Posted by: Stephlechef | January 22, 2011

Cakes again

Having a little cooking time this week as I finally have some time off (AFTER xmas, thanks uni)

Made a very sad looking blackforest gateau for xmas day:

(The sticks are to make sure it didn’t slip off itself while in the fridge waiting to be demolished by human means… I was worried the cherries would have a sort of ball-bearing effect)

I don’t have the recipe for this, it’s at home. You make a whisked sponge (I’ve never made one before and imo it was light but very dry) and cook it, then slice it and make a sort of cherry goo with arrowroot and the cherry juice (of which I am not a fan) and use that to stick the cherries on (which should have been cut or smooshed) and put kirsch on the cakes, and some cream around the edges (if your mother’s piping bag isn’t rank), and then cream the top and sprinkle chocolate over. All in all, not impressed with the recipe. Also, if you need to wetten up the sponge for the next day, do it in advance and not by ‘sprinkling’ alcohol over the cake just before you serve it. It was a little bit lethal. Anyway, everyone else seemed to like it.

Then I made some coffee cupcakes, rather good but not really worth showing off. And some tomato soup from my trusty ‘family heirloom’ Marks and Spencer freezer book. Also not really worth showing off. And some soda bread. Which I thought tasted like a really heavy cake-bread offspring. Never mind.

And yesterday I made these. 🙂 (Terrible pic… very dark room!)

And just as a comparison, this is the picture from the book… or “How they are supposed to look” (obviously this picture being credited to whomever takes the pictures for ‘200 cupcakes’.)

Anyway, whatever they look like, they are lush. And although they rather go against my ‘let’s eat a bit healthier’ week, they have apricots on them. So that’s good, innit? 🙂

Frangipane and Apricot Cupcakes (from Hamlyn’s “200 cupcakes”)

Makes 12


150g dried apricots (I used about 100g, just to make the recipe a bit cheaper and also I didn’t make enough cakes from the mixture to need them all)

5 tablespoons brandy (This seems excessive, also I have no brandy… So I used a couple of tablespoons of Disaronno. Ever the fallback)

3 tablespoons water

5 tablespoons apricot jam (I used about 3, I thought the jam might make it too sweet. It didn’t make them stick together very well though)


100g marzipan

icing sugar

125g lightly salted butter

75g caster sugar

2 eggs

150g self-raising flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

50g ground almonds

1 tsp almond extract (I only used half because I find it a bit spirity, the flavour it adds)


Cut up the apricots into small pieces and cook in a pan with the booze and the water until most of the water has boiled away and the apricots have ‘plumped’ up. Put the jam in with it (it says sieve it, but I don’t like waste), stir in and leave to cool.

Roll out the almond paste on a surface sprinkled with icing sugar, and cut out 12 hearts which are about 1 inch diameter. Lay on a tray covered in baking parchment. Place under a preheated grill (trimming the baking parchment if necessary to avoid a fire inside the grill, as my intuition told me) and watch them carefully! Take them out when they start to toast (go brown) and leave to cool.

Put all the other ingredients into a bowl including the rest of the marzipan, chopped up or grated (if it’s cold enough) and mix together. Put into cake/muffin cases and cook until golden and firm.

Leave to cool.

Then top the cakes with teaspoons of the apricot mix, a lovely toasted marzipan heart, and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Et voila, yumyum.


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