Friday, August 25, 2017

Marzipan Apricot Gugelhupf with Pistachios



You would have to have a cold heart of stone fruit not to love this combination of flavors. I admit to fondly gazing at fresh apricots whenever I see them in the market. I can't resist their sweet and tart flavor. 



The best ones I've ever eaten were bought off a street vendor in Istanbul. I was starving after running all over the city. Soft and fragrant in my hands, when I close my eyes, I can still summon their deep flavor. 



The apricot print kitchen towel in the pictures was purchased in Dürnstein, the apricot capital of Austria. A fairytale city perched on the banks of the Danube River where I sampled all types of apricot products including brandy, liquor and roasted, salted and chocolate covered apricot kernels. . 



This bundt cake has a layer of fresh sugared apricots sandwiched between a light moist cake is studded with pieces of raw marzipan. 



The cake is topped with a simple powdered sugared orange juice glazed and sprinkled with raw chopped pistachios. I added a bit of orange food coloring to the glaze to tint it. That step is optional. 



Surprisingly, for all that jazz, this cake is not too sweet. 


Marzipan Apricot Gugelhupf with Pistachios
Prep time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 slices
Ingredients:
  • 1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 fresh apricots
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick)  unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 oz raw marzipan, chopped into small pieces (see recipe below for homemade)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
  • A few drops of orange food coloring (optional) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw pistachios

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Grease and flour a 9" bunt pan.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the apricots (boil apricots for 2 minutes then transfer them to a bowl of ice water.) 
  • Peel the apricots, discard the pits and cut the fruit flesh into small pieces. 
  • Toss the apricot pieces with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and set aside. Let cool completely. 
  • Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. When the mixture becomes foamy add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stop the mixer when still peaks form.
  • Separately, beat the rest of the sugar together with the butter until creamy (about 3 minutes on medium high speed) 
  • Beat in the egg yolks. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again for a few seconds. 
  • Beat in half the combined dry ingredients. Mix in the milk and then beat in the other half of the dry ingredients.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again for a few seconds. 
  • Fold in the egg white mixture and then gently mix in the marzipan pieces. 
  • Pour half the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  • Distribute the sugared apricots over the top of the batter and pour the rest of the batter over the apricots.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Check the cake and if the top is nicely browned but a knife inserted in the middle does not come out clean. Cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool completely.
  • Whisk together the orange juice and powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes the consistency of a pourable glaze. Add more orange juice or water if the glaze is too thick.
  • Pour the glaze over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the wet glaze. 
  • When the glaze has hardened, transfer the cake to a serving platter. Cut and serve. 
Homemade Marzipan Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1+1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1+1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 large egg white
Directions:
  • Place the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Add the extract and the egg white. Process on high until the marzipan forms.
  • If the marzipan is too sticky to hold a shape, add more powdered sugar,  a tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency.
  • If you are not using the marzipan right away, wrap it tightly in plastic cling film. Otherwise, it will dry out pretty quickly.


Like Apricots? Try these Recipes:







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