Toffee Layer Cake

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For mother’s day this year, my little sister and I decided the best way to celebrate would be, of course, with food. For a while now, we’ve had this amazing Norwegian cookbook that I’ve been eyeing. And what better way to tell mom “I love you” than by secretly baking her a layered, decadent, delicious toffee cake?

It was really, really delicious. It was somewhat labor-intensive, but if you have a special occasion and are searching for the perfect dessert to celebrate it with, this cake is both extremely attractive and intensely delicious. The toffee on top consists of little more than cream, butter and raw cane sugar, and the spongy layers spread with whipped cream and a smidgen of apricot jam are crumbly and saturated in flavor. It was a bit of a self-serving gift, I’ll admit, as I wanted to consume just as much as Mom did. But it was a clear success, and completed one of the happiest and most delicious mother’s day dinners I’ve had in a while.

(P.S. The fancier pictures with the black background are Caty’s; the other one is mine from the day of. She would also like it to be known she contributed to this recipe by eating some of the leftover cake. And then some more.)

So, without further ado:

Toffee Layer Cake

From the Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mink

Layers
4 eggs
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Topping
1.5 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
4 teaspoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch springform pan.

2. Put the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk with a handheld electric whisk until the mixture is foamlike. This will take up to 10 minutes. When it is ready, it will be very pale, have doubled in size, and the batter will drop off the beaters in a figure eight when you lift them out of the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, sift the baking powder, flour, and cornstarch together, then fold into the egg mixture.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool for a further 20 minutes.

5. To decorate, whip half the whipping cream until quite firm.

6. Cut the cake horizontally through the middle to make two equal layers. Lay one layer on a cake stand and sprinkle half the milk over itto moisten it. It is best to start from the edge and work toward the center. Spread the apricot jam on top, then spread half the whipped cream over that. Place the second layer of cake on top, then sprinkle the ramaining juice or milk over it.

7. To make a toffee frosting, put the sugar and remaining unwhipped cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until it thickens. Add the butter and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the toffee over the cake, using a spatula dipped in hot water to spread it evenly, if necessary. Spread the remaining whipped cream neatly over the side of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before serving, to allow the toffee to set.

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