swedish almond cake
Updated: Tue, 2 February, 2021
Swedish almond cake called Toscakaka is easy and delightful; the recipe based on Dan Lepard's book Short and Sweet.
Swedish cooking? Oh yes
Swedish cuisine is unfairly thought to be just a melange of rolmops and meatballs. It is an ignorant and discriminatory attitude because the Swedes have a ton of extremely interesting dishes in their culinaria.
But like all the other north Europeans, they are scorned for not having things cooked with olive oil and artichokes. Those critics could stop and think that it's no big deal cooking tasty stuff with gorgeous produce: try and cook a fine dinner with cabbage.
And they do that in Sweden: kalpudding is a meatloaf made from cabbage and it's properly delishhh.
Swedish cakes are lovely
And they are no mean cake bakers. There is kladdkaka, a sort of Scandi death by chocolate. There is fantomen cake, a heavenly concoction of chocolate base and coconut topping (not sure why it's called 'phantom' as it's very real and quite hefty) - and there's this.
This is called Toscakaka in Swedish. Or perhaps Toscatårta, but I doubt it as all the sweets in Sweden are kakas. A Swedish soft (mjuk!) butter cake (kaka!) with a caramel almond topping.
Toscakaka, the Tosca cake
So when I first encountered Toscakaka, I very naively imagined that ‘tosca’ would mean ‘almonds’ in Swedish. A very wrong guess – it is, rather grandiosely, named after Puccini’s opera. Such a simple cake? Those Swedes? A little cake feeling self-important! But then I remembered that we have Victoria sponge which will teach no foreigner new words for ‘jam’ or 'cream’.
Tosca cake is a very nice little number and I apologise to all Swedes if it sounds a little condescending. It is not my belief that simple, whip-things-together-and-mix-a-little recipes are inferior, by any means. With very little effort you can achieve smashing results; just look at midnight oil cake or the raisin cake. They are gorgeous and they are my firm favourites.
Tosca is still a LITTLE number (in 18cm tin unless you scale it up), easy to whip up in 15 minutes plus the baking time.
How to make Tosca almond cake
It's a standard cake batter made by beating eggs with sugar, followed by flour and melted butter. So far, so ordinary sponge. The beauty of it is that it can be made days ahead, stored in the fridge and then turned into a proper pudding.
The topping of almond flakes, butter and cream cooks in minutes into light almondy caramel and tops the baked sponge.
You can blast it under the grill for a couple of minutes or, if all is made on the same day, hike the oven up and return the cake there, topped. Served warm, with a dollop of cream, yoghurt or ice cream it will be a bullseye of a dessert.
swedish almond cakeServings: 8Time: 50 minutes
- 50g (31⁄2 tbsp.) butter
- 2 eggs
- 100g (1⁄2 cup) caster sugar
- seeds scraped off 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. double cream
- 100g (scant cup) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- For the topping:
- 30g (21⁄2 tbsp.) butter
- 75g (2⁄3 cup) flaked almonds
- 25g (2 tbsp.) caster sugar
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp. double cream
1. Prepare a small 18cm (7in.) flan or cake tin by brushing it with some of the melted butter. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/gas 4.
2. Melt the butter in a small pan. Beat the eggs with the sugar until thick. Add the vanilla and the cream and beat well in. Add the flour mixed with the baking powder and beat in, followed by the butter.
3. Spoon the mix into the tin and bake for 25 minutes until barely firm.
4. Melt the butter for the topping in a small pan, add the almonds, flour, sugar and the cream and mix until bubbling.
5. Take the cake out of the oven and turn the heat up to 200C/400F/gas 6.
6. Spoon the almond mix over the cake and return it to the oven for 7-10 minutes.
7. Remove from the tin and serve while warm, ideally with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of lightly whipped cream.