Caramel almond-topped sponge

In Signe Johansen's Scandilicious Baking (Saltyard Books, 2012) she calls this toscakaka, It's one of Scandinavia's most beloved cakes, possibly named after Puccini's Tosca or the almond cakes found in Tuscany. It's a flattish sponge but given an extra special caramelised almond topping - tu meke!

Sponge
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
150g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
75g butter, melted
75ml buttermilk or yoghurt (or milk soured with 1/2 tsp lemon juice or acv)

Praline
125g butter
125g brown muscovado sugar
150g flaked almonds
50ml milk
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 170C. Line and lightly grease a 23cm round cake tin.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the melted butter, buttermilk and dry ingredients to the egg mixture in stages, folding through with a metal spoon until fully combined.

Pour into the cake tin and tap once or twice on the bench to pop any bubbles in the batter. Bake for about 25-30 min on the middle shelf until golden and firm to the touch, rotating the tin halfway through cooking.

Ten minutes before the sponge is ready, start making the praline. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring all the time. Simmer for 3-4 min to thicken.

Remove the cake from the oven and turn up the temperature to 220C and put the shelf on the upper level. Pour the hot praline evenly over the cake while still in the tin and put back into the oven for 5-10 min until the topping is golden brown. It will crisp up as it cools.

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before running a butter knife around the edges to separate the sticky praline from the sides. Remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Signe also recommends you could use coconut instead of almonds to make a Danish drommekage dream cake.

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Frances Chan is a freelance editor/proofreader who has written a couple of children's books and writes for Weekend Notes. She also loves to bake. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.


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