This cake comes from one of my Christmas presents, the lovely Great British Bake Off: How to Bake which has lots of delicious sounding recipes that I can't wait to try. This one caught my eye first because of the marzipan as I had some left over from the Christmas Cake that needed using up.
This is quite a plain cake really but still lovely all the same. The marzipan adds a lovely sweet richness and the apricot glaze adds a nice bit of zing. Perfect for a spot of afternoon tea.
By the way, don't be deceived by the size of the cake in the picture below. It started out as a full sized loaf cake but this was all that was left by the time I came home this afternoon!
Golden Apricot and Marzipan Loaf Cake
(adapted from The Great British Bake Off - How to Bake)
for the cake mixture
300g/10 1/2oz self raising flour
good pinch of salt
150g/5 1/2oz unsalted butter, cool and firm but not rock hard
100g/3 1/2oz golden caster sugar
100g/3 1/2oz soft-dried apricots
150g/5 1/2oz sultanas
2 large free-range eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
150ml full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
150g/5 1/2oz marzipan
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon boiling water
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
1) Grease and line a 900g loaf tin, about 26 x 12.5 x 7.5cm (or a 20cm round, deep cake tin). Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4.
2) Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces then rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Alternatively you can blitz it in a food processor for a few seconds. Stir in the sugar.
3) Roughly chop the apricots or cut into small chunks with scissors. Add to the bowl with the sultanas and mix well. Beat the eggs with the vanilla and milk until thoroughly combined. Add to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to make a stiff mixture.
4) Spoon one third of the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Cut the marzipan into 1.5cm cubes and arrange half on top of the cake mix. Cover with half the remaining mixture, spreading it evenly. Arrange the rest of the marzipan cubes on top of this layer then spread the rest of the mixture over the top.
5) Gently bang the tin on the worktop to get rid of any air pockets then bake in the over for 1 - 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (test in several different places because it's hard to avoid the marzipan). Transfer the tin to a wire rack. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cake then leave to cool for 15 minutes before carefully turning it out and leaving it to cool on a wire rack.
6) To finish, gently warm the apricot jam with the water, stirring to make a sticky glaze. Brush this over the top of the cake. Scatter the flaked almonds over the cake then leave to set. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.