Recipe by Manami
Warren Brown in "How To Bake Cakes from Scratch" says of the cake that it reminds him of a tiger! "I love the speckles of orange and brown created by combining mini-chunks of apricot and chocolate in the cake. The colors make me think of a tiger or of my hometown pro football team." Combining dried apricots with bittersweet chocolate against a pleasantly moist yet crunchy butter cake is sinfully satisfying for anyone close enough to catch a whiff of this cake fresh out of the oven. ;) Not too sweet, this batter is quick to mix and a perfect treat for starting or ending the day. *Please note; the computer will not allow me to list how much sugar is needed for creaming - so please be aware that it is 2.25 cups or 18 ozs extra-fine granulated sugar. :(
- 2 1⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup dried apricot
- 2 tablespoons extra finely granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1⁄2 cup 60% bittersweet chocolate
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half
- 1⁄4 cup Amaretto
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick Tablespoons)
- 2 3⁄4 cups extra finely granulated sugar (2 1/4 cups or 18 ozs.)
- 4 large eggs
- 1⁄2 cup apricot jam or 1⁄2 cup apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon apricot brandy
Directions See How It's Made
- PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME:.
- Pulse the apricots, sugar, and cornstarch in a food processor to chop the fruit into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Add the chocolate and continue to pulse 2 to 3 times for three seconds each or until the chocolate is broken into small 1/2-inch pieces.
- Set aside to combine with the other dry ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Set the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Sift the flour directly into a bowl.
- Measure the other dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk for 10 seconds to blend; set aside.
- Measure the liquid ingredients into a separate bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside.
- Measure the butter and sugar into separate bowls and set aside.
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on the lowest speed for 3 to 4 minutes.
- With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition.
- Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the liquid mixture in 3 to 5 additions each, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.
- Move swiftly through this step to avoid overworking the batter.
- Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl all the way down.
- Don't miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl.
- Mix on medium speed for 25 to 30 seconds to develop the batter's structure.
- Spray the pan well with a nonstick spray.
- Fill the bundt pan about three-quarters full by depositing the batter with the rubber spatula in small clumps around the prepared pan instead of by pouring it into one spot.
- Level the batter with the rubber spatula and bake 45-50 minutes
- Once the edges of the cake are browning and the surface appears dry, test for doneness by inserting a bamboo skewer in the center of the cake; when the skewer shows some crumbs - the cake is done.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface or wire rack.
- Once the cake has cooled for 5 to 10 minutes, remove the cake by inverting the pan onto a flat surface.
- Allow it to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before glazing.
- Store under a cake dome at room temperature, or wrapped in plastic in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- **Alcohol-free variation: Omit the amaretto and vanilla. Add the seeds of 1 vanilla pod to butter and 1 tablespoon alcohol-free almond extract.
- Heat the apricot jam or preserves and water (if using) in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquid (melted).
- Remove from heat and strain the jam through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps. (If using, add the liqueur at this point.)
- Drizzle the apricot preserves along the sides and then in the center of the cake.
- Glaze makes enough for an 8 or 9 inch cake.