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Apricot Kuchen- Gesa’s German Cake Recipe

June 21, 2009
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apricot-kuchen My favorite breakfast would be a big-huge cup of perfectly brewed coffee with a huge slice of toasted pound cake!- oh and a big chunk of salty cheese as well. I don’t think I have indulged in just cake and cheese for any meal in a long time. Pound cake has a special place in my heart. I remember eating lots of it in India growing up. My Mom would make it at home but the one I remember fondly is from Standard Bakery. They made their pound cakes in round molds. It was small in diameter but baked really high. It used to be wrapped with a brown parchment paper, which I remember peeling off and devouring a big slice of cake as soon as it came home. I do try to eat that particular one whenever I go back. 

I ate an apricot cake a few years ago at a friend’s baby shower. Her Austrian friend had made her Mom’s recipe. It was delicious! It reminded me of the pound cake I used to eat years ago. It was not too sweet but had the pound cake texture. The apricots on top were a great accompaniment- sweet and tangy. The cake was served with sweetened whipped cream- again, my favorite. I could have eaten that whole thing by myself.

Recently my friend made her aunt Gesa’s  apple kuchen (word for ‘cake’ in German). I ate some and it reminded me of the apricot cake I had at her shower. I took the recipe, tweaked it a bit and added apricots instead of apples. It was delicious. It is not as rich as a pound cake but has a similar feel. It is not too sweet so it can be eaten for breakfast and tea. Most importantly, it tastes delicious with ice cream or whipped cream. I served it with a mixture of creme fraiche and ricotta cheese. I decided to use creme fraiche because its thick and creamy. I added ricotta cheese for it’s great texture. Both mixed together made a really yummy accompaniment to the cake. I sweetened the whole thing with a bit of vanilla sugar. 

Vanilla sugar can be bought but it is quite easy to make. Every time a recipe calls for a vanilla bean, I scrape the seeds out and save the rest. I add the emptied pods to a jar of sugar. After a week or so, the entire jar of sugar is flavored with the yummy vanilla taste. I always have some on hand – it’s a great way to flavor anything. Every morning my daughter, Sia get a bowl of berries topped with a bit of vanilla sugar- she loves it!

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 11/3 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large or 3 medium apricots, peeled; cut in half and the halves sliced thin but kept intact
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes till mixed well. Add the eggs on at a time, mixing well in between. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
In a small bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix well. Slowly incorporate the ½ cup milk to make a smooth batter.
Pour into the cake pan and smooth the top. Carefully add the sliced apricots on top and press down gently. Sprinkle the vanilla sugar on top of the apricots. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or till done.

Creme Fraiche Topping

  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

Mix creme fraiche, ricotta cheese and vanilla sugar together. Serve with the cake slices.

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