My aunt, Estelle, lives in Delhi and is one of the best cooks I've ever met. Every time I go to Delhi I gain about 10 pounds just from eating her delicious food! She is Goan, but grew up largely in Gujarat. Her parents ran a hotel in Gujarat and were prolific chefs who made everything from traditional Goan food to continental delicacies. This love and passion for food has been passed down to my aunt. Whenever I'm in Delhi I eat everything from Goan prawn curry to English scones with clotted cream and jam! It's an absolute delight.
A few years ago when I went to visit her, she had whipped up a delicious almond cake. I was completely obsessed with it. Over the course of my four day visit I polished off nearly three-quarters of the cake. It was rich, buttery, nutty, and absolutely delicious. The cake is a simple buttery creation, with a nice dense crumb. It is topped with an almost praline like crust. You can see how one could polish off the entire thing! I, of course, begged her for the recipe and stupidly waited a few years before I first made the cake.
The cake is easy to whip up and makes an impressive and quick pantry dessert. I actually made this for the first time a few weeks ago for a potluck dinner with some of my neonatology residents. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the cake that I remembered in the taste buds of my memory. I then realized my great mistake! Estelle aunty lives in Delhi and cooks with Indian butter! Indian butter is made in the style of European butter which typically has about 5% more butter than American butter. For my next go at this cake I went out and bought salted, European style butter from the store and the cake was infinitely better. I highly recommend using European butter instead of the American. I also recommend making this cake. It's delicious, rich, and addictive. As an accompaniment to the cake I whipped up some raspberry whipped cream. It was a tart, sweet, and rich complement to the cake. Enjoy!
Adapted from a recipe by Estelle Aunty, serves 1-12
For the Tosca:
2/3 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. salted, European-style butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder, sifted
2 oz salted, European-style butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup chopped almonds
1 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. milk
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp lemon zest
For the Raspberry Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 oz raspberries
4 Tbsp. powdered sugar, divided
Fresh raspberries for garnish
Make the Cake:
Preheat the butter to 325 F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Beat the eggs, vanilla, and sugar together in a stand mixer until the mixture is opaque and creamy looking. Sift together the baking powder and the flour. Add the dry ingredients and milk in turns to the egg and sugar mixture ending with the flour. Drizzle in the butter while stirring.
Pour the mixture into the springform pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. While the cake is baking make the almond topping.
Make the topping:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the almonds and toast until they are aromatic. Add the sugar, flour, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest to the mixture and stir well.
Put it all together:
Remove the cake from the oven and carefully pour the almond topping on top of the cake, spreading it so that it covers all of the cake. Place the cake back in the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the outer ring of the springform pan.
Make the whipped cream:
Place the raspberries in a large sieve and mash to extract as much juice as possible from the fruit. Add 2 Tbsp. of the powdered sugar to the raspberry puree, or more or less depending on how sweet your raspberries are.
Place the whipped cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the cream until frothy and thick. Add the remaining two tablespoons of the powdered sugar to the whipped cream and continue to whisk until the whipped cream is thicker. Drizzle in the raspberry puree and continue to whisk until the whipped cream holds soft peaks.
Slice the cake and serve with a dollop of raspberry whipped cream and a few fresh raspberries. Enjoy!