Sunken Apricot Cake
The season is ripe with apricots here in the Okanagan! My friendly neighbours dropped off their freshly picked apricots from their trees and I thought, instead of chutney, jam or jellies I’ll bake an apricot cake. I remember with fondest eating this cake in Vienna in the summer at my sister-in-law’s home. My son, André follows this recipe every summer, baking this yummy cake for breakfast.
Now, since weight and volume measurements are only interchangeable with water (ie: one litre = 1000 ml = 1 kilo = 1000 gms) the flour, sugar and butter in this recipe must be measured by weight. So if you don’t have a food scale–borrow one!
Follow steps 7 through 9 to understand how to fold egg whites into a batter.
Of interest: Obst = fruit; we prefer apricots or plums for this cake.
5 extra large eggs-separated–egg whites must be at room temperature
pinch of salt
250 g butter-room temperature
250 g berry sugar
250 g flour
1 t (5 ml) butter-grease the baking pans
1 t (5 ml) flour–dust the buttered baking pans
1 T (15 ml) baking powder
1 t (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 lemon-zest and juice
8-10 medium sized apricots-halved and pitted
2 T (30 ml) icing sugar-to sift over bake cakes
2- 9 x 9 baking pans
- Butter and dust with flour; both baking pans–to prevent sticking
- Sift flour and baking powder together into a bowl and set aside.
- In a mixing a bowl add the butter and 2/3’s of the sugar. At high speed, beat; during the beating process add the egg yolks–one at a time.
- Add the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Continue to beat, until creamy and foamy.
- At slow speed add sifted flour and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl–grease free and dry–beat the egg whites and the remaining sugar (1/3); add a pinch of salt to firm the proteins. (Egg whites should be at room temperature, as the proteins will expand better.)
- Fold beaten egg whites into the batter (butter, egg yolk, flour, bp mixture). Starting with 1/3 of the egg whites, stir into the batter to temper the batter–making it easier to fold the rest of the egg whites. Add the rest of the egg whites, by holding the bowl over the mixing bowl and tilting the bowl, until the egg whites slide out.
- Using a large spatula, cut through the centre of the batter and gently turn half the mixture over the other half. Continue cutting down the middle and turning the portion over, until the batter and egg whites are evenly distributed. Do not stir! The purpose of folding is to retain the air that you have beaten into the egg whites. Never use a beater for this step.(Always fold the egg whites into the heavier ingredients-batter).
- Once it is folded, divide between the two baking pans and spread evenly.
- Place the apricots on the batter in even rows-skin side up.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Check with a cake tester (toothpick, metal cake testers, skewers, etc.) to ensure batter is fully baked. (If cake tester is clear it is done. If there are crumbs on the tester, put it back in the oven for few minutes and test again.)
- Dust with icing sugar. Let cool in pans and cut into squares.