Sunday 8 August 2010

Crunchy raspberry and apricot cake

I love all the summer fruit we're able to get at the moment - raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, blackcurrants, redcurrants, cherries, greengages, plums, how on earth am I supposed to decide what I want to buy and eat when I want to buy and eat them all!!! My indecision means that I tend to buy far too much for eating as is, and so the excess is either preserved by putting it in the freezer (difficult when it's already full....) or by baking delicious cakes filled with fresh summer fruits. I know which option I prefer....

These cakes tend to be influenced by what caught my eye this week and because I love raspberries so much they often feature, as with this cake. I also had apricots, which I never mind baking with because I really do think that apricots are one fruit that actually benefits from the application of heat. It seems to bring out the juiciness of the fruit, and intensifies the sweet honeyed scents, especially if you poach apricots with just a little dash of honey.

I was also influenced by a recent post on the Caked Crusader's blog, where she uses a sprinkle of demerara sugar to great effect on this delicious looking cherry and almond cake. That was the look I was attempting to emulate, but I obviously went a little light on the sugar, as my cake isn't quite as heavily encrusted. However, the sugar was still obvious after baking and did indeed give the top a lovely crunch.

Crunchy raspberry and apricot cake
125g softened butter
125g golden caster sugar
2 eggs
160g self raising flour
1tsp vanilla extract
2 medium/large apricots
100g raspberries
demerara sugar, to sprinkle

- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and line an 8"/20cm round tin. I used one with vertical sides.
- Chop the apricots into fairly small pieces.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, flour and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Spoon half of the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out.
- Mix the chopped apricots into the remaining mixture and add to the tin, spreading out to the edges.
- Arrange the raspberries on the surface and press in a little. I could pretend I just tumbled them on, but I didn't. I've tried that in the past and find I get loads in one spot and none in another, so I prefer to put them on more carefully now. Fussy??? Perhaps! Sprinkle generously with demerara sugar - more than you think you'll need.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.

You can serve this just as it is, as I did. It would be lovely to accompany a cup of tea or coffee, or turn it into a more dessert type cake by serving with your preferred accompaniment - ice-cream, creme fraiche, whipped or pouring cream and a generous serving of raspberry sauce. Simply delicious and a great celebration of our summer fruit!

It was soft and moist, with delicious bursts of raspberry and the apricot providing more of a background note to the cake. I really enjoyed the crunchy top and next time would use more demerara sugar for more crunch!


Chele said...

That piece of cake looks scrummy - it owuld be perfect for dessert right now! I love all the summer fruit too, its amazing how many different ways there are to use them up, I never tire of them!

Lucie said...

This looks a perfect cake! Perfect teatime treat. :)

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That looks gorgeous and it does have a little sparkle. I love all the raspberry indents :)

cocoa and coconut said...

I, too, purposely buy extra fruits to bake into cakes :)
I love the studs of raspberries, a truly delightful cake

Rhyleysgranny said...

That really does look and sound delicious. The fruits are at their best just now aren't they?

The Caked Crusader said...

I was reading this post thinking "gosh that cake looks great" and then saw my name - how flattering!!!
I need to get baking with apricots - I feel I neglect them.

Celia said...

C, that looks so moist! I can't wait for summer. And I'm a big demerara sugar fan as well!

Choclette said...

Oh what a beautiful cake with all those jewels shining through. I'm a recent convert to a crunchy topping - delicious.

Joanna said...

Another beautiful cake, making good use of all the fruit that's around right now. Wow!

Johanna GGG said...

I'd love this cake as these are among my favourite fruits - I too have trouble with summer fruit - my mum says I should bottle them for later but I am not very good at this

Maria♥ said...

I love cakes with fresh fruit and this combo of fruits sounds and looks delish.


SarahR said...

My husband would love this, will have to try it x


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