Fit Bits – Apricot Pistachio Cake

Fit Bits – Apricot Pistachio Cake

In a week, I’ll be heading to Sicily for a fitness retreat. I’ll spend an entire week focusing on wellness and health instead of food. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for the last few years and finally schedules aligned, and I’m going.

One week of yoga, dance, martial arts, and strength training under the Sicilian sun—these will be intense days, but I look forward to the challenge and experience.

Besides plenty of exercise, we’ll still have Sicilian meals to replenish our energy, and I definitely won’t feel guilty about eating all the pasta and gelato. My grand reward will come after the retreat when M and I will be eating our way through Italy for 10 whole days.

Since this will be the last post for a while, I’m giving you a departing gift of this sunny Apricot Pistachio Cake. It’s both a celebration for the adventures to come and wish for a splendid summer. In August, I’ll be back with jet lag and plenty of dessert ideas from Italy. Ciao!

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Apricot Pistachio Cake

Ingredients:

Apricot Cake
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup apricot pureé
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3/4 cups (7 ounces) cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, softened
Apricot Glaze
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon apricot pureé
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Pistachio Buttercream
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pistachio paste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped & melted, cool slightly
Apricot Buttercream
  • 16 tablespoons (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons apricot pureé
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped & melted, cool slightly
Assembly
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • Apricot Cake layers
  • Pistachio Buttercream
  • Apricot Buttercream
  • Apricot Glaze
  • Pistachios, chopped (optional)
  • Fresh apricots (optional)

Directions:

Apricot Cake

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350℉ (convection 325℉). Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans.

2. Whisk eggs, milk, apricot pureé and vanilla together in bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain.

3. Add half of egg mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining egg mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds (batter may look slightly curdled). Give batter final stir by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with small off-set spatula. Bake until tops are light golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes (15-18 minutes for convection), rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on rack, about 1 hour.

Apricot Glaze

1. Place white chocolate in a small bowl, set aside. Combine heavy cream, apricot pureé, corn syrup and salt in a small bowl and heat it up in microwave for 45 seconds on high. Pour hot apricot mixture over white chocolate and whisk until combined and smooth. Set aside to cool and thickened, about one hour.

Pistachio Buttercream

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add pistachio paste and vanilla, continue to beat until fully combined.

2. Reduce speed to medium-low and add sugar in a few additions until combined, pour in slightly cooled white chocolate and beat until fully incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth and creamy, about 30-45 seconds.

Apricot Buttercream

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add apricot pureé and vanilla, continue to beat until fully combined.

2. Reduce speed to medium-low and add sugar in a few additions until combined, pour in slightly cooled white chocolate and beat until fully incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth and creamy, about 30-45 seconds.

Assembly

1. Stir apricot jam and brandy together in a small bowl. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter, spread 1/3 of the apricot/brandy mixture evenly on top and let it soak in for a few minutes. Spread a layer of pistachio buttercream on top and smooth top with off-set spatula. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, apricot/brandy glaze and part of the pistachio buttercream. Crumb coat the cake (top and side) with pistachio buttercream. (You should have extra pistachio buttercream). Refrigerate cake for 20-30 minutes.

2. Spread generous amount of apricot buttercream on top and side of cake. Dollop remaining pistachio buttercream at random and smooth top and side of cake with off-set spatula. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Drizzle Apricot Glaze on top of cake and let it drip down the side. Let set for 10 minutes. Decorate top of cake with fresh apricots and chopped pistachios (if use). Serve.

* You can use both buttercream as you see fit. You can also just make one buttercream, simply double the recipe.

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