Eggless Cakes

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Eggless Cakes

Cakes with Fresh Fruits

Apricot Caramel Upside-down Cake

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5

Use a 23cm/9 inch square cake tin.

Syrup: Make a syrup by boiling the sugar with 600ml/1 pint of water for 5 minutes.

Caramel: Put the sugar into a pan with 10 tbs. or 1/2 cup of water. Stir over low heat until dissolved, then boil hard to a rich caramel brown (don't stir, but watch it). Wrap your hand in a tea towel, and stir in - off the heat - 4 tbs. water, using a wooden spoon. The caramel will sizzle, harden and look very odd. Just stir carefully, and if it does not dissolve into a clear smooth caramel, put it back over the heat until it does. Pour into the lightly greased cake tin and set aside.

Bring the syrup to the boil in a wide pan, and slip in the halved stoned apricots, cut side down. When the syrup returns to the boil, give it a minute to simmer, then turn the apricots over. By this time, they will be cooked enough. Do not let them collapse. Remove with a slotted spoon and pack closely together, cut side down, on top of the caramel.

Lightly grease the cake tin. Put all the cake ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer or processor and whizz until smoothly blended. If necessary, add a couple of tbs. of the apricot syrup to make the mixture a dropping consistency. The ingredients can equally well be beaten together by hand; make sure the butter is very soft indeed.

Spread carefully and evenly over the apricots. Bake for about 45 minutes. The top should brown nicely. Cool for a moment, then run a warm knife round the edge, put a serving plate on top and quickly turn upside down. Serve warm, with fresh cream.

If you like, you can split and toast as many almonds as there are apricots, and put a nice brown piece in the cavity of each half of apricot.