First bake: toscakaka

ToscakakaYou can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned British cake, but it’s nice to try international cakes every so often. This toscakaka (caramel and almond sponge cake) hails from Scandinavia, although rumours suggest it might actually be Italian. Wherever it’s from, it’s a brilliant invention!

I decided to bake this on impulse to cheer myself up following a lot of house buying-related stress this week, and it certainly did the trick. It’s easier to make than it looks – you just make the sponge, fling it in the oven, make the praline topping while it’s baking, then pour the caramel on top of the cake and bake for a bit more on a higher heat setting. Et voila – toscakaka!

Toscakaka mix

Toscakaka mix

The cake mix ended up being quite runny, so I was a bit worried about the texture of the finished cake, but I needn’t have been. The sponge somehow manages to be both dense and light, with pleasing results. The praline topping didn’t set as I hoped, but it’s still super delicious! The recipe adds a fair bit of sea salt for that fantastic savoury-sweet combination, and that’s exactly what I’ve got.

ToscakakaI’ve only had one piece so far after making it last night, but I fully intend to sample some more! This is one for anyone with a penchant for salted caramel or simply something a little bit different from the norm.

The recipe

From Vegetarian Living magazine. This may be a recipe by a particular chef, but I don’t know as I ripped the recipe out and chucked the magazine away a while ago!

Serves 10

For the cake:

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp fine sea salt
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 75ml buttermilk (make your own by adding a splash of lemon juice to whole milk and leaving it for a few minutes to thicken)

For the topping:

  • 125g butter
  • 125g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 150g flaked almonds (or dessicated coconut to create a Danish dream cake (drommekage))
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 0.75 to 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • double shot of espresso (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3-4. Lightly oil a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. For the cake, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
  3. Combine the baking powder, flour and salt in another bowl.
  4. Gradually add the flour mix, buttermilk and melted butter to the egg mixture, taking it in turns to spoon each one into the bowl and folding the ingredients together the whole time with a large metal spoon.
  5. Pour the mix into the tin and tap it to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 mins, or until firm and golden.
  6. Begin making the topping 15 mins into the baking time so it’s ready for when the cake comes out. Place the topping ingredients in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and bring to a simmer, mixing all the while. Keep it at a low simmer for 3-4 minutes until it has slightly thickened.
  7. Take the cake out of the oven when done and pour the hot topping over it. Turn the oven up to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 and put the cake back in for another 5-10 mins, until the topping has turned golden brown and is crispy.
  8. Cool the cake slightly in the tin and then run a knife around the edges to make sure the praline isn’t stuck to the tin. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

2 thoughts on “First bake: toscakaka

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