I’m two days late... assuming I finish writing this on Friday, but I have been baking once again with The Cake Slice Bakers. Exchange of contracts is imminent and despite weeks of sorting out, the house looks as though we have barely started clearing so the last thing I should be doing is baking cakes and writing about it... but I never was one for getting my priorities right, especially when there’s cake involved!
We are baking this year from The European Cake Cookbook by Tatyana Nesteruk and the choices this month were
1. Creme Brulee cheesecake
2. Triple-Citrus Mousse Cake
3. Austrian Pound Cake
4. Toscakaka Torte
As ever it was hard to choose and the cheesecake was very tempting given that if ever we eat desserts out, which isn't often, Stewart will always choose cheesecake and I will have Creme Brulee. However I wanted to make this for dinner guests and didn't want to risk something completely new so I chose the Toscakaka cake, a Swedish caramel almond torte. I own up, I have made this before from a different book with a slightly different recipe where it was just called a Tosca cake, so I knew I would be on to a winner. The combination of light caramel soaked sponge with a topping of caramel and crunchy almonds is delicious.
The cake itself is easy but the tricky part is making the caramel sauce which starts with boiled sugar. I let my first batch get too dark and it tasted burnt so I had to start again.
But second time around it worked and the resulting cake didn't disappoint.
It went down well with our dinner guests as dessert but it made a good cake for afternoon tea too!
Ingredients for the cake
- 170g unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 118 ml dulce de leche (thick caramel sauce)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 118 ml full fat milk
- 188g plain flour, sifted
- 50g ground almonds
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 200g granulated sugar
- 60ml water
- 118ml double cream
- 60g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 110g toasted flaked almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 170 deg C (150 fan) and line a 23cm spring form tin with baking parchment
2. In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and dulce de leche until light and fluffy Add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour with each addition, beating until smooth. Combine the flour, almonds and baking powder and gently add in two additions alternating with the milk until everything is just combined.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. The sides should be set but the centre just under baked.
4. While the cake is baking prepare the caramel sauce. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar melts. Bring to the boil and let it cook until it turns a golden amber colour (not dark brown like my first attempt!) Remove from the heat and whisk in the cram, butter and vanilla. Be careful as it will splutter. Continue to whisk until it is smooth and the butter has melted.
5. After the cake has baked for 35 minutes remove from the oven, pierce the top with a skewer and pour the caramel sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and return the cake to the oven for a further 15 mins.
6. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 15 minutes before releasing the spring form. Eat warm or cold!
I served ours warm with a dollop of creme fraiche and a compote of honeyed figs.