I simply can't resist fresh summer fruits - all the berries and currants, the apricots, nectarines and peaches and as well as eating them raw in their natural form I especially love baking with them. This was a cake I made a few weeks ago when I had all that lovely fresh summer fruit just begging to be used. Now the weather has turned to autumn I am glad of my freezer and the ability to find little pieces of cake to remind me of the joy of fresh fruit in summer.
A simple recipe was necessary to allow my fruits to shine and I wanted to use my new cake tin. I shouldn't be allowed near Lakeland - it's far too dangerous for my bank account. Whenever I go in there they always ask when you are purchasing your goodies whether you are 'up to date with our current catalogues'. I never accept the offer of catalogues - I would spend far too much time and money just browsing through them. It's amazing what you can find that you never knew you needed....
Raspberry, Apricot and Vanilla Flower Cake
125g softened butter
130g caster sugar (it was meant to be 125g but my hand slipped...)
2tsp vanilla extract
150g self raising flour
3 fresh apricots, chopped fairly small (just normal sized ones - not tiny, not huge - I forgot to weigh them)
about half a punnet of raspberries - 100g or so
- Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C. Grease your cake tin very well. If you don't have a fancy tin, an 8"/20cm tin will be fine I think.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and flour and beat well until all combined.
- Fold in half of the apricot and raspberries and spread into the tin - it will be quite stiff.
- Scatter over the remaining raspberries and apricots and press them in a bit.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and a cake tester comes out clean. You may need to cover the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly. I covered mine after 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I was very pleased that the cake tin released well - I greased it generously with butter and despite some of the fruit sinking to the bottom of the cake, there wasn't a problem with releasing the cake from the tin. It also neatly divides the cake into ten portions for serving!
I do think that of all the fruits that I bake with, apricots and raspberries are particularly successful. The texture of both fruits suits baking perfectly - neither are too watery (strawberries aren't as good - they tend to collapse on baking, leaving little holes in your cake) and they both have a slightly tart flavour in comparison to the sweet cake. A thoroughly delicious experiment and a reminder of summer on an autumn day.