Sunday, 15 July 2012

Caramel Cardamom Apricot Cake

It has been a weekend of caramelised upside-down food, what with yesterday's beetroot Tarte Tatin and this cake today.  This is a hybrid recipe based on Bill Granger and Rachel Allen versions, and it is delicious served with vanilla ice cream or clotted cream - or possibly both - I won't tell!  You make some caramel in an oven-proof cast iron dish or pan with 30g of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, the zest and juice of half a lemon and the crushed seeds from 3 cardamom pods - heat all together over a medium heat and allow to bubble and turn a deep golden brown.  The smell is amazing.  Halve about 12 ripe apricots (the Riverford apricots from the south of France have been superb this year), and place them, cut-side down, on the caramel.  Now, make a sponge with 75g each of soft butter and caster sugar, 2 egg yolks, 90ml of milk and 160g self-raising flour.  Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold through the sponge batter.  Dollop onto the apricots, spread out, and bake for around 40 minutes at 170C - check after 30 minutes, depending on the depth of your tin.  Leave to sit for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cake stand or platter.  Tidy up any apricots that might have dislodged, and tuck in.  The tart apricots, sweet lemony, buttery caramel and fragrant cardamom are a taste of heaven.

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