This is a complex, sophisticated and grown up cake. Cardamon and vanilla bean seeds integrate with the tanginess of apricot and the softening character of good dark chocolate*. A short burst – 20 seconds – in the microwave, a drizzle of ganache, a big glomp of double cream and your friends will be moaning and slowly closing their eyes in delight. I know this because I test-ran the cake last night with a small circle of friends. They were most appreciative.
I found the original recipe at Cracking Good Egg Blogspot.
Chocolate Pistachio Apricot Spice Cake
(adapted from The Herald Sun)
100gm slivered almonds
100gm caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
100gm dried apricots, finely sliced
150gm dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tspn ground cardamom
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Preheat fan forced oven to 170C. Grease and line a 25cm round cake tin.
Process two thirds of the nuts until finely ground. Roughly chop remaining nuts by hand.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale. Add egg yolks one at a time, then stir in both ground and chopped nuts, apricots, chocolate, cardamom and vanilla seeds.
Whisk egg whites with the salt in a stainless steel bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
When cool dust with icing sugar and serve with thick cream and ganache.