A Cake for Midsummer

A lot of firsts for me during these past two weeks, Friends! Where shall I begin?
1. I finally got my hands on Ripe, Nigel Slater's much-anticipated sequel to his much-adored Tender.
2. I finally ate at Gjelina. (Possibly the best oysters ever?)
3. I finally visited the Venice canals. Have you guys been? Yet another interesting, didn't-know-these-were-here part of L.A.
3. I finally had my first Intelligentsia coffee. Delicious.
4. Matt got soaked from head to toe while wearing normal, non-bathing-suit attire by what he refers to as a "rogue wave" in Malibu. (We have video of it because, yes, he was filming, and yes, it's hilarious.)
5. In case you missed it, I went to Paris with Tim from Lottie and Doof on a very special mission.
6. And finally, I successfully navigated myself from the east side of town to LAX via a slew of interstates—an experience that left me, after 7 years of having lived here, in a complete state of awe at the sheer breadth of this city.

Or, in other words, we had visitors in from out of town! Matt's parents to be exact. It was lovely, as it always is. In fact, Matt and I were so sad to see them go, I had to bake this cake a second a time just in order to cope.
Nigel has a way with recipe titles and this one is no exception. And though it's no longer exactly midsummer, it's been brutally hot here and there are still beautiful peaches everywherewhich I substituted for the apricotsso I feel perfectly fine in adjusting the title thusly: a cake for mid-to-late summer.
And since I've purchased the expensive bag of ground almonds and have almost an entire bag left of self-rising flour, I think I'll make this cake well into Fall.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Mavis and I need to go for a walk. Remember Mavis?
A Cake for Midsummer via Ripe
serves 8 to 10

3/4 cup butter
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons golden baker's sugar (I used "golden brown sugar.")
7 oz. (4 or 5) ripe apricots (OR 2 fairly large peaches)
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
a scant cup of ground almonds
2 tablespoons milk
6 oz. raspberries (The second time I made this, I skipped the raspberries and added an extra peach. And it might've been even better!)

Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Halve, pit, and coarsely chop the apricots/peaches. Beat the te eggs lightly, then add to the creamed butter and sugar a little at at a time, pushing the mixture down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. If there is any sign of curdling, stir in a tablespoon of the flour.

Mix the flour and almonds together and fold in, with the mixer on a low speed, in two or three separate batches. Add the milk, and once it is incorporated, add the chopped apricots and the raspberries. Mix together with the spatula.

Scrape the mixture into the cake pan and bake for an hour and ten minutes. (If you have a convection oven, it might only take 40 minutes!) Test with a skewer; if it comes out relatively clean, then the cake is done. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes or so in the pan, then run a thin spatula around the edge and slide it out onto a plate. decorating as the fancy takes you.


Matthew said...

I loved this cake! Also, that Rogue wave was a DOOZY!

Stacy said...

That sort of cake is my favorite sort of cake. Yes please!!

Amelia Morris said...

Rogue with a capital R indeed!!! :) :)

Kara said...

Haha that picture of Mavis! It is exhausting being young and adorable. I should know.

Eileen said...

Cake filled with summer fruit is by far the best! OM NOM NOM.

Ashley said...

You could definitely slip your photos in to Ripe and I don't think anyone would notice! So lovely! And this cake sounds delicious. I'm not ready to let go of summer yet, though I think everyone else has moved on to fall and pumpkin-mania (I'll join them shortly).

talley said...

I've been eyeing this Slater recipe for a little while now. There are a few apricots left at the market, but I'm guessing they are of the cottony variety and not the juicy delicious variety, so perhaps I'll save the raspberry-apricot version for next year and dive into the full on peach version per your suggestion. Or I might just get totally crazy and use some plums, or even blackberries AND plums. I figure if I make a cake a week I'll finish all my desired combinations by New Years, just in time for a New Years Resolution special at the gym so I can burn of some cake.

ps. loved your trip to paris!

Laura said...

YUM. I'm thinking apples, since peaches are gone now. Boy this looks yummy....

Mary Anne said...

You're a tease! Where's the wave video???

Amelia Morris said...

There's a time and a place, Mare!

Amelia Morris said...

Plums and blackberries would be amaaaazing.

And so glad you liked the Paris recap! ;)

kathy@startcooking.com said...

WOW! This looks so moist and delicious! BTW, in case you still have some leftover ground almonds... I just discovered that you can thicken some curries with ground almonds - who knew?

Kristen said...

Agree. I want to see the hilarious wave video! Also, this cake looks delicious. Definitely going to have to try it.

Melanie said...

Thanks for reminding me that I have gotta buy Ripe! These pictures and Mavis are beautiful.

Rachel said...

Love that post on Lottie! And aren't great in-laws the best?

jenny said...

I made this cake 8 million times this summer!! It's OUTSTANDING.

Marsha and Mark said...

We loved eating this delicious and beautiful cake! Thank you Amelia and Matt.

sara said...

I need to see said Matt video asap.

Also, this cake looks awesome. It's turning decidedly Fallish here in Nashville (no complaints here) so I may have to save it for next year, but I'm glad you reminded me to pick up this cookbook!

tori said...

Loved the Lottie post no end and laughed, out loud, in a cafe while watching 'be sexy', causing some embarrassment. The coffee there was not nearly as good as Intelligentsia, so it was time to leave anyway.

Jessica said...

Ooooh! Love Nigel Slater - totally agree about his recipe titles - so quaintly nostalgic...and British :)

Broma Bakery said...

I just found you and I love you.