200g dried apricots, roughly chopped
juice of ½ lemon
125ml boiling water
125g unsalted butter, softened
165g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 eggs
150g almond meal (ground almonds)
75g self-raising flour
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of salt
100g good-quality dark (or milk) chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

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1.Place the apricots, lemon juice and boiling water in a small saucepan.
2.Simmer gently, with a lid on, over very low heat for 10 minutes.
3.Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
4.Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced.
5.Grease a 22cm round springform tin with butter and line the base and side with baking paper.
6.In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
7.Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
8.Place the almond meal, flour, cardamom and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
9.Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, stirring gently to combine.
10.Add the chocolate and cooled apricots and fold them through.
11.Spoon the batter into the lined tin, smoothing the top with a spatula.
12.Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and cook for 45–50 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
13.Allow to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.
14.Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
15.Any leftover cake will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2–3 days.

Images and text
from The Plain Cake
Appreciation Society
by Tilly Pamment,
photography by Tilly
Pamment. Murdoch
Books, RRP $45.