I enjoyed my Almond and Coconut Sponge so much that I decided the cake recipe needed to be used again, but with a different filling and topping.
Caramel, a nice thick one, seemed ideal. I also decided to make a square cake, rather than a round one, so although the cake recipe is identical I used an 8 inch square cake tin rather than a 9 inch round one.
The cake is very easy to make and ends up as a wonderfully light sponge with a awesome flavour of almonds.
Making the caramel frosting, which ends up with a slightly grainy texture, is a bit fiddly and takes a while. As I was pouring my caramelised sugar into the other indgredients it hardened, but then softened and dissolved nicely at the cream mixture heated up. It would have been better to pour the other ingredients into the caramel as it was still on the heat, but I used a wide pan to make the caramel and needed a saucpan to finish off.
But it turned out fine in the end, and the resulting frosting is a very sweet caramel flavour.
Once the cake was frosted I cut and tasted it. The almond sponge is light and simply delicious, complemented by the thicky, fudge-like caramel frosting.
This is well worth making, all the effort is rewarded with a lovely cake.
For the cake:
- 6 medium(large in USA) eggs, room temperature, separated in to yolks and whites)
- Pinch of salt
- 200g sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 125g plain flour
- 1 tsp (5g) almond extract
- 500g granulated sugar
- 70g granulated sugar, to caramelise
- 240ml double cream
- 15g plain flour
- 226g softened butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 170C/150C Fan/340F Grease and line bottom and sides of an 8 inch square cake tin (or a 9 inch (round one) with parchment paper.
- Separate egg whites from yolks. Add a pinch of salt over the whites and start mixing until foamy.
- Gradually add sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- In a small bowl mix egg yolks with almond extract and fold them into the whipped whites.
- Mix the ground almonds and the flour together and gradually(in three parts) fold into the egg mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin and allowing to cool completely.
- Heat 70g of granulated sugar in a heavy bottomed pan, until it melts and turns a nice golden brown. Watch all the time as it is easy to burn it.
- Mix the cream, flour sugar and almond extract together and pour into the caramel, stirring all the time.
- Heat until the temperature reaches 114C/238F(if the caramel solidifies dont worry, keep stirring and it will dissolve again as the temperature rises).
- Take off the heat and add half the butter, stirring until it is melted.
- Allow the caramel sauce to cool until it is about 43C/110F then whisk with a hand mixer(or in a stand mixer) for about 10 minutes. The mixture will crystalise somewhat.
- Add the remaining softened butter and whisk again until for a further 5 minutes
- Cut the cake into two even thickness layers.
- Spread some of the caramel frosting onto the bottom layer.
- Place the second layer on top and then frost all over with the remaining frosting. You may want a bowl of hot water ready in case you need to heat the spatula to help spreading as the frosting firms up as it cools.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours, to let the frosting really firm up well, before serving.