However, it was too late to do anything. I went ahead and surprisingly, I could blend the whites into the batter quite easily. I was expecting the cake to fall flat like a piece of flatbread, but to my delight, it manage to rise and puff up upon baking :)
Apricot Tray Bake
(makes nine 6cm squares)
100g unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
30g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites
60g caster sugar
80g cake flour
40g + 30g ground almond (almond powder)
9 apricot halves (canned apricots)
some almond flakes
- Wash the canned apricots to remove the syrup, drain, pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
- Place butter in a mixing bowl, beat with a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk till smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture turns pale, light and fluffy.
- Gradually add in the egg yolks (a teaspoon at a time), whisking after each addition.
- Add in the vanilla extract, whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld electric mixer on low speed until mixture becomes frothy and foamy. Add half of the sugar and turn to high speed and beat the mixture. Continue to add in the remaining sugar and beat until the egg whites reaches the soft peak stage. The soft peak stage is reached when the peaks of the whites curl over and droop slightly. The egg whites should appear smooth and glossy.
- Add the beaten egg whites into the butter and egg yolk batter in 2 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
- Sieve over the flour and 40g of ground almond (almond powder). Fold with the spatula until just combined.
- Spoon half of the batter into a 18cm square pan (lined with parchment paper). Spread and smooth out the batter evenly. Arrange the apricots, cut side down.
- Add 30g of ground almond into the remaining batter. Fold with a spatula until just combined. Place batter into a piping bag (I used a plastic grocery bag). Snip off the tip of the piping bag and pipe the batter horizontally and vertically along the edges of the pan and in between the apricots. Sprinkle almond flakes on the surface of the piped batter.
- Bake in preheated oven at 180 degC for about 30-35mins or until the surface turns golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from oven, leave to cool for about 5 mins. Unmould and transfer to wire rack, leave to cool completely.