paper, for extra reassurance that it won’t stick.
*For your information I did use a non stick tin.
Toscakaka (Almond Caramel Sponge Cake)
- 110 g Butter
- 135 g Caster Sugar
- 150 g Plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 3 Large Eggs
- zest of half a Lemon
- 50 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 90 g Almonds flaked
- 25 g Light brown sugar
- 50 g Caster sugar
- 90 g Butter
- 1/4 tsp Maldon salt
- 2 tbls Plain flour
- 2 tbls Milk
- Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan/325°F/gas mark 3, grease a 23cm cake tin with butter then dust with a coating of flour and line the base with baking parchment.
- Melt the butter for the cake in a saucepan, add the milk and lemon juice and set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar and in a stand mixer or electric whisk until pale, thick and creamy, this will take a good 5 minutes. Sift the flour with the baking powder and top zest the lemon over the flour. Carefully fold it in 1/3 of the flour using a large metal spoon or a spatula, trying not to knock any of the air out into the egg mixture, next, fold in half of the butter mixture, then another third of the flour, then the rest of the butter mixture, then the last of the flour. Be very gentle to conserve as much volume as possible, but try not to leave any pockets of flour.
- Carefully pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.
- Now prepare the almond caramel. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted, simmer gently for a minute or two until it thickens slightly, set to one side (this has to be hot to pour over the cake) When the cake has been in the oven for about 20 minutes pour the caramel over the top of the cake, if you can do this in the oven all the better. Increase the heat to 180C and bake for a further 10-12 minutes or until the caramel is golden in colour.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Serve with yogurt or cream.