tosca cake

for reasons too many to mention, i no longer have the opportunity to cook with BBC world service on in the background. nor do i have pleasure (and so often pleasure through pain) of the dulcet tones of LNL, as i calmly cream my butter and sugar. good thing too probably. its not necessarily a healthy pastime for a young girl. what this means however, is there is an intellectual void. sometimes its more like a gaping chasm into which, if im not careful, im liable to plummet. in order to avoid (albeit narrowly) this obstacle, i have started to obsess over the task at hand. an unprecedented attention to detail seems to be the fortuitous product of the survival instinct of my brain. an unlikely predicament for someone with acute attention deficit tendencies such as myself…after all, i didnt get asked to leave starlab because i was concentrating too hard. but i have, as always, by default, found a way to focus intently on the task before me. (with the obvious exception of the bit where, realising i had misplaced the base of my existing cake tin, i had to rush out to the understocked and underwhelming supermarket to purchase a lesser 22 inch cake tin…it works but not as well). what got my undivided attention in this particular instance, on this particular evening, was an almond cake. a very special cake on account of it not being at all cake like. because, i ask you, what child of the 21st century really wants to eat cake? but this is to cake what the friand is to the muffin, what the tartlet is to the tart, and what the cupcake is to all the posers in the world. its delicate, its mostly crisp with a soft base that cakens it but doesnt weigh things down. so i bring you an almond cake entitled tosca’s cake. which was given to a very special lady…from whence it was finally liberated by myself, with the help of a very sleepy spoon.


125g softened butter

90g cater sugar

90g self-raising flour

1/2tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 eggs separated

2tbsp milk

topping ingredients

125g flaked almonds

90g butter melted

90g sugar

1tbsp plain flour

preheat the oven to 180 degrees. butter and flour a 26cm springform cake tin. cream the butter and sugar together til soft and fluffy. beat in the egg yolks and then add the milk.

sift in the flour, cinnamon and salt and fold this together

whisk the egg whites til stiff peaks

fold whisked egg whites into the mix

pour into the tin. smooth it over. it wont look like a lot but that is a good thing. bake for 20-30 minutes until cake is just firm.

while the cake is in the oven make the glorious topping. mix almonds, butter and sugar in a small saucepan.

stir in flour and cream. stir this over a gentle heat until amalgamated.

when the cake is ready, it should be just firm to the touch. remove from the oven.

immediately bring the topping to the boil. pour this over the cake and spread in an even layer

bake this for 10-15mins – until the top is golden brown.

let cool in tin for 10 minutes until the top is crisp. then remove and serve.


8 Responses to “tosca cake”

  1. 1 stipple effect April 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    beautiful, wonderous, magnficent.
    without wanting to undermine that very accurate description of this post, i do have one or two minor queries:
    first of all, and most importantly: would it be possible to hear more about this sleepy spoon? what sort of a man is he? he sounds as beautiful, wonderous and magnificent as this very post, perhaps even more so. could we have a post just about him? or even a dedicated blog? i’m understand that many in the fatb (fasting at the banquet) community feel similarly.
    secondly: is there an hilarious anecdote to which your starlab reference alludes? as with more information about this sleepy spoon, elaboration would be appreciated. if only for the nostalgia.
    laterly, isn’t it l&l? check with dath, i’m pretty sure its l AND l.

    • 2 schlepseleh April 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      spoon is a quiet type. a man of few words. those which he does utter are good and wise. he likes to bathe…he finds the warm water soothes his persistent, crippling skin condition and his sores take well to bubbles. oftentimes he sleeps and when he is required to remain conscious he can be found in foetal position, licking his wounds, rocking forth and back. he is known for his high-rosk trapeze act, in which his only form of balance is a flock of namibian boa constrictors. boy-a do they constrict! for further information relating to spoon please see your local doctor and if spoon persists, contact the authorities immediately. sectioning may be required.

  2. 3 pose April 28, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    i will begin this post with a few short words of apology to the auteur (well, they may more correctly be called an excuse but no need to dillydally with semantics.) my reading of this blog, over the shoulders of one whose comments grace its pages regularly, has been giggle-ridden and hunger-pang-inducing; a rather enjoyable experience. i have, until now, found in the sounds of my own laughter only a reminder that witty commenting is not my forte. however, for the love of: serve upon serve of plum and almond tart, bites of chocolate espresso goodness, multiple slices of carousel birthday cake and the hope of future collaborations on raspberry and pear crunchy top muffins, i will forget all that. and now that i have written a veritable essay i shall rein in my rant, in the knowledge that i will return soon with a more manageable postlet of a note.

    • 4 schlepseleh April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      only now does it feel like this intimate band of mentalists, degenerates, devotees, loved ones (who also fall into the first camp), and laccross stick wielding psychopaths, labeled by some as “the community”, is truly complete. and this makes me very very happy. also i have never had, much less made, a pear and raspberry muffin and the very thought is sublime. would that i had known earlier…spoon was probably asleep at the time. mores the pity. but mainly lovely things you say.

  3. 5 smoo April 28, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    More tantalising by the minute. In every way. I look forward to visiting your blog at least daily for its entertainment and inspiration. I’ve even borrowed a pasta maker. But, sadly, I haven’t yet found a sleepy spoon. But I do often stumble across a sleepy berry.

  4. 6 Berry April 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Indeed, some would say sleepiness is one of my greatest strengths. Others would say tray-greasing. Whatever your position on the matter, we can all agree my chocolate chopping is second to none.

  5. 7 schlepseleh April 29, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    to add to this ever-expanding list of what berry does well: you juice an excellent orange, you peel core and chop 20 apples with aplomb (all the while fully engaged in inspector rex, and yet never faltering), youre no gayboots but your ability to cream is top notch, and my god you make a beautiful chocolate pretzel

  6. 8 farkinell May 3, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    OMG! Just plain awful! How could any serious cook give such an important role to this kind of singing teapot (with all respect to singing teapots!)? The rest was not even sufficiently adequate. It’s a pity the production looked a bit drab. I remember it from years ago and it is a nice serious “Tosca”.

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