A Super Soaked Sponge: Toscakaka

A few months ago I made a Rachel Allen Toscatårta recipe that was a little disappointing. I hoped I would fare a little better with Toscakaka recipe from Signe Johansen; Johansen lives in London but grew up in Norway and has authored several cookbooks on Scandinavian cooking.

To make the sponge cake, you whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla until pale and fluffy, and then alternately add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) and liquid ingredients (melted butter and buttermilk). You pour the batter into a greased pan and bake the cake until golden.

While the cake is in the oven, you make the praline topping by heating butter, brown sugar, sliced almonds, milk, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan, simmering the mixture for a few minutes until it thickens. You pour the topping onto the partially-baked cake, increase the oven temperature, and put the cake back in the oven until the topping is crispy and golden brown.
This Toscakaka was fantastic. There are a few things about it that stand out in my mind. First, the cake itself is tender and delicious -- I'm not sure if it was because of the buttermilk, but the delicate texture was perfect. Second, the topping included a substantial amount of liquid caramel that soaked into the top of the cake, which make the cake even more moist and flavorful, without being overly sweet. And of course, I can't resist a crunchy almond topping. Each component of the Toscakaka was so good, and the cake as a whole was a true delight.

Recipe: "Toscakaka -- Caramel Almond-Topped Sponge" from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen

Previous Post: "Swedish Bakery Cravings: Toscatårta," August 10, 2013.