Summery Apricot Cake

I have to apologise for not having posted anything in the last week or so, but these past few days have been extremely exhausting. I am running behind on some work as well, which means I am neglecting my actual work too (not sure that might make you feel any better). Anyway, temperatures have reached an all time high here in the UK, the sun has been shining for over a week now (very unusual) and we are talking at least 23-24C every day (extremely unusual) with hardly a cloud in the sky (so so unusual). People have gone mental. Back home in Italy said weather would be the norm, with people actually wondering when the real summer would start. Here in the UK, people have rarely witnessed a heat wave of these proportions.

Therefore, let’s keep it nice and fresh, shall we? It’s summer anyway and a bit of fruit has never killed anyone. This cake is extremely easy to make and, if you don’t want to go mental trying to peel, core and quarter apricots on your own, you can simply use the tinned ones in juice you easily find in supermarkets (I did). Decorating this cake was also a really good exercise for someone with an OCD for perfection and regularity, you should have seen me trying to make all slices equal and placing them on the cake so that no gaps were left between them. I clearly failed, but that doesn’t matter, it still looks amazing. Enjoy this cake on its own or, should you feel extra indulgent, with some ice-cream on the side.

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Ingredients

  • 2 x 400g tinned apricots in juice tins / 800g apricots
  • 250g plain flour, sieved
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • icing sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Line and butter a 26cm round springform cake tin and preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Wash and dry the apricots, then stone them and cut 400g into small cubes or, alternatively, drain and pat dry the apricot slices with some kitchen paper, then cut half into small cubes. Slice the rest of the apricot into regular and equal slices.
  3. Put the eggs and the sugar in the bowl of a freestanding mixer, then whisk until pale and increased in volume. Gradually add the ground cardamom and the salt.
  4. Put the mascarpone in a bowl, then work it for a good minute with a rubber spatula to loosen it up. Add it to the egg mixture and fold that in.
  5. Slowly fold in the sieved flour, then the diced apricots. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin, then bake for 50 minutes. Check the cake is cooked using a skewer.
  6. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool over a wire rack. Unmould from the tin once cooled, then set on a cake stand/platter.
  7. Warm up the apricot jam with 1 tbsp of water, then brush about half of it on the cooled cake. Arrange the apricot slices on top in concentric rows, then brush the rest of the apricot jam on top of the cake, making sure the apricot slices are evenly coated. This will ensure not only that the final result is nice and shiny, but also that the decoration stays in place.
  8. Leave the cake out to firm up or put it in the fridge for a couple of hours (better if overnight). Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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