Today was a day for baking a cake and there is one that I have been meaning to make for a good time. It comes from a Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook called Plenty More. I have been waiting for the fruit to come into our markets, though. They have finally arrived !
Little fuzzy apricots that are just ripe enough for baking ...
Slice them into thick wedges and poke them into the super light batter ...
Make a lemony drizzle icing and sprinkle on some extra lavender blossoms ...
Admire the look and enjoy the lemony lavender scent ... then cut into this cake and enjoy!
The batter for this cake is unbelievably light considering its ingredients - plenty of eggs, sugar, ground almonds, ground walnuts, and a bit of flour. Flavorings include lavender flowers, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. It's a lovely cake, but a word of advice ... use a deep 9 or 10 inch cake pan. I would suggest a spring form pan and DO grease the pan well and line the bottom of the pan with the parchment paper. I cut the round of parchment paper and leave a small pointed tab that I can peel from the side of the cake. I use the tab to pull the cake from the pan bottom onto the cake plate. It makes getting the cake to a pretty plate MUCH easier.
I will definitely make this cake again ... it is delicious and it feels more healthy a version of sweets than the usual sugar bomb of a cake! Here's the recipe.
Apricot Walnut and Lavender Cake
Oven : 375 degrees Farenheit
Bake Time: about 60 - 75 minutes
3/4 c. plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, chunked
2 tbsp. walnut oil
1 c. plus 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 c. ground almond flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. walnuts, coarsely ground in food processor with
a scant 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
grated zest of a lemon
1 1/2 tsp. lavender flowers, fresh or dried
1 1/3 lb. fresh apricots, rinsed and dried, pitted and sliced into wedges
6 tbsp. confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Making the Cake:
1. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch spring form pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper that fits the bottom and grease that as well. Set the pan aside. Pre heat the oven.
2. Place the butter, walnut oil, sugar, and almond flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat (medium) for about two minutes - until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs in two additions along with the vanilla extract and 1 tsp. of the lavender flowers, continuing to beat until the mixture looks airy and almost foamy.
4. Fold in the lemon zest and the flour/walnut mix until batter is completely incorporated.
5. turn batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top surface level.
6. Poke the apricots into the surface of the batter in a concentric circle design, skin sides to the side and just under the surface of the batter, flesh exposed.
7. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 tsp. lavender flowers over the apricots and batter.
8. Place cake pan on a foiled-lined cookie sheet and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for about 60 minutes.
9. When the cake begins to brown on the top, cover lightly with foil to avoid over browning.
10 Cake is done when a cake tester comes clean when the center region of the cake is poked.
11. Remove cake from oven and cool for about ten minutes, then run a sharp knife around the outer edges of the cake to release it from the sides of the pan, remove the springform side, using a the parchment paper edge, slide the cake to a pretty platter and continue cooling.
12. Whisk together the icing and drizzle it over the top of the warm cake. Sprinkle some more lavender flowers over top to garnish.
13. Let the cake finish cooling before cutting.
NOTE: I have to laugh. I logged onto the computer this morning and as I browsed my favorite blogs, found that this very same cake was posted on a blogging friend's site as one of the contributions to the I Heart Cooking's Pot Luck share ! Apparently, others have been just waiting to make this awesome cake too! It's apricot season!