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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Almond Cake with Apricot Glaze

I made this for a weekend brunch, from apricots in my neighbourhood. The flavour combination of almonds with apricots was subtle, but lovely. I'd like to try this with a stronger citrus element, probably lemon in the glaze, but some lemon zest in the cake might add just enough excitement too.

Makes 1 10" cake


For the Cake:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
1 tsp almond extract
6 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted twice, then measured
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup apricot jam (I substituted stewed fresh apricots, unsweetened)
1/3 cup sliced almonds

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed apricot juice (about 8-10 apricots), strained through a sieve to remove pulp
1 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar/icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350* Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream in small amounts, and blend well; add the lemon juice with the last addition.Pour half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Spoon the apricot jam over the batter in the pan, being careful not to let the jam touch the side of the pan. Sprinkle the almonds over the jam. Spoon the remaining batter over the almonds in the pan.Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is lightly golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the apricot juice, sugar and vanilla. Transfer the cake to a cake stand or plate. Use a pastry brush to apply the glaze to the top and sides of the cake.

Update: Variation
Replace the apricot glaze with a lemon syrup by combining 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice with 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a nonreactive saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, to reduce the liquid to 1/3 cup. Add 3 apricots, sliced crosswise, and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the apricots with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of the cake. Brush the syrup on the top and sides of the cake.

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