Sometimes you want a cake to celebrate a special occasion and sometimes you need a dessert at the end of a celebratory meal – so why not make something that covers all bases? This Amaretti and Apricot cake fulfilled both tasks at a recent family celebration, and the leftovers made an excellent accompaniment to brunch the following morning!
This cake is moist and sweet, and with the addition of some stewed fruit, maybe some cream or even a dollop of vanilla ice cream, is transformed into something heavenly to end a meal with. It also feeds about ten people, so is perfect for a large gathering. Best of all, it is a really easy cake to make!
This recipe is adapted from http://www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk
INGREDIENTS: 200g butter or Stork (I used the latter as this cake needed to be dairy-free), 200g caster sugar, 200g self raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 4 large eggs, 1tsp almond essence, 410g can of apricot halves, 120g amaretti biscuits (for anyone else wanting to make this dairy free, check the ingredients of the amaretti biscuits – some include milk powder but good ones shouldn’t).
- Heat the oven to 160 (fan) and butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar and then mix in the flour and baking powder. It will be quite thick at this stage.
- Add in the eggs one at a time. I suggest breaking them into a smaller bowl first, just to make sure you don’t get a dud one!
- Add the almond essence and mix it all quite hard – it should be smooth and creamy and a bit fluffy.
- Take a quarter of the mixture and set it aside.
- Drain the apricots and chop them up roughly, then add them to the larger portion of cake batter.
- Bash the amaretti biscuits into chunky pieces. Add 1/4 of the pieces to the apricot batter.
- Put the apricot batter into the tin and smooth over. Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes.
- While the cake is in the oven, add half of the remaining crushed amaretti biscuits to the remaining portion of batter.
- When the cake has had 25 minutes in the oven, take it out and quickly spread the remainder of the batter over the top. It is easiest to dollop on blobs of the mixture and then work them together. Do this quickly though so that the cake doesn’t sink.
- Sprinkle the remaining amaretti crumbs on top of the cake and pop back in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Your finished cake should be two-tone, with a lighter crust from the late addition of the second batch of batter. The top layer had an almond-y crunch and the bottom layer is full of moist fruit.
This was such a winner I think it is going to become a dinner party staple!
Some alternative ideas could include:
- For more of a pudding feel, save half the apricots and pop the whole halves on the top with the second batch of batter so that they form little igloos on the top of the cake.
- Toast some almonds and sprinkle them over the top
- Sprinkle the top with a mixture of icing sugar and gold glitter for a real wow-factor effect.
I hope you enjoy this little gem of a recipe!
Its nearly Christmas folks, so I’ll try and get in a recipe for the holiday season before the end of the year – if anyone has any requests let me know!
Bake well my friends,