250g / 8 oz softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
300g / 10 oz plain flour, plus extra for the tin
250g / 8 oz caster sugar
7 apricots, halved, kernels removed
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 large eggs (or about 250g in weight)
1 tsp baking powder
finely sliced toasted almonds
fresh apricot halves
- Heat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease a deep 20 cm tin with the butter, line the base with greaseproof paper, then dust the sides lightly with flour, shaking off any excess.
- Scatter the base of the tin with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar then fit the apricot halves on top, cut side facing up. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and the sugar together in a stand mixer or an electric whisk until fluffy and the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs one by one until incorporated.
- Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and salt until smooth without overworking it, then spoon onto the apricots.
- Smooth the batter with a spatula then bake for 50 minutes until cooked through.
- Test this with a skewer by probing the centre of the sponge; if there is batter still clinging to the skewer then put the cake back in for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely in the tin.
- Run a blunt knife around the edge of the cake then turn it out onto a plate. Serve with extra fresh apricots, almonds and drizzle with honey.