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apricot and almond cake with a cinnamon topping



Christmas heralds the all too brief apricot season. I spent Christmas in Brisbane and when I returned home to Sydney, I spied some beautiful apricots in the fruit shop. I came home with a dozen, determined to turn them into an apricot cake. 



I looked through my copy of 
the Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander and came across the Mieze's plum cake recipe. I've made something similar to this before and wondered how it would work if I used apricots instead? I found an apricot and almond cake recipe in Sweet, which looked very similar to the plum cake recipe, so decided to give it a go.



I made the cake and took it with me to our New Year's Eve beach picnic which unfortunately was washed out. I left without trying a piece of the cake and decided to make it again, this time for my work colleagues.


Here's the recipe for you which makes an 8 inch cake. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Apricot and almond cake with a cinnamon topping (adapted from Stephanie Alexander recipe for Mieze’s Plum Cake) 

Topping 
5-6 large apricots halved and stoned 
50g caster sugar 
½ tsp ground cinnamon 
30g unsalted butter 
pinch salt 
1 large egg 
25g ground almonds 

Cake 
125g unsalted butter, softened 
100g caster sugar 
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon  
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 large eggs 
70g self-raising flour 
70g plain flour 
Pinch salt 
1-tbs milk or yoghurt 

Method
To make the topping, combine the sugar, cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle one tbs of the cinnamon sugar over the cut surface of the apricots. Set to one side. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the remaining cinnamon sugar and salt. Stir to combine, and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stir through the beaten egg and set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease an 8 inch/20cm round spring-form tin and line with baking paper. Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Sift the flours and salt into another bowl, reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients to the creamed mix. The mixture should be of a dropping consistency so if the mixture is looking too dry add a tablespoon or 2 of milk or yoghurt.  

Spoon the batter into prepared tin (it should not fill more than a quarter of the depth, as the cake rises a great deal), smooth the top and sprinkle over ground almonds. Arrange the apricot halves on top, cut side facing up, starting around the outside edge of the tin and working towards the centre, then spoon the cinnamon topping over and around the apricots. 



Bake at 190°C for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside for 20 minutes in the tin to cool before removing and serving warm, with some cream alongside if desired. 

I took this into work worried that the apricots might be a bit too tangy and the cake too dry. The apricots were tangy but in a good way and the longer the cake was stored the more moist and delicious it became. Next summer when apricots are back in abundance I'll definitely be making this cake again.

See you all again next week with some more sweet treats from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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