The sweetest Christmas: Annie Bell’s Toscakaka (caramel almond cake)

Allegedly named after Puccini’s opera Tosca, this is a heavenly mix of almond sponge with an almond caramel top – Scandinavia’s answer to sticky toffee pudding.

caramel almond cake
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 8

FOR THE CAKE
80g salted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
90g golden caster sugar
A couple of drops of almond extract
2 medium eggs
70g plain flour, sifted
1 heaped tsp baking powder, sifted
30g ground almonds

FOR THE TOPPING
75g salted butter
75g light brown sugar
1 heaped tbsp plain flour, sifted
3 tbsp whole milk
75g toasted flaked almonds

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and grease a 20cm springform cake tin that is at least 4cm deep.
  2. For the cake, cream the butter, sugar and almond extract together in a food processor, add the eggs one at a time, then the flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Transfer the mixture to the tin, smoothing the surface, then bake for 25 minutes.
  3. About 10 minutes before the end of this time, prepare the caramel topping. Gently melt the butter with the sugar, flour and milk in a small saucepan and simmer until smooth, whisking to disperse any small lumps, then stir in the almonds.
  4. Spread this over the top of the cake and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the caramel and almonds darken slightly. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave it to cool, before removing the collar. It will keep well for several days, loosely covered.

Food styling: Sarah Hardy. Prop styling: Max Robinson