Summary

Give me cake or give me death cookies.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Hallon Toscatårta- Recipe

Disclaimer: Google Translate told me that the Swedish word for 'raspberry' is 'hallon', so I'm rolling with it: apologies if I've bastardised the grammar or language in any way, please feel free to correct me!


I've been wanting to make a Tosca cake ever since I stumbled upon Nordic Bakery in London- a cosy café with a Scandinavian twist. I was dazzled by the cakes on the counter, but I ended up trying one of their near-famous sticky cinnamon buns. A little tip: try the cinnamon buns. They are EPIC.

One of the cakes that I would have bought had I not been led by the siren song of the cinnamon bun was something called a Tosca cake, which is basically a sponge cake with a caramelised almond flake topping. I still haven't tried Nordic Bakery's version, but having read about it it seemed to me like a relatively simple thing to try making for myself.

I researched why it's called Tosca incidentally, for anyone that's interested: think of Florentines: they're those round, flat Italian sweet things commonly made with caramelised almond flakes amongst other things, and coated in chocolate on one side. Florentines originated in Florence. Florence is the capital city of the region of Tuscany, or 'Toscana' if you're Italian. Hence the 'Tosca' part of 'Tosca cake' refers to the Florentine-like almond topping of the cake.

I think.


Anyway, as usual I played around with the general recipe, and ended up making a raspberry Tosca cake. I added ground almonds to the sponge cake for a slightly moister texture and some almond extract for a more frangipane-like flavour, and added some fresh raspberries into the cake batter before baking. I think the sharpness of the fruit complements the sweetness of the sponge and caramelised topping very well.


Ingredients for Sponge:

-3oz unsalted butter
-5oz caster sugar
-3 eggs
-4oz self raising flour
-1oz ground almonds
-1tsp almond extract
-1tsp vanilla extract
-a pinch of salt
-5oz raspberries

Ingredients for Tosca Topping:

-2oz butter
-2oz caster sugar
-3tbsp cream (single, double or whipping are all fine)
-2tsp plain flour
-1tsp vanilla
-100g flaked almonds
-1 extra tbsp cream

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line a 9" springform/ loose bottomed cake tin.

2) Mix the sponge part up like any other sponge: cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, beat the eggs in thoroughly once at a time, fold in the flour and mix in the milk and vanilla.

3) Scoop the cake batter into the tin, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or spatula, and drop the tin on the counter a few times to bash out large air bubbles.

4) Scatter the raspberries evenly on top and poke them in a bit- when the cake's in the oven the raspberries will sink, so don't worry about pushing them down completely.


5) Bake for about 30mins until the cake is done (test it the usual way: a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre, and the surface of the sponge bounces back when you poke it with a finger).

6) When the cake is almost done (you'll have to eyeball this), make the topping: melt the butter in a small saucepan, add everything else but the almonds and extra tablespoon of cream and stir until everything's well-mixed. Boil for a minute on medium heat, then take off the heat and stir in the almonds and the last tablespoon of cream.


7) Poke a few shallow holes in the surface of the cake with a toothpick or skewer before spreading the almond topping on evenly, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown.


8) Let the cake cool for 30 minutes before freeing it from your springform pan and serving: this cake is delicious cold, but is DELICIOUS warm.


Optional: pour out some good strong coffee to have with your cake, and invite some friends or family to fika.


Again, correct me if my (haphazard) Swedish is wrong!

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