Apricot Cake for Breakfast and Morning Rituals
If there is one thing that relaxes me, it's baking. Don't imagine anything complicated or requiring pastry chef skills, I'm referring to simple cakes and tarts able to provide great satisfaction in less than an hour. In my house, the day reserved for baking is usually Sunday.
Like almost every day, on Sundays too I wake up early for my morning run, but when I return home instead of waking Vito up, I let him sleep and make something sweet for breakfast.
In summer I jog earlier than during the rest of the year because I've become addicted to that special light you see only for one hour from dawn, when the hues of the sky go from blue to purple, and finally orange and pink. Besides, the city is empty. It's just me, a few other joggers and some workers.
My typical route is Ruga Giuffa, Greci, the Metropole Hotel and then Riva degli Schiavoni, Riva dei Sette Martiri, Sant'Elena and all the way back, via Piazza San Marco. Sometimes I change path, depending on the wind and my mood, but that remains my favourite.
I have special spots along the trail where I stop for a brief while, jumping on my two feet, with the iPod in my ears, just to admire the view, like when I cross the bridge before Giardini, where the morning light combined with the leaves of the tall trees and the statues creates a magical effect, and at a special corner in Sant' Elena, in front of the yacht club, where I never fail to meet a marmalade cat.
At the weekend, though, I avoid going to Sant' Elena, and that's because I don't want to see the cruise ships entering the lagoon. I'm afraid that no matter what has happened in recent times, until the end of the season things are not going to change from this point of view. So when I see the tug boat going out, I know it's going to get the giant monster, and I start my way back.
In my imagination, that tug boat should be carrying the island of Venice away, detaching it from the Liberty Bridge and sailing it into the Adriatic and beyond, like in the short film 'The Crimson Permanent Assurance' that precedes the movie 'The Meaning of Life' by Monty Python, where a group of angry clerks rebel against their bosses and turn into pirates and sail away looking for financial centres to plunder.
Yes, okay... Maybe I get a little carried away in my day dreaming, but envisioning this scene always makes me laugh! Anyway, going back to more serious business, today I'm sharing a recipe for a simple apricot breakfast cake.
It takes about ten minutes to prepare and forty-five to cook (more or less, depending on your oven). I realise I am using a lot of apricots lately, but in my defence you can't deny that they are absolutely delicious and, also, I find they have good value for money.
I used white 00 flour, but you can replace it with whole wheat or spelt flour. The cake was lovely and moist and pleasantly sweet, I served it with green tea with fresh mint leaves and a little bit of apricot jam on the side. If you don't have any jam, simply wash and slice some apricots, cut them into squares and simmer them in a pan with water and sugar, stirring continuously, until they melt completely and you get a jelly like mixture.
Hope you will enjoy it as much as we did and, meanwhile, we wish you all a happy Sunday!
APRICOT BREAKFAST CAKE
Prep. Time: 10'
Cook Time: 45'
150 gr brown sugar
80 ml oil
80 ml milk
200 gr 00 flour
15 gr baking powder
crushed hazelnuts to garnish
1. Pre-heat oven at 180°
2. Wash the apricots, slice 3 into small squares and one length wise. Keep aside.
3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until you obtain a foamy mixture. Add the oil, amalgamate, then add the milk and do the same.
4. Add the previously sifted flour and baking powder and combine with the other ingredients. Now add the apricot cubes and give one last stir.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan and decorate with the apricot wedges. Sprinkle some crushed hazelnuts and bake at 180° for about 45 minutes.
6. When ready, let sit in the oven for 2/3 minutes and allow it time to cool. Excellent for breakfast served with tea or coffee and some apricot jam on the side.