Returning from a windswept and, quite frankly, freezing cold walk along the beach yesterday, my boyfriend and I were left with cold bones, red noses, and a serious appetite for something sweet. Usually in this situation I would make up a batch of flapjacks; their gooey, oat dense flavour gives you all the energy support you may need after a long day at the coast. But, having recently discovered a recipe for Ginger Batch Cake, I was inspired to make a version of my own and so was borne the Apricot Spice Sticky Cake Slice.
I have grown rather fond of the use of the word sticky in my pudding and sweet things repertoire. Being more of a savoury person by nature, I think I just feel that if something is going to be sweet and sugary, it really ought to be sticky as well! In this instance, the sticky part is due to the combination of the sugar syrup made with the sugar, butter replacement and apricots, plus the ground almonds that make up the body of the cake; while the agave syrup glaze adds a gloss and extra gooeyness to the whole affair.
I have to warn you, this dish is not a light bite and you may need to work up an appetite before you tuck in to a slice, but it makes for a wonderfully intense and gooey cake that works delightfully as a pudding, if served warm with a pouring of oat cream. Alternatively, leave the cake to cool completely, cut into squares and serve with a cup of tea after a blustery day on the beach. Although lovely when served on the day of its making it also lends itself to being stored (in an airtight container) and will taste equally good up to three days later.
APRICOT SPICE STICKY CAKE SLICE
Makes 12 squares
180g butter replacement (Pure Sunflower Spread)
180g soft brown sugar
180g soft dried apricots
220g ground almonds
110g Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
2 tsp mixed spice
3 eggs – using 3 heaped tsp of Orgran Egg Replacer whisked together with 6 tbsp of water
½ tsp xantham gum
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp rice milk
3 tbsp agave syrup to glaze
Preheat the oven to 150c (130c Fan) and butter and line a 20 x 20 square cake tin. Place the butter replacement, sugar and apricots into a saucepan (preferably non stick) and add 3 tablespoons of water. Melt the mixture together, stirring occasionally, and then bring to the boil and boil for exactly 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool down until you can dip your finger in without burning yourself – be careful it is very hot so do wait for at least 20 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and beat in the mixed spice until blended to a thick and glossy texture, then, while still beating, add the egg replacer and rice milk. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and xantham gum and then fold in the ground almonds until fully combined. Tip the cake mixture in to the baking tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until an inserted sharp knife or cocktail stick comes out clean.
Carefully lift the cake out of its tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, pour over the agave syrup and spread evenly with a spatula, leave to set for half an hour and then serve.