Tosca Cake - a Nordic Almond Caramel Cake

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I was googling for recipes for this traditional Finnish almond caramel cake which I've known all my life. We call it Tosca cake, because we are very sophisticated like that. Operatically and classical musically. You know, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Pekka Kuusisto and Jean-Pekka Sibelius. No, not really. Just Jean.


Tosca Cake with crispy almond caramel topping

Tosca Cake - a Nordic Almond Caramel CakeEven our metal heads, many of them also called Pekka, are classically trained like the ubercool Apocalyptica who I am dragging poor husband to see next spring when they are playing Metallica on their cellos in Roayl Festival Hall.

But then, what did I see. Lots of links to Swedish Tosca cake. Did they have to steal this too. Was it not enough they took our meatballs and cinnamon buns. And Marimekko. Arja Saijonmaa we don't mind, they're welcome to her.

Anyway, we are used to this of course, the Swedes always getting the better deal, bluer eyes, longer legs and blonder hair, better pay and bigger cars, happier marriages and healthier coronary arteries, more internationally successful pop-bands, although some slightly less rock'n'roll than ours as helpfully demonstrated below.

The Herreys the cutest boyband ever
The Herreys from Sweden - see what I'm saying - even their shoes are golden. Apparently diggiloodiggiley everyone is looking at them (a Finn's nightmare) as they dance with wings on their backs on the streets in their golden shoes while the heavens are opening and the whole world is smiling. I can't see that happenining to a Finn, much more likely to be hit in the head with an empty beer bottle and a dead pig while queueing for their antidepressants. 
Apocalyptica - Finnish metal on celos
Apocalyptica - I quite like a man with long hair and a string instrument.And if someone's not wearing a shirt, 
I'm not going to hold it against them. It's not like they have golden shoes and stuff. 
BTW none of their songs contain words starting with "diggi".
Of course it's not a competition and we are brothers and all that and we do think the Swedes are awfully cute with their happy tunes and pastel colours.

So Tosca cake then, I wanted to make this for a charity bake sale at work. I don't always get my act together to participate, but this time it is in memory of a colleague, so I wanted to contribute. I made three of these Tosca cakes (I doubled the recipe and used slightly smaller pans than in the recipe. And I made a Finnish bundt with Christmas spices, I think it's high time we start to celebrate Christmas.

For both I made little tasting versions for husband because I don't want him to feel left out, and also I wanted him to be the judge as to whether they are good enough to burden my very lovely colleagues with. I don't want to eat a lot of cakes myself because I just bought a lovely pair of very tight trousers, which I very much would like to be able to wear without looking like a pig on two legs, which is what one of my brothers used to call me, the psychopath, so this is where a husband comes in handy. Not only does he eat the cakes, but also loves me as I am. I think he even loves me more if the pants are a bit on the tight side.

And I am not a thoroughly reliable baker, so it's important to include some quality assurance in the process, I remember producing a completely flat green buttermilk cake for my Dad's work bake sale once. I still don't understand how it could turn green. Not just  slighlty greenish but lurid fluorescent green.

Finnish Tosca cakes and a bundt cake with Christmas spices

The beauty of the Tosca cake is of course the gorgeous topping, which is added during the baking so it seeps into the cake and forms a fantastic shiny slightly crispy layer on top. The cake also freezes well. It was a huge success at the bake sale, all three gone in no time. The Christmas spiced bundt was fantastic too apparently.

I focused on the savoury stuff and got the biggest and baddest scotch egg I have ever had made by one of our lovely warehouse guys. It was made with a pickled egg inside, I love pickled eggs! The whole thing was the size of a large baby's head. Burb.


Scotch egg with pickled egg
The egg inside is normal size so it gives you and idea of the amount of saausage surrounding it. Can you hear the egg screaming for help? Lemme out!
Finnish Tosca cakes and a bundt cake with Christmas spices

Finnish Tosca-cake (recipe from valio.fi)

As it's a Finnish recipe the measuments are metric.

Cake:
2 eggs
1 ½  dl sugar
2 ½  dl plain flour
1 ½  tsp baking powder
½  dl milk
150 g butter (melted)

Topping:
50 g butter
75 g flaked almonds
1 dl sugar
½  dl cream
1 tbsp plain flour

Butter a 22 cm loose base cake tin and cover the base with round piece of baking sheet.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they form a light foam. Mix the flour with baking powder, and mix the milk and melted butter and pour both in while lightly continuing to whisk
Pour into the cake tin. Bake in 175C for 25 minutes.

Add all the topping ingredients in a saucepan. Mix and let bubble slowly until the mix thickens a little. Take the cake from the oven and spread the topping on the cake.  Continue to bake in 200C for 10 minutes until the top is nice and light brown.

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