I ordered this one as I noticed that a lot of the recipes used spelt flour and this is something I am very interested in, the use of these lovely heritage flours and their revival.
I sat with a cup of tea, post it notes ready like I always do when a new book arrives and was pleasantly surprised just how many post it notes I needed. This book is full of yummy recipes I can not wait to bake and the first to catch my eye was this stunning Toscakaka.
Toscakaka was believed to be named after Puccini's Tosca, others believe that the name comes from the almond cakes of Toscana (Tuscany), how funny that the first recipe I chose to bake just happens to have some Italian heritage.
Where ever the name comes from, this cake is one of Scandinavia's most beloved cakes and I can see why, this ridiculously moreish cake has a lovely light sponge and a dreamy caramel praline topping that tastes so amazing, with a little hint of salt just coming through and bringing out all the lovely flavours. The next day the cake just sees to get better, with the caramel from the topping seeping into the sponge.
I loved this cake just as it was and I will be making it time and time again, but if you love coffee you can always add a double espresso to the praline, or if you prefer to use coconut instead of the flaked almonds you have a Danish drømmekage dream cake, I will definitely have to give this a go.
However yo decide to bake this cake, it is a party piece and I love it, I think I will go and get a slice now :)
Scandalicious is available from Amazon, I can highly recommend it and I only recommend books that I really love. I bake hundreds of recipes, but only the ones that my family really love make it to my Blog.
3 medium free-range eggs
150g golden unrefined caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
75g organic butter, melted
75ml buttermilk (easily available in most supermarkets but you can make your own by adding 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or white wine/cider vinegar to 75ml of whole milk)
125g organic butter
125g light brown muscovado sugar
150g flaked almonds
50ml whole milk
3/4 to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170C, 150C fan.
Lightly oil a 23cm round cake tin.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl (or mixer) until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add the melted butter, buttermilk and dry ingredients to the beaten egg mixture in stages, alternating between them and folding through with a large metal spoon as you go until everything is incorporated. I added it all at once into the Artisan and just didn't over mix it and it turned out fine.
Gently pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and tap it once or twice on the kitchen surface to pop any large air bubbles which make substantial pockets of air in the finished cake. I forgot to do this and only realised half way through baking, PANIC! But luckily it turned out Ok, no air bubbles at all!
Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. This cake does look fairly pale when baked so don't panic and over bake it.
Start prepping the topping halfway through the baking time so that it is ready to use as soon as you take the cake from the oven.
Put all the topping ingredients in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring all the while. Don't leave it, burnt praline is not nice & not easy to clean off the pan! Allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, just to thicken it up slightly.
Remove the cake from the oven and turn the temperature up to 220C, 200C fan.
Use the hot praline to glaze the sponge cake while in its tin, then put the cake bake into the oven, on the top shelf, for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the topping is crispy and golden brown. It bubbles away like molten lava.
Once its nice and golden, remove the cake from the oven, allow to cool slightly in the tin before running a knife around the edges to release the praline from the sides. Gently remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.
This cake will keep well, up to 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
I had a slice while it was still warm and a slice the next day for breakfast when it was cold and they were both delicious, I think I liked it the most the next day when all the caramel had soaked into the cake. I have a feeling this will be one I bake time and time again.