• This is the next propose of using seasonal fruits – here apricots but you can use plums or cherries as well. It is common sponge like cake however not so common because of addition of small almonds’ pieces which you will feel as crunch by eating. On the top of cake lie apricots and whole cake is covered with lavender crumb. The cake smells beautiful during baking and after and taste very nice. Some gentleness of cake, some sourness of apricots and some sweetness of fragrant crumb exist here accordingly. Enjoy!

     

    round pan 8 inch

     

     Ingredients for cake:

    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup light brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼  teaspoon salt
    • 75 g almonds, chopped finely (but not almond flour)
    • ¼ cup buttermilk
    • 6-7 apricots, pitted and halved

     Crumb topping:

    • ¾ cup all purpose flour
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup butter, melted
    • 25 g almonds, chopped finely (but not almond flour)
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoon dried lavender flowers or 1 tablespoon fresh flowers

     

     

    Grease and line baking pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts. The mixture could look curdled but it could be so.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and almond flour. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Pour cake mixture into prepared pan. On the top of cake lie halved apricots cut part up. Pour over lavender crumb. Bake for 60-70 minutes (until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool in pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Make crumb: mix together all ingredients until smooth crumbs form.

     

     

     

     

     

    The recipe is inspired by Cherry Crumb Cake from 'Bake from scratch', however changed a lot by me.

    Category: Fruits cakes.

    Tags: almonds, apricots, lavender.

  • The slice is this kind of cake which could be eaten whole for one dessert. Firstly – it is very thin so one piece is actually a half of a piece. Secondly – it is so light and tasty that you cannot resist to eat only one, or half piece. Today slice is crumble like pastry, the layer of marzipan (store bought or homemade - recipe here) and apricots with some crumble on the top. I used yellow apricots and black apricots (Aprium) which are a hybrid between apricots and plums (more apricots) and I realised that plums match perfectly to this slice as well. Enjoy!

     

    shallow pan 8 x 12 inch

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon butter, softened
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 ½ + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 3 tablespoons corn starch
    • 100 gr raw marzipan masse
    • 6-8 fresh apricots (or plums) sliced roughly

     

    In the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter, salt and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, mix together. Add corn starch, baking powder and gradually add flour to the butter mixture still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball. This dough is more sticky than usual so may not form exact ball but should be firm and elastic. When the dough is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let it cool in the fridge for 1- 2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking pan with parchment paper.

    Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide it to 2/3 and 1/3. The smaller part wrap again and place into the freezer. The bigger part paste into the base of the baking pan by pressing down the dough with your hands. Roll out the marzipan masse into the pan size rectangular and place onto the dough. You can also cool the masse and grate on the biggest mesh of vegetable grater direct onto the pastry base. Place the slices of apricots (plums) on the top and sprinkle with the smaller part of pastry grated on the biggest mesh of vegetable grater. The fruits should be covered completely. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool and serve dusted with icing sugar.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: Apricots, marzipan, plums.

  • Fresh apricots appeared in stores so it comes a possibility to bake new cake. On my blog already exist some apricot bakes but probably there was a lack of a tart. Here we have: shortbread base, apricot filling with a hint of lavender, top covered with flowers. The cake is very simple but also very tasty at the same time. Huge loads of fruits in a crunchy frame is always a good idea. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart ø 10 inch

     

    Ingredients for the base:

    • 2/3 cup softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2  cups all purpose flour

    Filling:

    • 2 lbs fresh apricots
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch
    • 1 tablespoon dried lavender petals (ground to the powder)

    Topping:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make filling: wash and pit apricots, slice them into half quarters. In a bowl mix together sugar, corn starch and lavender. Add apricots and move the bowl to toss fruits in sugar mixture. Set aside for ½ hour.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Drain the apricot mixture and spread over pastry base. Cut out flowers from remaining pastry and arrange them over the filling. Beat the egg with milk in a small bowl and brush the top of the pastry with. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: apricots, lavender.

  • Homemade truffles – easy and delicious treats made of simple ingredients. Maybe they are not so pretty as store bought but for sure win by taste and we may choose our favourites instead of random mix. In this post I present the recipe for three different sweets because they are so simple that you do not need to limit yourself to one type only. The coffee truffles contain alcohol and coffee so I recommend rather for adults and youth – intensive in taste, very coffee-y. The raspberry truffles contain big fruit portion covered with very dark chocolate – creamy inside, stiff outside. The oat truffles are healthy treats without sugar and with dried apricots which are good iron source. All three kinds are delicious. Enjoy!

     

    about 60 pieces (depending on size)

     

    Ingredients - coffee truffles:

    • 50 ml whipping cream
    • 75 ml coffee liqueur  (I used Kahlua)
    • 200 g dark chocolate (I used semi-sweet 55%)
    • 80 g ground almonds (almond flour)
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (powder)
    • 100 g white chocolate
    • instant coffee for dusting

    Ingredients – raspberry truffles:

    • 150 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 50 ml whipping cream
    • 200 g pink ‘ruby’ chocolate (you may use white instead)
    • 100 g very dark chocolate (70%)
    • optional micro balls for dusting

    Ingredients – oat truffles:

    • 200 ml rolled oats
    • 150 g dried apricots
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoons cold brewed coffee or water
    • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
    • pinch of salt

     

     

     

    Coffee truffles: place cream and liqueur in a sauce pan and heat until hot (do not boil). Remove from the heat and add chocolate broken into pieces. Mix until smooth mixture. Add almonds and coffee powder, mix until incorporated. Place into the fridge to cool and thicken. Then shape mixture into small balls and place them to the freezer for 15 minutes. Melt white chocolate in a double bath (bain-marie). Dip quickly each ball (one at a time) in white chocolate and place onto a wire rack to set. Before chocolate sets dust with coffee powder.

    Raspberry truffles: place raspberries and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until fruits become a puree. If you do not wish seeds pass fruit through the sieve and return to the pan. I let seeds stay. Stir in cream. Remove sauce pan from the heat and add (ruby/white) chocolate broken into pieces. Mix until smooth mixture. Place into the fridge to cool and thicken. Then shape mixture into small balls and place them to the freezer for 15 minutes. If the mixture is still too soft divide it into small portions, place to the freezer for 10 minutes and then shape prettier balls. Place balls to the freezer for 15 minutes.  Melt very dark chocolate in a double bath (bain-marie). Dip quickly each ball (one at a time) in it and place onto a wire rack to set. Before chocolate sets sprinkle with micro balls.

    Oat truffles: place all ingredients in a food processor and process until thick smooth mixture (paste). Place to the fridge for ½ hour or to the freezer for 10 minutes then shape into small balls.

     

     

    Category: Desserts/icecream.

    Tags:  Apricots, Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, Glutenfre, Oat, Raspberry.

  • Apricots and raisins soaked in dark rum entwined in cottage cheese pastry. Sounds intriguing? Tastes excellent. The pastry is really easy to prepare, there are just few ingredients kneaded roughly. The taste is similar to yeast dough but you do not need to knead carefully, wait for rise and be scared if it works. The filling is sour sweet because of apricots and raisins soaked in rum. Do not afraid to serve this dessert your children – the alcohol vaporizes during baking. Yummy tea time for the whole family. Enjoy!

     

    1 babka about 9 x 6 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • 200 g pressed cottage cheese
    • 8 tablespoons milk
    • 8 tablespoons canola oil  
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder

     

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon water

     Filling:

    • 400 g apricots (about 8 fruits)
    • 80 g raisins
    • 3 tablespoons dark rum

     

    Filling: wash and pit apricots. Chop them finely and place in a medium bowl. Add raisins, mix together. Drizzle with rum, cover and place in the fridge for few hours (or overnight). Remove the bowl from the fridge just before starting to prepare the pastry and mix fruits carefully with a spoon.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking tray with parchment paper.

    Grind the cheese in a meat grinder or press with potato press. Place in a large bowl and add milk, oil, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until combined with a spoon or electric mixer. Add flour mixed with baking powder. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it shortly. Roll out onto a 16 to 9 inch rectangular. Divide it into three even vertical parts (do not cut off). Each part should be about 5.5 to 9 inch. Two outside parts cut in  thin, almost horizontal (slightly bent down) stripes – see the three last pictures below the text. Do not cut off stripes of the middle part. Spread the filling onto middle part of the pastry. Cover the filling with stripes alternately from left and right side. The stripes will overlap – see the last picture below the text.  Place the babka on the lined tray. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water. Brush the top of babka. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Fruits cakes.

    Tags: apricots, raisins.

  • This is just a sweet bread with apricot filling. Shaped as a wreath looks fancy and interesting. Because we are close to Easter time and in many kitchens yeast cake is a ‘must have’ tradition I recommend it for the festive days. It does not need to be hanging. Wreath on the table will delight your guests as well. And the taste will not disappoint for sure. Enjoy!

     

    1 wreath about 10 inch diameter

     

     Dough:

    • 2 cups flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
    • ¼ cup lukewarm milk
    • ¼ cup lukewarm water
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 1/6 cup butter, soften
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Filling:

    • 1 ½ cup dried apricots
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 cup water

    Topping:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
    • 1 tablespoon demerara (turbinado) sugar

     

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt and butter in small pieces. Add yeast mixture, vanilla extract and orange zest. Add water and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is ready place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Make filling: place apricots, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolved then bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for further 15 minutes until apricots are soft. Drain. Blend apricots until smooth mixture.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 16 x 6 inch rectangular. Spread the filling evenly onto the dough leaving an empty 1 inch border along one long side. Roll up into a log starting to fold longer site without border. Shape a log into a ring joining ends together. Place the ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest and double in size.

    Preheat oven to 350°F.  

    Using kitchen scissors cut seven diagonal slashes into outer edge of dough (about 4 inch apart). Brush the top with egg, sprinkle with almonds and sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

     

     

    The recipe comes from the AWW book 'Simply Bread'.

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: almonds, apricots, orange, yeast.

  • When in apricot season we have craving for some bake this cake could be a good choice. It is quick and easy to prepare. We get fluffy, soft and moist cake with generous load of sour fruits on the top. Perfect pick for everyday tea time or to pleasure yourself with coffee. Enjoy!

     

    round pan ø 9 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs
    • zest of half lemon
    • 2 cups all purpose or cake flour
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • ¼ cup kefir
    • 14-15 apricots, pitted and halved

    Icing:

    • 100 g icing sugar
    • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

     

    Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the pan with parchment paper.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at the time) and mix together. Add lemon zest, mix together. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined. Add kefir, mix until incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture to the pan. Arrange apricots halves around the outer edge (cut side down, slightly slanted). Fill the same way the center surface. Bake for 40 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, cool in pan for 1 hour then transfer to a plate. Before serving pour the icing over the top.

    Icing: mix icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth, thick but still liquid mixture. Add a little warm water if needed.

     

     

     

    Category: Fruit cakes.

    Tags: apricots.

  • The combo of apricots and lavender is a baking classic. These flavours match themselves perfectly and are use together for many ways. In the last year I baked shortbread tart with the apricot lavender filling (here). It was delicious. This year I baked shortbread lavender tart with apricot filling. This time lavender is a part of pastry not filling. It is even better. The same ingredients, two different cakes. The same flavours, different taste experience. I highly recommend to try. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart 10 inch

     

    Ingredients for the base:

    • 2/3 cup softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2  cups all purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoon dried lavender petals (ground to the powder)

    Filling:

    • 2 lbs (880 g) fresh apricots
    • 3 ½ oz (100 g) almond flour
    • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
    • ¼  cup (50 g) butter, softened
    • 1 egg

    Topping:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoons turbinado/raw cane sugar

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg and lavender, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry.

    Make the filling: beat all ingredients (except the apricots) together to thick smooth paste. Spread this paste over the pastry on the bottom of the pan. Wash apricots, remove pits, cut into thin slices. Arrange all slices over the almond paste in the pan. Starting at the outer edge shape the rosette over the bottom then repeat and make another layer of slices. You should have three or four layers of fruits.  

    Cut out flowers (or other shapes of choice) from remaining pastry and arrange them over the filling. Beat the egg with milk in a small bowl and brush the top of the pastry with. Sprinkle with turbinado/raw cane sugar. Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 400°F/200°C for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 350°F/180°C and bake for further 20-25 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: apricots, lavender.

  • This is simple tea cake for everyday or weekend tea time. The cake is quick in preparing and does not require any special skills or props. At the same time is very tasty and eye-catching with its apricots pattern on the top. Moist and fluffy, will be fresh for few days (well, two at least.. so long we hosted it). The caramel flavour with subtle hint of coffee perfectly matches with sour-sweet fruits. If you cannot find apricots plums or plumcots (hybrid of plum and apricot) will work great too. Enjoy!

     

    spring pan ø 8 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • ¾ cup butter
    • 1 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 180 ml sour cream
    • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons  all purpose or cake flour
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (you can omit it if do not like)

    Apricot layer:

    • 500 g apricots
    • 1/3 cup butter
    • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

     

    Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C). Line bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

    Prepare apricots: in a medium saucepan place butter and sugar and heat until butter melted and sugar dissolved. Wash, halve and pit apricots. Add fruits to the caramel syrup and cook for 3 minutes until soften. Transfer apricots to the spring pan and place on the bottom cut side down. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons caramel syrup. Reserve remaining syrup.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at the time) and mix together. Add sour cream, mix together. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder and coffee powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until all ingredients well incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture to the pan over apricots layer. Work carefully in order not to move fruits. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, leave in pans for 1 hour then transfer to a plate upside down (apricots now must be on the top). Before serving pour remaining caramel syrup over the top.


     

    Category: Fruit cakes.

    Tags: apricots, caramel, coffee.

  • Oat cookies are very easy to prepare and can have endless flavour variants depending on added ingredients. You find few recipes on my blog. Today I baked further ones because we all love them and moreover they contain ingredients rich in microelements like: oat, nuts and dried fruits. Furthermore this recipe is vegan so it eliminates lots of allergens and is friendly for various diets. Cookies are crunchy outside and chewy inside. They are incredible yummy and we can eat them without compunction as it is a healthy snack. Enjoy!

     

    about 30 cookies

     

    Ingredients:

    • ¾ cup all purpose flour or glutenfree flour
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 60 g pecan nuts
    • 8 dried apricots
    • 75 g coconut oil
    • ¼ cup maple syrup
    • ¾ cup caster coconut sugar
    • ½ cup coconut cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 small ripe banana, mashed into puree

     

     

    Chop nuts finely. Cut apricots with kitchen scissors into small pieces. In a large bowl mix together flour, oats and half of the coconut sugar. Add pecans and apricots.

    Place oil, maple syrup, cream and remaining sugar in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Cook for further 5 minutes until thicken slightly. Pour over the flour mixture, add vanilla and banana puree and mix until combined.

    Preheat oven to 325°F and line a large cookie tray with parchment paper.

    Take walnut sized pieces and roll them into a ball between your palms. Place each ball onto the prepared tray. Do not keep them very tight because they will slightly rise in the oven. Flatten each ball before baking and bake each batch for 18 minutes. Just after baking cookies will be still soft, let them rest on the tray for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

     

    Category: Cookies.

    Tags: apricots, banana, pecans, vegan.