Saturday, August 17, 2013
caramel almond cake.
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder." There's no denying it. It has been an incredibly stressful week and I've been yearning to just dig in to a huge pile of desserts and sugarcoat the stress. This morning I got up and headed straight for the kitchen. The girl needs her cake, and she's gonna get some. Thankfully, I had none of the baking mishaps that usually happen when I bake as soon as I awake, and I had this wonderful looking and smelling cake cooling on the baking rack in two hours or so.
When I finally got to cut a slice for myself (a modest one I swear, at least the first one) and swallow the first forkful, I felt like I was suspended in a temporary dimension where all was calm and good- incredibly cliche with "is this heaven?" feeling going on but the truth is the truth. I don't think it's just because I was sorely missing cake that made it taste so good, even if I had been eating cake every single day I would love this to death.
The sponge was so buttery and moist (it looked so moist to the extent that I thought that I had underbaked it), and the caramel topping, oh the caramel topping, it tasted like caramel popcorn, sans the popcorn of course. It was buttery, caramelly and sweet with a hint of saltiness; the topmost layer of almond flakes was crunchy and toasty; and some of the caramelly goodness seeped into the top half of the sponge itself. Oh yes and I must mention that the caramel has coffee in it. Caramel and coffee is the. best. combination. ever. Guys, it is one of the best cakes I've made and eaten this year. And I'm bolding this for effect, yes.
I ate a third of this cake, just saying. Okay fine it was a 6 inch cake but still.
Toscakaka (Caramel Almond Cake)
adapted from here
makes a 9 inch cake
For the cake:
75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
For the topping:
150g flaked almonds, toasted and cooled
125g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp espresso powder (or 1 tsp, for a stronger coffee flavour)
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a deep 9 inch round cake pan.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and thick. Meanwhile, sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Sieve 1/3 of the flour mixture over the egg mixture, fold in gently. Fold in half the milk until incorporated. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the milk and the last of the flour mixture. Finally, drizzle in half of the melted butter, fold, the fold in the remaining butter.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and set. When 15 minutes have passed, make the topping.
Combine the almond flakes, butter, brown sugar, milk, salt and espresso powder in a saucepan. Heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly.
Remove the cake from the oven; turn the temperature up to 400F. Pour the topping evenly over the cake and return the cake to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the glaze is dark brown and bubbly. Cool for a few minutes in the pan before loosening the sides with a knife and placing the unmolded cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.