... like sinking into a hot bath, it's great to get back to the kitchen... (yes, even my soon-to-be-oven-less kitchen) and whilst, of course, I always appreciate the opportunity my job gives me to travel the world, the older I get, the happier I am to be home... especially when you have to deal with nasty, evil, bitter PR girls who have nothing better to do but make you feel small.
... and so to update you on the kitchen... the new extension seems almost complete from the outside, which means that they'll soon be knocking through from the inside... and then I really will no longer have a kitchen... it's all a bit dusty at present but we're coping fine... in fact The Viking writes about it very eloquently here.
... so I thought the first thing I should do was to bake a cake and what better place to start than with my favourite bloggers challenge, we should cocoa, hosted this month by the lovely Chele at The Chocolate Teapot... it's a great challenge, which, if you don't already take part, I implore you to give it a go... each month the challenge ingredient changes but whatever they choose must be made alongside chocolate... anyway, its brilliant, so check it out...
... this month its apricots!... i do love these plump little nuggets of intense sunshine... I love them fresh, dried, tinned and they're especially nice in this cake!
Apricot Preserve and Dark Chocolate Cake
this is really just a simple riff on my Grandma Jennie's Marmalade Cake but i've added a few extra's to spice it up... I've used the Green and Blacks Dark Chocolate with Ginger as I think it goes particularly well with the apricots, but whatever you use, do make sure you go for a good quality dark chocolate...
9oz self raising flour
3oz ground almonds
2 tablespoons hot water
2 dessert spoons (4oz) apricot preserve
4oz chopped dried apricots
2oz chopped green and blacks dark chocolate with ginger
- quite literally bung it all (except for the chopped apricots and chocolate) into a bowl and mix it up into a batter
- stir in the chocolate and apricots then pour into a prepared tin.
- bake for 45 mins on 170C
i've melted some apricot jam and brushed the top, then sprinkled with some grated chocolate...
... eat and of course, enjoy!