(and eaten!) cakes topped with caramelized almonds in several countries
in the world, but never took a try at one myself. I love anything covered
with crunchy, nutty, caramel (Including the famed Chez
Panisse almond tart), and after dreaming about the many
variations of this that I’ve tried, the time seemed right to finally
tackle making one myself.
I tried a
few similar cakes, one from a newer cookbook that didn’t work. After
baking the cake with the almond topping for over an hour, I was still
left with a bone-dry scattering of sugary almonds over a rather expensive
batter that was loaded with almond paste and butter. I can find a use for
anything, rather than throw it away, but it wasn’t even good for a
trifle. It’s now compost and hope that it comes back as something more
successful for someone else.
This is one
cake you won’t toss. In fact, after I ate one-quarter of it by myself the
day I made it, I passed half of it off to a neighbor. (I still kept one
more quarter of it for me, though.)
I saw this
many years ago on Poires au
chocolat, a lovely (and now defunct) blog from a
lovely young woman in Switzerland, Emma, who I met when we spoke
together on a panel in Europe. It’s called Toscakaka, adapted from Scandilicious
Baking by Signe Johansen. And it’s the cake of my dreams.