As a general rule I'm not a fan of marzipan, which is weird, because give me an almond croissant and I'm the happiest, most pastry-covered being alive. But in thinking about how to liven up an apricot cake the other day, a brainwave struck, put it IN the cake. Surely then it would be like encountering hidden chunks of frangipane, like a delicious, almond-y Aladdin's cake?
Happily, that's exactly what it is.*
*minus Robin Williams as a singing genie.
I made this cake for the hungry guests at the Domestic Sluttery blogging event at the gorgeous made.com showroom and it went down very well indeed. I didn't even get a slice.
Apricot Marzipan Cake
You will need:
For the cake:
- 175g butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 free range eggs
- 175g self-raising flour
- 75g ground almonds
- 75g dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 tin tinned apricots, chopped
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 50g marzipan, diced
For the topping:
- 50g flaked almonds
- 50g butter
- 50g Demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4. Line and grease a 20cm cake tin.
- Cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each. Mix until well combined.
- Gently fold in the flour, ground almonds and dried apricots.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the tinned apricots and the brandy. Spoon half of this into the batter, along with the marzipan and stir gently to combine.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for around 40 minutes, until risen and golden.
- Place the tin on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.
- In a dry frying pan, gently toast the flaked almonds until golden; careful because they'll spontaneously combust (not literally) unless you keep an eye on them. Set aside.
- Place the butter and Demerara sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Tip in the remaining tinned apricot mix and simmer for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced.
- Whilst the cake is still warm, remove from the tin and poke a few holes in the surface using a skewer or something equally pointy, and spoon the buttery, apricot-y mixture over the top.
- Scatter with toasted almonds and admire your handiwork ... for all of 10 seconds before demolishing with a fork and / or your face.