I made this apricot almond amaretto pound cake while back, for Valentine’s Day. I spent the night with my parents, brother, aunts and uncles. I may be a real romantic / party animal / lame person / etc, but at least I got some yummy berries and prime rib. Others would appreciate the meat more than I, but eh.
I made some modifications. I cut the sugar from 3 cups to 2 cups, used 15 T butter (didn’t quite have enough) and used whole milk Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. My almond paste was a touch dry and crusty on the outside but fine on the inside, as it had been lounging in the fridge for a while, whoops. I didn’t quite use ¼ cup amaretto; that seemed like a lot, especially because the batter smelled really boozy. I probably could have added more though because the batter didn’t taste that alcohol-y.
The batter was super fluffy- like a meringue or macaron batter. Make sure to scrape down the bowl a lot; there’s so much stuff that it needs to get well mixed. I used a 10” springform pan, which didn’t connect completely, so I baked it on a sheet pan to ensure against leakage.
I checked the cake at 60, 70, 80 and 90 minutes. It was super wobbly and the toothpick was wet for the longest time. I had to move the cake from the middle to lower rack because I was getting worried about how brown it was.
The apricot almond amaretto pound cake was kind of dense, but it had a nice springy crumb. I loved the bits of apricots and the almondy flavor, and Mom kept raving about how she loved the crunchy top. Stacey brought over a strawberry/cream/custard cake from Whole Foods, and while it was a bit rich on its own, it was quite fabulous with my cake. Mom thought sliced almonds on top would be nice, and I couldn’t get the idea of a lemon glaze out of my head.
I felt like this apricot almond amaretto pound cake was a bit dry; this was probably because I overbaked it, because of the reduction in sugar, and because yogurt is significantly less fattening than sour cream. So take it out even if there seems to be a film of batter on the toothpick. But honestly, I thought the sweetness level was about perfect with the sugar that was in there, and there definitely does not need to have more fat (hello, 2 sticks of butter and 6 eggs). I want to try doing half yogurt, half sour cream next time, but I am not looking forward to having 1 ½ cups of leftover sour cream, so we’ll see. I think subbing some (maybe ⅓ cup) apricots soaked in the amaretto then pureed for some (¼ cup) butter would be 1) healthier and 2) more flavorful. (Note that my proposed changes have been reflected in the below recipe).
Almond Apricot Amaretto Pound Cake
adapted from Regan Daley's In the Sweet Kitchen
1 cup chopped dried apricots
¼ cup Amaretto (water or maybe black tea could work as well)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups almond meal (I like to toast mine, but that's optional)
2 cups granulated sugar (cut from 3 cups)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz almond paste, room temperature, broken into small pieces
6 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature (I used whole milk Greek yogurt)
¼ cup sliced almonds
- Soak ⅓ cup apricots in the amaretto until soft and plump. Puree until almost smooth.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Beat the butter, sugar and zest until very fluffy and pale. Add the almond paste; beat until well blended. Add the almond meal. Add the eggs one at the time, scraping down between each addition. Add flavorings. The mixture should be very fluffy.
- Add the flour in three additions, alternating with sour cream and apricot puree. Fold in the chopped apricots. Pour into a 10” greased and floured springform pan. Sprinkle the nuts on top.
- Bake at 325F for 60 to 90 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost clean and the cake begins to pull away from the pan.
- Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Unmold the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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