Apricot cakes with a creamy base: A recipe sweeter than sugar!

"Buzz, buzz, buzz!" With spring on its way, it won't be long before bees are about their businesses, pollinating flowers and making some honey. And while we can't make spring come any faster, with this recipe, we can certainly bring you some bees to brighten up your day. Just follow our instructions and you'll be enjoying these fruity, juicy desserts in no time!

You'll need:

For the cake batter:

  • 4½ oz flour
  • 7 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3½ oz vegetable oil
  • 2 fl oz water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites, beaten

For the pudding cream:

  • 17 fl oz milk
  • 2¾ oz sugar
  • 2 sachets vanilla pudding mix
  • 21 oz sour cream

For the glaze:

  • 17½ oz apricot jelly
  • 5 oz water
  • 6 sheets gelatin

For the decoration:

  • 20 apricot halves out of the can
  • 1¾ oz melted dark chocolate couverture
  • 3 tsp white chocolate couverture
  • flaked almonds

Here's how:

  1. For the cake base, first mix the dry ingredients together, then add the oil, water and egg yolks and beat them with an electric whisk until they are foamy. Then, carefully fold in the beaten egg whites. Spread the mixture out on a deep baking try, smooth it out flat and bake it in an oven for 15 mins at 360°F with heat above and below.
  2. Now to take care of the pudding cream. Before heating the milk in a pan, take several spoons of it and use it to dissolve the pudding mix. Add the sugar and the pudding mix to the milk and stir it in with a whisk before you heat it. Keep stirring over the heat until it has a creamy consistency. Transfer it into a bowl and mix it thoroughly with the sour cream. Then spread the cream mixture evenly over the cooled cake base.
  3. For the glaze, mix the apricot jelly and the water over a gentle heat in a pan. Then stir in the gelatin. Finally, spread the jelly mixture on top of the cooled pudding cream.
  4. Now comes the decorative part, we promised you bees didn't we? For this, lay the apricot halves flat side down on a work surface lined with baking parchment or sandwich paper. Pour the liquid dark couverture into a disposable piping bag and cut the tip off, leaving as small a hole as possible so you can work with it precisely. Decorate the apricot halves with the chocolate, by passing over each of them with the bag several times so they end up with brown stripes. 
  5. Then dip the back of a spoon in the couverture and use it to place a small blob of chocolate either in front of or behind the stripes on each apricot, to help make the bees' faces. For the eyes, dip the blunt end of a skewer in the white couverture and use it to make two white blobs on the upper half of the dark chocolate circles. Make sure they have set before you do this. For the final details for the eyes, dip the point of the skewer in the dark couverture. When you carefully add tiny dots in the center of the white circles this will create pupils for the eyes. To finish this naturally-inspired artwork, now make a small incision behind the first chocolate stripe behind the eyes and insert two flaked almonds for wings.
  6. Now you just have to arrange the decorated apricots on the jelly glaze and refrigerate the whole thing.

There's nothing that says spring quite like the buzz of a bee, and if you're afraid of the sting, just remember, they'll only attack if they feel threatened. But to be on the safe side, maybe you should simply get on with making some like this — they're perfectly safe and wonderfully tasty, so why not bring a taste of spring into your kitchen!

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