Yes, all good things come to an end at some point. In my case what ended was my job at the Nordic Bakery but I left there with very fond memories, my colleagues, the atmosphere, the food…
One of the staples at the café (for it is more a café than a bakery) is the Tosca Cake, which I thought at first was Swedish but no, it turns out that it is Norwegian. One day, when we had a mini-crisis as we had run out of flaked almonds to make it, my very good friend Sini, who is now the manager there, told me not to panic as Tosca simply meant crunchy so, technically, you can still do it with any type of chopped nuts and have an authentic Tosca. So feel free to replace the almonds with any other chopped nut you have handy (except, maybe peanuts).
Toscakake adapted from The Food and Cooking of Norway by Janet Laurence
50g/2oz/4 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz/1 cup plain flour
7.5ml/1 ½ tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
150g/5oz/¾ cup caster sugar
For the topping:
115g/4oz/½ cup butter, softened
150g/5oz/1 ¼ cups blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
115g/4oz/generous ½ cup caster sugar
30ml/2tbsp. plain flour
30ml/2tbsp single cream or milk
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Butter and line the base and sides of 20cm/8in round cake tin (pan) with baking parchment. Melt the butter and leave to cool. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until thick and pale and then gradually whisk in the sugar until the mixture falls in a thick ribbon. Fold in the flour mixture and the cooled butter.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and tap lightly on a work surface to settle the mixture. Bake the cake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until just before the cake is cooked, when it is almost firm to the touch but needs another few minutes not to sink if removed from the heat.
4. Leave the cake in the oven and prepare the topping. Place the butter, almonds, sugar, flour and cream or milk in a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the butter has melted, then continue heating the mixture until it just reaches boiling point.
5. Preheat the grill (broiler) to medium-hot. Remove the cake carefully from the oven and spread the topping over the top, making sure that all the cake is covered. Place under the grill until the topping is golden brown, watching that the sides of the cake don’t burn. (I find that rotating the cake tin in the oven a little, helps) Stand the tin on a rack so that air can pass underneath, and leave to cool before carefully removing the cake from the tin.