almond cake with fresh apricots

Six months in, I’m starting to realize that 2012 has struck a nerve. I’m feeling a bit out of sorts, prone to ridiculous projects like tearing all the carpet off the stairs (you know, to stain them, not in a hulk-like fit of rage), endless rearranging of furniture (my “office” is now in the kitchen), impulsive purchases (if I’m not going to have a dog (for now) then I’m going to enjoy soft, luxurious, super-absorbent surfaces under mah feets), endless rearranging of html code (ta-da!), endless worry about my next career move, and a new-found proclivity toward awkward emotional reactions (Parks and Recreation made me tear up; ridiculous!)

I’ve also been enjoying crafting the occasional run-on sentence. :)

No worries, though. Unrest brings change, and change is good. Right? Yeah.

I certainly hope you all will agree that the changes to this site are good. I didn’t intend to stay away for an entire month, but I ended up having to transfer all of my old posts by hand, and didn’t want to add any more to the queue. I know a few of you have stuck around through my hiatuses this year. Just want to make sure you know you’re the best. This strange compulsion to take pictures and talk about the stuff that comes out of my kitchen is pretty enjoyable, as is hearing from you lovely people; I plan to stick around and get into a more regular posting schedule.

So, just a quick overview: the home page consists of excerpts from all of my posts–starting with the most recent. And you’ve probably already noticed, but there’s a navigation tab at the top-right, where some useful goodies reside–about, bookmarks (check out the bookmarks!), categories, archives, search, feedburner subscribe, and a contact form. If for some reason the navigation tab won’t work for you, there’s a navigation button at the very bottom of the page. As long as you’re running the latest (or a recent) version of your browser, all should be well. If you encounter any problems, please let me know!

(I’d like to thank: Eli, for being the world’s most patient teacher; my lovely website testers; my trusty Moka pot; Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers; and My New Roots, I will love you forever for introducing me to a brownie I can eat at 4am.)

And apricots. I’d like to thank you for being so beautiful, and tasty.

I’ve had a note clipped to my board since last fall (when I made this) that said: almond-apricot cake, whipped cream. So yeah, I’ve been looking forward to apricots all year. I guess I wasn’t the only one, but I got to the store in time to grab the last four. Totally worth the wait.

This is a great, versatile cake batter. Soft, luscious, but with the tiniest bit of cornmeal crunch. Great almond flavor. Seems to take kindly to any fruit. (You might want to dust the top with powdered sugar to counter-act the tartness of the apricots, though.)

almond-cornmeal batter with sliced apricots, ready to be baked

schmexy apricot cake, from the side

Such a great way to welcome summer.

 

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Almond Cake with Fresh Apricots (batter from Giada De Laurentiis)

1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup cake flour (all purpose worked fine for me)

1 teaspoon baking powder

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup almond paste, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 eggs, room temp

1/2 a cup sour cream

3-4 apricots, pitted and cut into eighths

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8″ cake pan with parchment and spray with no-stick, or butter and flour it.

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, and baking powder. Using mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and almond paste on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Mix about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sour cream and dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, then smooth top with a spatula. Press apricots into batter. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the cake is golden and pulls away from sides of pan. Let cake cool on a wire rack, then remove from pan.

(To serve, dust with powdered sugar and top with whipped cream. Why not?)




  • Christy

    Beautiful!  I made a vegan version of something similar – a plum cake – for the book and it was the bomb! 

    PS: Change is good!  Looking forward to striping and staining our steps.. one of these days.  LOL

  • Stinky

    I made this cake just now following the recipe to the letter (using all-purpose flour as well), and fresh out of the oven it’s fantastic – exactly what I was looking for to marry apricots with cornmeal with almonds. Took ~50minutes to bake in my oven. It will be fun to see how it does after a day or do. Thanks!