For this naturally gluten-free cake I’ve used the sunny Mediterranean flavours of apricots, almonds and lemon. It uses store cupboard ingredients and its gentle fragrance and moist, chunky almonds help to make it a tempting prospect at any time of the year. Try it at tea time or as more of a dessert with a little crème fraîche.
Set side 75g (3oz) of the apricots. Place the remaining apricots in a bowl. Place the whole almonds in a separate bowl. Pour 250ml (8fl oz) boiling water into each bowl and leave to stand for 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Generously oil a 28cm (11-inch) springform tin and line the base with baking parchment.
Finely chop the reserved apricots.
Drain the soaked almonds and apricots and place them in a food processor with the lemon juice and zest, eggs, baking powder and salt.
Blend for about 1 minute until the almonds are fi nely minced. Stir in the chopped apricots, then transfer the mixture to the tin. Arrange the blanched almonds on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with foil, reduce the heat to 160°C/fan 140°C /325°F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for a further 10 minutes. An inserted skewer should come out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Run a butter knife around the edge before unclipping the tin.
Transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle the orange juice over the top and let stand for 10 minutes before serving with a little
crème fraîche topped with lemon zest.
Sensationally Sugar Free by Susanna Booth, published by Hamlyn, £20 www.octopusbooks.co.uk
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