Monday, April 18, 2011

More: ripped from the pages...

After another hiatus, I'm back!

I had another of my mini cooking frenzies last week—two nights of making full-blown dinners from recipes I ripped out of magazines. I had a treasure trove of possibilities since I powered through a HUGE stockpile of magazines during our recent 25-day driving trip from Akron through Nashville TN; Hot Springs AR; Georgetown, Austin and College Station TX; Baton Rouge and New Orleans LA; Tallahassee and Okeechobee FL; Savannah GA; and Winston-Salem NC—then back to Akron again.

I have to say that the most appealing recipes came from Good Housekeeping—a magazine I ignored for more than 20 years and now find most diverse and useful. (Hmmm, who changed: GH or me?) So for the next day or so, I'll post the recipes I tested.

But as requested, I'm starting with the cake I made the night Debbie and Andy joined us for dinner. Fragrant, moist, and not-too-sweet, this is going to be my go-to cake for a while—perfect for Spring! (Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you away...this goes together easily and is well worth the effort to gather the items.)

Amaretto Apricot Cake

✔ 2½ c. all-purpose flour (note use: 2 cups + then ½ cup)
✔ 1 tsp. baking powder
✔ ¼ tsp. baking soda
✔  ½ tsp. salt
✔  1 7-oz. tube almond paste (not marzipan)
✔  1½ c. granulated sugar
✔ 6 oz. dried apricots
✔  ¾ c. butter (1½ sticks), softened
✔ 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
✔ 2 Tbsp. amaretto -OR- 1 tsp. vanilla extract*
✔ 8 oz. sour cream, at room temperature
✔ 1 c. confectioners' sugar
✔ 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325°. Coat 10-cup (10") Bundt pan with non-stick baking spray with flour.

In separate bowl, combine remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt—set aside.

In food processor using knife blade, pulse almond paste and sugar until finely ground—transfer to mixing bowl. Add softened butter to mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 7 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Then, in same food processor (do not wipe clean), pulse apricots and ½ cup flour until finely chopped.

With mixer on medium speed, gradually add eggs, then the amaretto or extract until incorporated, scraping the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Turn mixer to low and add flour mixture, alternating with sour cream, until batter is smooth. Fold in apricot mixture until blended.

Pour batter in prepared pan and bake 1 hour 15 minutes (check at one hour--cake will be dark so check with toothpick). Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto plate to cool completely.

For icing, stir confectioners' sugar with 1 tablespoon lemon juice until smooth; add more lemon juice as needed to achieve the consistency of honey. Pour over cake to glaze, allowing glaze to set for 5 minutes before slicing.

* Since I didn't have amaretto and LOVE almond flavoring, I used ½ teaspoon each of almond and vanilla extracts—it seemed to be a perfect substitution for the amaretto, although next time I think I'll get the liquor to see if it makes a difference.

Buon appetito!


Post a Comment

<< Home