Tosca Cake

1:41 am on 26 September 2008

In this Scandinavian recipe, an orange butter sponge is finished with a grilled caramel almond topping. The cake is light enough to enjoy warm for a birthday morning tea or lunch, or may be served for dessert with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. When the first local strawberries arrive, serve a bowl of strawberries and cream with the cake.

(Serves 8)


  • 50g butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 125g standard flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • half cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 185C. Take a 22cm diameter round cake tin, preferably loose-bottomed or springform. Lightly butter the inside of the tin and sprinkle with a little flour. (The cake mixture will be runny, so it is important that your loose-bottomed cake tin is in good enough condition not to leak. If you have any doubts, use a standard cake tin instead.)

Put the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the milk. Set aside. Break the eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl and add the caster and brown sugar and the grated orange zest. Use an electric beater to whisk until very thick and creamy. Sift the flour and baking powder together and whisk lightly into the mixture, followed by the butter and milk mixture. Immediately pour the runny mixture into the cake tin and put in the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges of the cake start to pull away from the sides of the tin and the middle of the cake is springy when pressed with your finger.

While the cake is baking, prepare the topping by mixing all the ingredients in a small saucepan over gentle heat. Heat until the mixture has bubbled for 2-3 minutes. When the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and turn the oven to fan-grill, or grill. Carefully spread the topping over the top of the cake and put the cake back in the oven for about 5 minutes until the topping had bubbled to a speckled golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes. Before removing the cake from the tin, run a knife or spatula around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Serve warm or cool. The cooled cake may be stored in an airtight plastic container at room temperature for a few days.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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