I wanted to try something a little different to what I would normally make for a family event earlier this year. I had to play around with some of the ingredients to get the right texture, however this is lush with a mug of English breakfast tea or some vanilla ice-cream.
Ingredients for the topping:
80g slightly salted butter
100g light brown sugar
2 x 420g tins apricot halves in light syrup
50ml of the apricot syrup
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees / Gas mark 5.
Drain the apricot halves and lay them out on some kitchen towel to soak up any excess liquid
Add the sugar and the butter to a saucepan and heat until all has melted together
In a 9 inch cake tin pour in the melted sugar mixture and then carefully place the apricots on top
Leave to the side and make a start on the sponge
Ingredients for sponge:
150g caster sugar
350g plain flour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp baking powder
150g unsalted butter (room temperature)
400g ricotta (room temperature)
4 x eggs (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla paste
Zest of a lemon
Add the sugar, butter and ricotta to a clean bowl and beat with an electric (or manual) mixer until well combined with a smooth consistency
Stir in the vanilla essence and the lemon zest
Beat in one egg at a time until combined
Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder and beat to form a smooth but thick batter
Gently, pour the mixture over the apricot topping. As the mixture is think you need to slowly pour and spread with a spatula or flat wooden spoon
Place on the middle rack of the oven for around 1 hour and 10 minutes by which time the cake should be golden
When there are 10 minutes left of baking heat up the apricot syrup you set aside earlier to thicken a little
Remove from the oven, and with a skewer poke some holes in the cake and pour over the heated apricot syrup
Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the cake tin.
With the back of a knife go round the cake to loosen away from the tin. Place a large plate on top of the cake and then flip over and remove the cake tin.
Leave on a wire cooling rack