Whenever I want to bake a quick tasty cake, a heavy cream based one would be one of my first choices, as it requires only a few basic ingredients, and it can be mixed in a short time, in one bowl. Another important reason for choosing this type of cake is that it has a wonderful rich texture and flavor, that can be easily altered with just a few spices or ingredients.
This time, I aimed at a simply flavored cake, and chose only vanilla as its dominant flavor. While the cake can definitely be served as is, the minimal flavoring allowed me to add a layer of apricot jam in the middle of the cake, and to top it with chocolate frosting. These tasty additions elevated the cake to another level, and gave it a more complex flavor and festive look. The lightly acidic and aromatic apricot jam paired beautifully with the vanilla in the cake, and with the dark chocolate in the frosting. The cake is perfect as an afternoon treat, with a hot beverage on the side. Try it and enjoy.
* Pearl sugar is a special sugar that keeps its white color and shape while baking. It can be found in specialty stores or online.
Makes: 1 loaf pan (about 12 portions)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
2 L eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla essence
1¼ cups sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream, at room temperature
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the jam layer:
½ cup apricot jam
For the frosting:
½ cup mini dark chocolate chips
1 Tbs oil
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 Tbs pearl sugar (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 355F (180C). Brush a 10” (25cm) loaf pan with a thin layer of soft butter, dust with flour, turn upside down and tap over the pan, to get rid of excess flour. Keep in the fridge until using.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and heavy cream, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk to incorporate. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and place in the oven.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the canter of the cake comes out clean.
- Transfer to a rack. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before releasing from the pan.
- Let cool to room temperature. With a serrated knife, cut the cake in half, horizontally. Spread the jam over the bottom part, and cover with the top part.
- The frosting: place the chocolate chips in a small bowl, add the oil and mix. Melt over a double boiler, or in the microwave. Mix until smooth, add the sour cream and mix well to a smooth frosting. Spread over the top and sides of the cake. Let set for a couple of minutes before scattering the pearl sugar on top.