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 used 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
- 1/2 Lemon zest
- 50 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 90 g Flaked almonds
- 25 g Light brown sugar
- 50 g Caster sugar
- 90 g Unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp Maldon salt
- 2 tbsp Plain flour
- 2 tbls Double cream
- Preheat the oven 160C Fan/325F, grease a 23cm cake tin with butter then dust with a coating of flour and line with base with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter the in a saucepan, add the milk and lemon juice and set to one side to cool slightly.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar in a free standing mixer or electric whisk until pale, thick and creamy, this will take a good 5 minutes. Sift the flour with the baking powder and zest the lemon over the top of the flour. Carefully fold a third of the flour into the egg with a metal spoon or a spatular, trying not to knock any of the air out of the egg mixture, next fold in half of the butter mixture, then another third of the flour, then finally the rest of the butter and flour. Be very gentle to conserve as much volume as possible.
- Carefully pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes.
- Now prepare the almond caramel. Place the butter in a saucepan and melt, add the flour and stir. Now add the sugars, cream salt and almonds, stir and simmer gently for a minute or two until it thickens slightly. Set to one side (this must be hot to pour over the cake) Once the cake has been in the oven for 25 minutes, gently spoon the almond caramel over the top of the cake and return to the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 185C and bake for a further 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Serve with yogurt or cream.