A cake. Made with love.
Not many things have as much impact in the gift department.
Come Sunday, I promise smiles with this heavenly number. This is a once-in-a-year cake due to the amounts of white chocolate, but so is Mother’s Day.
The Apricot Queen
You can switch up the fruit in this cake. Use berries and matching preserves if you want. Key to this recipe is a good quality white chocolate. And time. This one is for the special people who deserve the extra flourishes.
What you need:
• 8 ounces good white chocolate, chopped
• 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 ¼ cups whole milk
• 16 ounces ( 1 lb) good white chocolate, chopped
• 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups sifted icing sugar
• ½ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 ½ lbs apricots, pitted and thinly sliced
• 1 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
• 1/4 cup apricot jam, melted
What you do:
To make cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Butter two 9-inch parchment paper rounds and place in pans, buttered side up.
2. Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.
4. Beat butter and sugar with mixer until well blended.
5. Add eggs, one a time, blending well after each, then beat in vanilla.
6. Add dry ingredients and milk in 3 additions, alternating and blending well after each.
7. Add the melted white chocolate and beat just until blended.
8. Divide batter between pans and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. A tester inserted into the middle should come out clean. Cool in pan on racks for 2o minutes then flip over and remove from pans to fully cool on racks.
To make buttercream:
Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes.Beat soft butter in mixer with melted white chocolate and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar.
Cover and refrigerate until thick enough to spread about 45 minutes.
To assemble cake:
1. Boil water and sugar in small pot over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool syrup.
2. Cut each cake layer in half with a serrated knife. Place 1 layer on cake platter. Brush with 2 tablespoons of syrup.
3. Spread 6 tablespoons of buttercream over cake. Then cover buttercream with a single layer of sliced apricots.
4. Spread another 3 tablespoons of buttercream over apricots and top with a second cake layer. Repeat layers of syrup, buttercream, sliced apricots, more buttercream, cake.
5. On the top, spread thinly 1 cup buttercream over top and sides for a crumb coating. Chill for an hour then spread remaining buttercream over for another coat.
6. Press chopped walnuts onto sides of cake. Cover top with remaining sliced apricots. Brush with apricot preserves. Chill cake 1 hour to set.
Remove cake from fridge at few hours before serving to allow icing to soften before cutting.
Notes: This cake should be made as close to the day of serving as possible. If you do make it ahead, keep it chilled while remembering to bring it to room temperature before serving. And don’t skimp on the fruit or the walnuts. They help keep the flavours balanced and smooth out the sweetness of the buttercream.
My food memoir, with love and sugar, comes out tomorrow with a special seasonal cover. This most decadent offering is included in the spring recipes inside my book, along with a bunch of other yummy cakes you might consider for Mom’s Day and any other celebration. Order your copy soon as this is very limited release for spring. Those in the Toronto area looking for a gift for Sunday, email me promptly: