My Mum lives about 1200km away, so on the odd occasion she comes to town I get a tad excited. When she called to say she would be in town AND she was going to visit, I got to thinking about what I could prepare for her. Being a recent convert to baking, a Finnish treat was the natural choice. I dug into my Nordic Bakery Cookbook and decided to make a Tosca Cake, otherwise know by the Finns as Toscakakku. My grandmother used to make Toscakakku but she used to make it into more of a slice. This version of Toscakakku is a thicker cake variety.
As with most Finnish recipes this one calls for few ingredients, all of which I already had in my pantry and fridge, and is as simple as a cake can get. The smell of the almond/butter topping fresh out the oven is amazing! The husband wanted a slice immediately, I had to disappoint him by telling him he had to wait until the mother-in-law arrived.
Toscakakku is the perfect morning or afternoon tea accompaniment. I actually pulled out some of my grandmother’s fine china to enjoy it with, the two (cake and china) went hand in Finnish hand. I recall my grandmother baking Toscakakku for her friends when she used to entertain, it is an old reliable favourite.
* Recipe from Nordic Bakery Cookbook with variations to cream and almond portions.
170g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tsp baking powder
260g plain flour
75g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
25g plain flour
100g flaked almonds
Preheat oven to 200oC. Grease 29cm springform tin.
Whisk eggs and caster sugar well with electric whisk until mixture is fluffy and lighter in colour. Gently fold in cream, melted butter and vanilla bean paste.
In a separate bowl sift flour and baking powder together, fold into the egg mixture. Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
While cake is baking heat Tosca topping ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, mix well and bring to the boil.
Once cake is cooked remove from oven and gently spread Tosca topping over the top of the cake, return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the topping is golden in colour and slightly caramelized.
Cool, slice and devour with a good cup of coffee!