We’ve been hit with a hurricane of last week of school activities. It seems that nearly every night of the week we are at school for one performance or another.
I love my children but at the end of a work day all I want to do is have a quiet dinner at home and maybe spend some quality time on the couch.
So sitting on little chairs made for children or church pews and listen to unending row of children perform left us downright exhausted by the time a weekend came round.
I wanted nothing more than to leave London and wander the countryside somewhere quiet and idyllic.
So Brad and I loaded the kids in the car and set off for ancient ruins of an abbey that got destroyed in the 16th century by Henry VIII when he decided to abandon the Catholic Church and get rid of all monasteries in England.
The day was spent picnicking and playing hide and go seek in the ruins.
After running around in the ruins Brad and I stretched on a blanket that is too narrow for one person and laid there soaking up the sunshine while the kids carried on.
Finally when all the food was eaten and no stone left unturned we gathered our things and drove home past more amazing remnants of English history interspersed with fruit stands.
We did the only thing that was left to do. We stopped and picked up a flat of cherries from Kent, then got home and baked this cherry and apricot cake and whipped up some cream and Amaretto for good measure.
When the long awaited fruit is finally here you don’t want to put it on a cake that is less than stellar.
The sponge has to match the cherries’ sweet and juicy goodness and I’ve got just the recipe for you!
I believe not many words are needed to convince you that this sponge is light, buttery rich and pillowy soft and the flavour, which comes from ground almonds, fresh lemon zest and pure vanilla, is just delightful.
Throw a handful of cherries and apricots on top, drizzle with honey and you’ve got yourself a jewel studded beauty!
I served it with whipped cream spiked with Amaretto to highlight the almonds, which you can skip, but I wouldn’t if I were you!
- 175 g/ 3/4 cup butter very soft, plus extra for greasing
- 200 g/1 2/3 cup flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 150 g/ 1 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 200 g / 1 cup sugar
- 142 ml/ 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp kefir or buttermilk
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup cherries halved and pitted
- 6 ripe apricots halved and stoned
- 2 tbsp honey
For the Amaretto Cream
- 250 ml/1 cup double cream/whipping cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/4 cup Amaretto
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Butter a 9" round pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
- Add the butter, kefir or buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest and pulse briefly to combine until you have a homogenous thick batter.
- Scrape into your cake pan and arrange apricots and cherries on top, cut-side up.
- Drizzle with honey and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on a wire rack in a pan for 20 minutes.
- Run a knife around the sides of the cake to release it and remove from the pan.
- Let cool completely.
- Whip cream with icing sugar and Amaretto.
- Serve with Amaretto cream.