Autumn is taking hold and I’m happily embracing the change in season. The cooler mornings and cosy evenings are so welcome. Over summer when days are long and hot I prefer to make the most of it at the beach or in the garden. These days, while it’s cooler I retreat into the kitchen, the oven warms up my little cottage and I spend an hour or two baking for afternoon tea. This is one that I have with a cup of hot chai on a Sunday afternoon. I sit around with my boys playing card games and taking no notice of the time as the afternoon melds into evening.
This delicious cake recipe is created by Lise Walsh. If you’ve been to one of my Mindful Making workshops you know about Lise and her glorious baked treats. It’s such a delight to have her home baked cakes for afternoon tea. I love a cake that makes use of what’s fresh and in season. We’re at the tail end of the glut of stone-fruits that’ve been filling the stores. I wanted to make the most of them before they’re all gone. It’s one of those recipes that you can substitute whatever firm sweet fruit is in season. I’m going to bake it with pears in the winter.
“Loved by everyone, it always brings a little something special to the table without being over the top or super sickly. It’s deliciously moist and nutty, and the buckwheat flour adds a slightly earthy flavour, while the fruit adds the perfect amount of sweetness.” Lise Walsh
250g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup hazelnut meal
1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsps Gluten Free baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 tbsp chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees fan-forced.
- Grease and line a 23 cm round springform tin with baking paper.
- Halve the nectarines and carefully remove the stones (I chopped them into slices for this one).
- Place the nectarine halves, cut side facing down, into the base of the tin, covering as much of the base of the tin as possible (keeping to a single layer).
- Place the hazelnut meal, buckwheat flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Stir well and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the softened butter and sugars.
- Beat on medium speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is thick, creamy and lighter in colour. Approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, insuring each egg is well mixed into the batter.
- Add the vanilla extract and the dry ingredients and mix on low, until just combined. (Do not to over mix the batter.)
- Pour the batter into the nectarine lined cake tin.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Let sit in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire cake stand.
- For the topping, place the apricot jam into a small saucepan and gently heat.
- Spoon over the jam and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.