My mother has always had a Bundt tin – you know the ones, they have a hole in the middle. When I was little, she would often make a cake she called giorno e notte (night and day) – one half with cocoa and the other half without (half dark and half light) in the Bundt tin. The colours were swirled throughout. Back then I was fascinated by the fact that there was a hole in the middle of the cake and when you inverted it, a lovely pattern would be on the top. Mamma would dust the top of the cake with snowy white icing sugar and when you had a slice, you were never sure how much of the chocolate part you would get.
When I was at my mother’s on the weekend, we were looking at old recipe books (as we often do), and I found a lovely recipe for apricot and lemon cake that is made in a Bundt tin. I told my mother that I had never made a cake in one as I don’t have a tin. She was astounded. “I have a few of them”, mamma told me. “The Dr Oetker tin is the nicest and makes the traditional shape”. When she got it out of the cupboard, I oohed and aahed as I was taken back to my childhood when she would make the day and night cake with the hole in the middle. “Would you like to borrow it?” she asked.
So I borrowed the tin, copied the recipe and then made the cake. I didn’t make my mother’s “day and night” cake as I had a lot of glace apricots left over from the previous week and was wondering how to use them. This cake fitted the bill perfectly. It is unbelievably moist, due to the combination of glace apricots and a bit of ginger plus a small tub of sour cream. Of course it is not really italian, but at a stretch, the Bundt tin belongs to a gorgeous italian lady (my mother) and the recipe is in a book that is hers. Make this for afternoon tea to share with your family and friends – mine loved it when I served it up on the weekend. Finally I had made a cake in a Bundt tin – now I don’t really want to return the one I borrowed from my mother….
Apricot lemon cake in a bundt tin
185g butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon rind
250g caster sugar
50g glace ginger, finely chopped
150g glace apricots, finely chopped
200ml sour cream
250g self-raising flour
Pre-heat the oven to 155 degrees. Grease the inside of a 20 cm Bundt tin with butter then flour it. Make sure it is well covered as you don’t want your cake to stick as the appearance will be ruined.
Beat the butter, lemon rind and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well after eachaddition. Fold in the fruit and then the sour cream. Last of all, fold in the flour.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for one hour. Place on a wire cooling rack. Invert the tin after about 10 minutes. When the cake is cold, dust with icing sugar. This will keep for 3 or 4 days or you can cut it up into slices and freeze for up to a month.
Where would we be without our mothers and the wonderful things they have taught us and share with us?