Toscakaka (or toscakakku in Finnish) is a dear childhood memory of mine, but sadly after the invasion of American style baking with cookies, super-rich-brownies and over-the-top-cupcakes this traditional part of fika (which means to have a coffee break with a sweet treat) has been almost forgotten. I can’t even remember the last time I was served this cake. Toscakaka along with marble cake (which we called tiikerikakku, translating to “tiger cake”) was probably the most common cake baked for guests when I was young and it was everyone’s favourite.
Last week after getting nostalgic with the buttermilk cake I got a craving for toscakaka, and with a small caution decided to bake it again. I was a bit afraid that, as with many childhood favourites, maybe the cake would not be as good as my memory of the amazing taste of it, and would be disappointed. After calling for my mother for the recipe and making a mess in the kitchen, I found out that my worries were unnecessary: it is at least as good as I remembered. Actually even better: I started to wonder why I hadn’t baked it before. My husband came home and his first words were: “Yay, toscakaka!”, then “Oh my God this is good!” and lastly “Can I have another piece?”
Toscakaka has a delicious and moist spongy cake in the bottom covered with almond and caramel topping. It’s very easy to make, can be stored in the fridge or even put in a freezer (although I doubt there won’t be anything left at our house to freeze, it is so good). If you do decide to freeze it or a part of it though, take it out a day before serving and let it thaw in the fridge, so that it won’t get soggy.
Traditionally toscakaka is made in a cake pan, but I’ve always liked the topping the most and wanted to maximize the amount of it versus the cake itself. That’s why I made my cake into more of a pie by spreading it out over the whole baking tray and doubling the amount of the almond caramel topping. If you want to make a cake instead follow the instructions for the cake, put it into a cake pan (you should probably bake it in the oven a bit longer as it’s thicker) and make only half of the topping to spread over the cake.
And lastly: If you don’t have a problem with eating wheat, just substitute the flours (corn meal, coconut flour and potato starch) I used with 5 dl of all-purpose flour.
Toscakaka – Almond Caramel Cake
4 eggs (preferably room temperature)
3 dl caster sugar
3 dl corn meal
2 dl coconut flour
1 dl potato starch (corn starch works as well)
1 Tbsp. baking powder (yes, really, 1 Tbsp., it’s not a typo)
200 g butter (melted)
1 dl double cream
Almond Caramel Topping
200 g (about 7 dl) almond flakes
100 g butter
2 dl brown sugar
1 dl double cream
1 tsp sea salt
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Add all the dry ingredients and fold them into the mixture. Lastly add the cream and butter; mix until well combined, and spread the mixture evenly over the lined baking tray. Bake the cake in the oven for 12 minutes. The cake should be only half-done at this point.
While the cake is baking, prepare the topping by putting all the ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to boil stirring the mixture constantly. Try not to crush the almond flakes while stirring. Cook for a couple of minutes until the sugar has melted, but the mixture is still runny.
Take the cake out of the oven, spread the topping over it and put back for another 15 minutes, or until the almonds are golden brown and the cake is thoroughly baked. Let the cake cool before serving. It tastes best when served at room temperature. You can serve it as it is or with whipped cream or a ball of vanilla ice cream.