Chocolate, pistachio and apricot cake
This is a gorgeous, aromatic cake that is wonderful for a tea party and makes a pretty birthday cake.
If you can’t find fresh apricots, use tinned. If you like, you can make two smaller cakes and sandwich them together with the butter icing before topping with more of the icing. Or you can make the cake without the butter cream and simply decorate with a drizzle of melted dark chocolate. Serves: 12 Preparation: 15-25 minutes Cooking: 45 minutes
220g good quality dark chocolate 120g pistachios 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 150g caster sugar 3 eggs 2 tsp orange flower water Grated zest of 1 orange 150g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder 4 apricots, stoned and diced
For the butter icing
150g unsalted butter, softened 150g apricot jam 275g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin with butter and line with baking parchment.
If you have a food processor, pulse 200g of the chocolate and 100g of the pistachios together until you have coarse crumbs; otherwise grate the chocolate and chop the pistachios as finely as you can.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then add the orange flower water and orange zest and mix again.
Fold in the flour and baking powder using a metal spoon, then add the chocolate and pistachio crumbs, followed by the apricots, and stir to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the butter icing by mixing together the butter, jam and icing sugar until smooth. Once the cake has cooled, spread icing all over it.
Grate the remaining 20g of chocolate, chop the remaining 20g of pistachios and scatter both over the icing. From Sesame and Spice, Headline, £25