I have finally got my laptop back after it going in for a service, I was getting withdrawal symptoms after being without it and not being able to post this next bake. A while back my Lakeland order arrived (I always get excited about new bakeware goodies) I got a 7 inch loose bottomed square tin and a 9 inch loose-bottomed round cake tin, a silicone Swiss-roll flexi-sheet, and some ‘get a grip’ piping bags – can’t wait to try these out, I’ve seen contestants using them on the GBBO. Also in my order I got some Hazelnut flavouring as I thought this would be a great alternative from some of my almond bakes – I’m thinking a chocolate and hazelnut combo must be done, and finally I got some Raspberry Fudge Sprinkles – you know I can’t resist the raspberries.
I wanted to try out my new 9 inch loose-bottomed round cake tin first and while looking on the internet I saw this cake with an almond praline coating on top of the cake and I remembered seeing this in a book called ‘Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen‘ and I thought my mom is going to love this with all those caramelised flaked almonds on top.
Adapted from Signe Johansen Toscakaka
For the cake
75g Unsalted Butter
3 Large Eggs
150g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (I used Almond Extract)
150g Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
* substitute with 75ml Milk mixed with 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
For the topping
150g Flaked Almonds
125g Unsalted Butter
125g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt (I only used a pinch)
1. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 3-4 and lightly grease and baseline a 23cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
Melt the butter for the cake mixture in a small saucepan over a low heat or place in a heatproof jug and melt in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds or until melted.
2. In a medium-sized bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugar and almond extract until pale, thick and fluffy, this should take about 5 minutes on high speed.
3. While the egg mixture is whisking; sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl.
4. Gradually add the melted butter, buttermilk and dry ingredients to the beaten egg mixture, alternating between them and folding through with a large metal spoon or rubber spatula as you go until everything is well incorporated – do this thoroughly but very gently scraping the bottom of the bowl, as it is easy to get little pockets of flour in the mixture but you need to converse as much of the volume as possible.
5. Carefully transfer the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin by scraping it gently out from as little height as possible, then tap the tin once or twice on the work surface to get rid of any big air bubbles.
6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
7. Half way through the cake baking start the Caramel Praline Topping so that it is ready to use by the time the cake is cooked. Put all of the topping ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over a low-medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to simmer for 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly.
8. Once the cake has come out of the oven turn the oven temperature up to Gas Mark 7. Use the hot praline to glaze the top of the sponge, while the cake is still in the tin – spread the nuts out evenly on top using a knife to help smooth them over the sponge.
9. Now put the cake back into the oven on the top shelf and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the topping is crispy and golden brown.
10. Once the cake is out of the oven place on a wire rack to cool slightly in the tin for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the tin to separate the praline from the cake tin. Gently remove the cake from the tin and place back onto the wire rack to cool before serving.
This cake will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days
Some of the variations that Signe Johansen suggests in her Scandilicious Baking Book are the following:
Coffee: adding a double shot of espresso in the praline topping, if you love coffee.
Coconut: Instead of flaked almonds use coconut flakes to make this in to a Danish Drommekage – Dream Cake
I think that we all loved the praline topping on the top of the cake, but I think it would of been better if the sponge was a bit thicker.
The next time that I make this Swedish ‘Toscakaka’ I think that I am going to adapt it slightly with another Toscakaka recipe that I have seen by Edd Kimber (The Boy Who Bakes). In Edd Kimber’s recipe he has used ground almonds in the sponge mixture, which I think would give an extra nutty flavour along with the praline topping, plus his sponge is thicker than the traditional Toscakaka.