This month's recipe for the ABC of the Month is the Apricot-Almond-Berry Buckle. As you might know, we're baking from Flo Braker's wonderful book, Baking for All Occasions. When I saw this recipe, I knew this would be a perfect summer cake. Although Flo uses fresh apricots, raspberries and boysenberries, she specifically tells you to use whatever fruit is in season and available to you. There's no way I would find fresh apricots worth buying here in MN, so I looked for frozen ones to no avail. I ended using canned apricots that were pretty decent. For the "berry" part of this cake, I used blackberries and blueberries.
A slice of fruity goodness
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Monica of Sweet Bites to the ABC of the Month baking group. I know Monica from our weekly baking group, Heavenly Cake Bakers. She's a great cook and baker. And like myself, she too has a slight yeast phobia :o)
If you're a Flo Braker fan, or just love to bake, please feel free to join our monthly baking group. Sign-up is easy. Just email me at HanaasKitchen [at] live [dot] com.
This recipe came together so quickly that it's going on my Repeat list. I used blackberries and blueberries that I had recently purchased and frozen. The almond-flavored cake batter was thick and satiny smooth, gently hugging the fruit.
Gently folded in the apricots
Folded in the berries by hand to avoid discoloring the batter (yes, it's a bit messy)
Scatter almonds on the cake and send to the oven for almost an hour
This cake is beautiful on the outside and on the inside
Flo says you can serve the cake warm or room temperature. So after it cooled for about 1 to 1.5 hours, I served the cake slightly warm. The almond aroma coming from the cake was wonderful. I loved the sound my fork made when it penetrated through the crunchy almond topping. The first bite was the perfect bite: crunchy almonds, moist cake reminiscent of a rich yellow cake, and a juicy berry. The cake is so moist and tender, it just melts in your mouth. The blueberry breaks open and releases its juice, while the crunch of the almonds is the perfect ending to my first bite.
The apricots are peeking through on the upper left corner, while the blueberries and blackberries are floating in the middle and bottom of the cake
If you would like to try this recipe, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of Flo Braker's book. Don't forget to check out the ABC blog roll:
- Shandy of Pastry Heaven
- Joy of Hot Oven Warm Heart
- Monica of Sweet Bites
- Vicki of Heavenly Cake Walk
- Hubby and I loved the cake. His only criticism was that the cake directly around the berries just a tad soggy because the berries were pretty juicy, and so he gave this cake an 8.5 out of 10. Personally, this didn't bother me at all because I expected some of that.
- The recipe called for 2 Tbsp of whole milk, but since I didn't have any, I used heavy cream instead.
- As mentioned above, instead of using fresh berries, I used frozen berries.
- Instead of almond extract, I used a couple drops of almond oil which is very concentrated. I think orange zest would be a nice variation on this cake and would pair very well with the fruit.