Apricot Pound Cake

Apricot Pound Cake
Recipe from The Simple Art of Perfect Baking by Flo Braker

Notes: Continuing the pound cake theme (but failing at our goal of reducing dessert consumption), I dug out Flo Braker's book and finally made this apricot cake that I've looked at many times, and seen wonderful photos of, online. This project actually took longer than expected, because the first cake that I baked turned out like a cheap, paperback novel: flat, dull and dense. To the compost! My post mortem revealed that my ingredients weren't at the correct temperature, and I neglected to add the eggs slowly enough, so the batter split.

On my second try, I used a thermometer to ensure the butter was at the right temperature. I allowed the butter and sugar to cream for a much longer period, letting it become aerated and fluffy, turning a very light yellow colour in the process. This time, I carefully added the eggs by tablespoons (just like the recipe says), and was pleased that the mixture stayed smooth. Towards the end though, it did start to split. Compared to other pound cake recipes, this one calls for five eggs, so perhaps there's just a bit too much liquid.

This second cake came out of the oven much higher than the first attempt, but was still on the squat side. Oh well, on to the filling. I planned on making a double batch, as I wanted to ensure you could taste the fruit, and a third of a cup sounded like too little. From an online purchase over the holidays, I had a few bugs of Enduring Sun dried apricots leftover. I used the Larissa variety for this project. It turns out I made more than enough to fill the cake, but leftover apricot spread is delicious on toast.

The verdict? A wonderfully rich pound cake coupled with a tangy filling in a whimsical presentation. I would make this again.

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