This is a great ”any time treat”. The three named flavours complement each other perfectly and combine to give a rich and varied texture.
Makes: 10 – 12 slices
Time: 25 mins. preparation, 55 – 65 mins. baking + cooling time
Need: A 1kg/2lb loaf tin (and paper liner, if using)
- 100g/4oz dried apricots, chopped (keep six halves for decoration)
- 1 large orange (juice only) or use about 60ml/2fl oz orange juice from a carton
- 100g/4oz butter, softened
- 100g/4oz light brown soft sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g/4oz ground almonds
- 175g/6oz self-raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 85g/3oz dark or milk chocolate chips/ pieces
- 85g/3oz pistachios (whole or halved)
- Approx. 30g/1oz demerara sugar
- Approx. 60g/2oz apricot jam to glaze (optional)
1. Prior to baking, put the chopped apricots in a small bowl and add the orange juice. Leave to macerate. (1 hour minimum, ideally overnight)
2. Pre-heat oven to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Grease and line the loaf tin or insert a paper liner.
3. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, ground almonds, flour, salt and milk until smooth. Stir in the apricots, orange juice, chocolate chips and most of the pistachios. (They can be halved or whole. Leave about 20g/¾oz for decorating later.)
4. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and place the reserved apricot halves and pistachio halves on the top. Sprinkle over the demerara. (NB The apricots are very susceptible to burning. You could cover them with foil while baking or even leave them out and add on later.)
5. Tap the tin a couple of times on your work surface to settle the mixture then bake for 55 – 65 minutes, until firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Leave in the tin for 5- 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
7. To glaze the cake, warm the jam in the microwave or in a small saucepan, then brush it gently over the cake. (If the jam is too thick, mix in a very small amount of water and reheat if necessary.)
i) Rather than all small chocolate chips, have a few “chunkier” pieces as well for variety and taste.
ii) For presentation purposes – If the apricot halves on top of the cake have become a bit black, simply turn them over and put back into their holes.
I hope you enjoy making (and eating) this lovely cake. If you want more loaf cake recipes click here. Or for cakes in general try this link.
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