Perhaps the greatest tragedy of my young marriage is that Tom hates cake. He despises icing – says it tastes “like sugary nothing” – and generally turns up his nose at all manner of cupcakes, layer cakes, and worst of all, birthday cakes. This left me in quite a predicament Monday when he had a pretty momentous birthday.
I won’t tell you what age he is now but let’s just say he’s older than Lindsay Lohan and younger than Beyonce.
Anyway, growing up he ate all kinds of exotic, international foods and he’s been yammering on about something called Tosca Cake for years now. He says it’s Swedish, Norwegians say it’s, well, Norwegian, but why split hairs? It’s a moist butter cake (BUTTER CAKE!) topped with an almondy praline coating…it didn’t sound too bad regardless of where it originated. I was worried about where I’d put the candles.
Turns out Tosca Cake is totally delicious, ridiculously decadent and so birthday-unspecific you can have it any time of year. With coffee! With the in-laws! With a defibrillator! So there’s a lot of butter. Don’t eat the whole cake yourself and you’ll be fine.
Everyone knows any calories you ingest on your birthday don’t count, anyway.
recipe adapted from Outside Oslo
For the Cake:
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
3 tbsp. milk
For the topping:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds (baking section at the store)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure the rack is right in the middle. Spray an approximately 9″ springform pan (you could also use a really deep pie plate but you’d have to leave it in there) with cooking spray. Beat the eggs with a mixer for about 2 minutes or until they’re lighter in color and foamy. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat together until combined.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder (use a sifter if you’ve got one) then use a spoon to stir the flour mixture into the batter. Add the milk to your melted butter and stir together. Now mix the butter and milk with the batter until combined. Pour the batter into your pan and bake until almost done – a knife won’t quite come out clean and the middle will be slightly mushy. Mine took about 22 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and crank the temperature up to broil.
3. Immediately start the topping. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat and add the almonds, stirring constantly. Add the heavy cream and sugar, up the heat to high, and stir with a wooden spoon for several minutes. The mixture will get thick like honey and turn cloudy and slightly darker. Pour the topping over the cake then put back in the oven for about 3-5 minutes or until the topping gets golden and a little bubbly.
Be sure to let the cake cool completely before you take it out of the springform pan. I served it with whipped cream which actually cut the sweetness really well. You could add strawberries too, if you felt fancy.