Oh, I do love the weekend. I know that I don't work outside the home anymore, but that doesn't mean that my Saturdays and Sundays are not still special to me in the way that they always were. I still use the weekends to relax and kick back . . . and to bake and do all the things that I enjoy but don't have time to do during the week. I don't know how I ever managed to get everything done that I did when I was working full time . . . because my time seems to evaporate like water these days! Anyways, I suppose what I am trying to say and saying very badly is . . . I love baking special things at the weekend!
I know I do bake other things earlier in the week, but at the weekend I like to pull out all the stops and do something really special like this lovely Almond and Apricot Breakfast Cake. This is one gorgeous cake and you will be surprised when I tell you how very simple it is!
Bundt cakes always look extraordinary anyways . . . but this one is really special in a unique way! Not only is it moist and rich . . . but it has a lovely soft fruit and nut layer running right through the middle. It may look complicated and you may wonder how on earth I got it there, but trust me when I say it's easy peasy lemon squeasy.
The batter uses plain yogurt which makes for a beautiful crumb and moistness. It's dense and light at the same time and it doesn't matter if you use no fat yogurt or full fat yogurt. Today I used the no fat Greek yoghurt and it turned out just as beautiful as if I had used the other!!
You put half of the batter into the pan and then you lay a ribbon of flaked almonds all the way around the circumference of the cake in a circle in the middle of the batter, taking care not to touch the edges. Then you lay a ribbon of apricot preserves around the circumference on top of the almonds in the same way, again making sure it doesn't touch the edges. It will sink a bit when it bakes, so do make sure you have a nice layer of batter on the bottom first.
It's then topped with the remaining batter and baked. I find the easiest way to do this and keep the preserves in the centre where you want it, is to lay a ribbon of batter on the outer edge of the preserves keeping it away from the side of the pan, and to lay another ribbon of batter along the inner edge, and then a ribbon of batter over top. Once you have it all in you can smooth it over and cover it completely and you will note that there isn't any preserves touching the pan at all.
In any case I do hope you will take the opportunity to make this cake this weekend and that you will enjoy it, for what are weekends for if not to lay around and eat cake? Whatcha waiting for? Get your bake on and get baking!
*Almond and Apricot Breakfast Cake*Makes 16 servings
icing sugar to dust (optional)
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the yoghurt/ sour cream and almond extract. Beat in the flour mixture gradually until combined thoroughly. Spread half of the batter in the bundt pan. Sprinkle with half of the almonds. Spread the preserves over the almonds, leaving a 1/2 inch margin all the way around the edges. Spread the remaining batter over top. (I spoon it around the outer edge first, and then the inner edge and then spread the two together to cover the preserves. It's easy that way and covers all the jam without pushing it to touch the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with the remainder of the almonds. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, until risen, golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched.