What is The Home Bakers about you ask? Well let me ask you... Do you have the problem that you bought a cookbook but have only managed to try out a few recipes inside because you 1) have no time to try others 2) have not much interest in other recipes 3) some recipes seemed a little too daunting? Wouldn't it be amazing if you could say that you've tried out all the recipes in a single cookbook?
That's where The Home Bakers come in! Joyce from Kitchen Flavours started The Home Bakers about two months back and we are going to bake all the recipes in Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas before we move on to another cookbook. We've just had our first bake 3 weeks back, so it's definitely not too late to join us!
Now back to this cake... Making this cake is definitely not difficult, it has the same steps as making a butter / pound cake. Having said that, I believe the quality of butter is very important here, so use the best you can find!
I soaked the apricots before hand to soften them up so that they will not draw moisture from the cake batter while baking. I would love to jazz it up by soaking it in rum but I decided to stay true to the recipe this time 😉
While baking, my cake rose really tall (I chose to use a smaller tin (8x4 inch and 4 inch tall) because I want a tall cake) and the whole kitchen is filled with a fragrant, buttery smell. The top browned a little too fast so I tent it with aluminum foil after 25 minutes. My cake was done in slightly under an hour.
The cake crumbles quite easily (hence best served on a plate) and I had a little problem slicing it because the apricot and pistachio bits kept dropping off the cake!
But all these didn't deter me from sinking my teeth into this soft, moist, buttery and tender cake:
The lemon taste is quite subtle in my opinion, so I will definitely up the amount used the next time. And I thought the pistachios will be hard and crunchy in the cake, but surprisingly they soften during baking!
All in all I think this makes a wonderful cake for afternoon tea/coffee (but I had it for breakfast as well with orange juice haha!)
I've posted step-by-step photos should you want to continue indulging in this buttery, nutty and fruity goodness!
Start with 115 grams butter.
Cream with 150 grams sugar.
The creamed mixture should be pale and fluffy.
Beat in 2 eggs - one at a time until fully incorporated.
Combine ½ cup (125 ml / 100 grams) plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ tablespoon lemon zest in a small bowl.
Add the yogurt mixture into the butter mixture and cream till fully incorporated.
It will look something like this - as if the mixture has curdled but don't worry it will all come together later.
Combine 185 grams flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a bowl and whisk gently to fully disperse the rising agents and salt evenly into the flour.
The baking soda, being alkaline, will react with the acidic lemon juice and yogurt and give off air bubbles, lifting the cake. The baking powder also helps with lifting the cake.
Fold in the flour in two batches.
The cake batter will be really thick.
Dump in 40 grams unsalted pistachios...
... And 90 - 100 grams chopped dried apricots (I soaked them in hot water for 30 minutes before hand to soften them up and to prevent the apricots from draining away the moisture of the cake).
Transfer the batter to a greased and bottom-lined cake tin. My tin is 8 x 4-inch and about 4-inch tall. The cake will rise a lot, so don't fill your tin more than ⅔ full.
Bake at 170 degrees Celsius - for my tin, my cake baked for about 55 minutes to 1 hour. I had to cover the top with aluminum foil after 25 minutes to prevent the top from getting burnt.
And voilá! Deliciously browned, buttery, nutty and fruity!