Chocolate, Apricot and Pistachio Cake by Tobie Puttock
100g slivered almonds
165g butter, unsalted
100g castor sugar
4 eggs, separated
100g dried apricots, chopped
150g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
pinch sea salt
for icing (my own addition):
100g dark chocolate
50g butter, unsalted
small handful extra pistachios
Preheat oven to 190C and grease and line a 25cm spring-form tin with baking paper.
In a food processor, whiz 2/3 of nuts until finely ground. Roughly chop remaining nuts by hand and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and pale. Add egg yolks one at a time, then sir in nuts, apricots, chocolate, cardamon and vanilla seeds.
Whisk egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form. First, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into cake tin and bake for 45 -50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add butter and allow to melt while regularly stirring. When combined, spread over cooled cake with a knife dipped on hot water to create a smooth, shiny coating of chocolate. Sprinkle over extra pistachios which have been lightly crushed with the side of a knife to expose their beautiful green colour.
Put candles on for the beautiful birthday girl or just serve as is!