Apricot: Apricot Butter-Almond Cake
Source of Recipe
King Arthur Flour
This cake started out as Sticky Toffee Pudding, a traditional English cake made with dates. (The word “pudding,” in English cuisine, refers to desserts in general.) While I really liked the cake in its original incarnation, when I posted it on bakingcircle.com, a number of Baking Circlers responded unfavorably to the inclusion of dates. As in, “EEEWWWW, dates!” Several recommended another fruit--apricots, in particular-- so I reworked the recipe using apricot jam (and adding a touch of butter-rum or butternut flavor, and substituting almonds for the pecans, and, and… well, once I got started, it was hard to stop!) The result: a moist, rich, tender and buttery cake/coffeecake, suitable for dessert or brunch. And for anyone who turns his or her nose up at dates!
List of Ingredients
1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
10-ounce jar (a generous 3/4 cup) apricot preserves, preferably unsweetened
1 1/8 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons butter
heaping 1/8 teaspoon salt (if you’re using unsalted butter)
1/4 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk (or whole milk)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 drops teaspoon vanilla-butternut or butter-rum flavor (optional)*
*The flavors we sell through the Baker’s Catalogue are very strong, and a mere couple of drops will flavor the cake sufficiently. However, if you’re using some other brand of flavor and it doesn’t seem overly strong (taste a drop and see), you may want to increase the amount.
CAKE: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks curdled at any point, don’t panic; it’ll straighten itself out as you go along. Stir in the apricot preserves.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternately with the milk, beating to combine.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9-inch round or 8-inch square baking pan. Bake the cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, till a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
TOPPING: While the cake is baking, make the topping. In a small saucepan, heat over low to medium heat the brown sugar, butter, salt, and cream or milk. Simmer the mixture gently, uncovered, for 25 minutes; remove it from the heat, and stir in the almonds and the flavoring, if you’re using it. Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, while you preheat your broiler.
Spread the warm topping over the cake, and broil it 1 inch from the heat for just about 1 minute; the topping will bubble and become golden brown. Watch it carefully! If you’re nervous, broil it for a longer amount of time a bit farther from the heat. Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
YIELD: About 10 Rich Servings