Today is Sugar High Friday again, the fourth edition. This time, it's hosted by Viv of Seattle Bon Vivant, and the theme: nuts!
I was thrilled to hear that. I love nuts. Off a dessert menu, I always go for the nuts. In baking, I love to include them. Nuts. Yum. All kinds of nuts, please!
I have a special recipe that I want to share with you today. It's one that I make a lot, as it's my dad's favorite. The recipe comes from my grandmother's old cookbook (aptly named "the big cookbook". It's indeed, big.) that she got for christmas 1953. It's called a Tosca cake, and it's basically a fairly heavy sponge with a caramel nut topping. I make this for my dad on many occasions - for Father's Day, for christmas, for his birthday, to take out on the boat... It's his fave. Last time I made it was in November, to celebrate that he had had his teeth re-done. He had a very long and involved procedure, and was unable to chew hard things - like nuts - for half a year. What better than a nut-filled cake to celebrate, then?
I was going to make one today, too. And I was going to take a picture. That didn't quite work out the way I had planned. Instead, I went off to friends for dinner, and had a wonderfully delicious dessert that I must get the recipe for. But it didn't involve nuts, so enough about that for now. Here's MY recipe - which is not exactly the same as in grandmother's cookbook, as I like a lot more topping than the original recipe called for. Also, the original just uses flaked almonds on the top. I like a mix of flaked almonds, chopped almonds and hazelnuts.
125 g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 g flour
2 Tbsp heavy cream
100-125 g butter
50 g butter
50 g flaked almonds
100 g coarsely chopped almonds
100 g coarsely chopped hazelnuts
100 g sugar
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp heavy cream or milk
Start with the base. Heat an oven to 175 degrees. (350F) Butter and flour a suitable baking form, I use a normal 9-inch springform. Melt the butter. Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the baking powder and the flour. (Preferrably, use a sieve.) Add the cream, and the slightly cooled melted butter, and mix carefully but gently. Pour in the prepared pan, and bake for about 30 minutes. It should have some color, but still be a bit wobbly.
Meanwhile, make the topping. It's easy. Melt the butter. Add all the nuts, the cream (or milk - that works too), the flour and the sugar. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Spread the topping over the cake while still in its pan, and put back in the oven until the topping has turned a gorgeous light golden color. This takes 15 minutes or so. Also check that the cake is done, by inserting a cake tester, it should come out clean.
Let cool on a rack, remove from pan, enjoy with coffee or a glass of fresh lemonade.