Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Apricot cardamon sour cream cake

Summer is almost here. Then again, oh no, its almost summer! There is a fine line between a pleasant warm sun and a scorching heat drenched in an underwhelming humidity. This fine line is right now. Right here. I suppose I can mark it as apricot season. Barely a transition season, blink and its gone.
I had to hurry writing a newspaper column about it. Its always the case with apricots; the rush, the hurry to get to it and make the most of it. This year apricot season coincided with a visit to London. That’s me hanging on to some overcast, cloudiness with a possible chance of precipitation.
The day I made all the apricot dishes for the article had put a lid on my desire for apricots until next season. The general theme was, seasonally, expressive of both apricots as well as my anticipated visit to London, accounting for the apricots, walnuts and stilton salad as well as the colonial flavours of apricots, cardamon and yogurt in a local adaptation of Eaton mess. that right.
In addition to compote and several jars of preserves I simply had to bake an apricot cake. Needless to say dinner was many, many apricots. I can now travel in peace, knowing I had made use of the short apricot season. Should there be any left on my return, well, that’s just bonus.

Apricot cardamon sour cream cake

6 Ripe apricots, stoned and halved

3 cardamon pods, ground


1/2 cup caster sugar


100g unsalted butter at room temperature


2 Tsp dried or candied orange peel, chopped


1 egg


200 ml sour cream


1/4 cup semolina


1/2 plain flour


1 tsp baking powder


8 ripe apricots, stoned and diced


preheat the oven to 180C and butter a loaf pan.

Scatter the apricot halves, cut side facing down, over the base of the pan to cover it completely, and then sprinkle over the ground cardamon and a tablespoon of the sugar.

In a bowl beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the remaining sugar in a steady stream until the mixture increases in volume and lightens to pale yellow. It should look light, fluffy, and creamy.

Add the chopped orange peel and beat in the egg until just combined.

Beat in the sour cream until just combined.

Stir in the semolina, sift in the flour and baking powder, and fold through.

Lightly fold in the diced apricot cubes through the mixture.

Spoon the batter over the apricot halves and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer poked in comes out almost clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then flip over on to a plate.

Allow to cool before serving.

The cake can be stored, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for several days.

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