Apricot & Honey Slice Cake
Well, this is a pleasant little tea cake from the Afternoon Tea chapter in Bill Granger's "Bill's Open Food". It a nice little thing to serve with cups of tea, or take to work for a team coffee break. It won't knock your socks off, but it is sweet, tangy and soft; who could say no?
I nearly made this for the hen's party afternoon tea a few weeks ago, but abandoned the idea at last minute in favour of the chocolate cloud cake, which I'm sure you'll agree was a good decision. I think this cake would have looked far too healthy and virtuous, and if my yummy plum cake or lime, coconut & macadamia cake were any indication, it would have remained intact amongst the chocolate debris at the end of the afternoon. So instead, with it being on my list of recipes to bake (yes, I have a baking list. It's rapidly growing), I decided to whip it up for the fourth offering in my baking-for-the-mystery-workplace project.
I had a real "senior moment" doing this, in that I completely forgot to grease the parchment paper I used to line the tin. So, I was full of unladylike swearing when trying to peel the paper off later, without also peeling off the entire crust. Grrrr. Here's a tip, children; don't, don't, don't forget to grease your pan!!
The batter is quite wet, which creates a soft, dense but light cake base - which will take quite a while to bake through; perhaps longer than the specified time. The apricots on top perfectly complement the mild sweetness with their sharp tang - even when you use tinned fruit, as I did. If you have it, use really good vanilla extract in this as the vanilla flavour shines through amazingly. The reason I had this on my list is because a friend tasted this recipe at a party and recommended it to me solely because of the wonderful vanilla aroma.
I took the independent decision to sprinkle the top with cinnamon and drizzle the apricots with my yummy unrefined honey, for a bit of added interest. Which was very nice. I recommend it. Unfortunately my version didn't turn out nearly as perfect as the photo in Bill's book. My batter bubbled up and swallowed up some of my apricots. His was photogenically perfect. I call mine 'rustic'.
So, add this to your list (what? You don't yet have a 'baking recipes to try' index? Shame on you! ;-) )if you want something quick, tasty and appropriate for morning teas, afternoon teas, picnics.....
Read on for the recipe:
Tagged with [baking] + [cake] + [apricot]
Apricot & Honey Slice
Adapted from "Bill's Open Kitchen", Bill Granger
185g (1 1/2 cups) plain (ap) flour
170g (34 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
180g (6 1/2 oz) butter, softened
14 apricots, pitted and halved; fresh or canned (this may vary depending on the size of the apricots)
~1/4 cup honey, warmed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons caster sugar, extra
Preheat the oven to 160C (315F/Gas 2-3). Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Place the eggs, milk and vanilla in another bowl and mix to combine. Pour the egg mixture and butter into the well in the dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased or non-stick 20x30cm (8x12 inch) lamington tin.
Push the apricot halves, cut side up into the cake mixture in four rows of seven. Sprinke with the cinnamon and drizzle with the wamed honey, making sure to fill each well from the missing pit. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, sprinkle over the extra sugar and cook for another 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cut into fingers with two apricot halves per slice. Makes 14 slices.