Sticky Apricot Cake

Serves 8 - 10

for the Cake
175g chopped dried apricots (not the soaked, ready to eat apricots. Unsulphured apricots give the cake more flavour)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g gluten-free plain flour
100g gluten-free oat flour
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
200g soft light brown sugar
200g dairy-free margarine
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten

for the Topping
75g light brown
75g golden syrup
75g coconut cream ( from a tin of coconut milk) or dairy-free whipping cream

The day before place a tin of coconut milk into the fridge if using for the sauce.

Preheat oven to 190°c /170°c fan oven / 375°f / gas mark 5 Grease and line a 20cm / 8in round cake tin or a 1lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Place the chopped apricots and bicarbonate of soda into a small saucepan.
Add 100ml water and bring to the boil, stirring to stop the apricots sticking to the pan. Turn off the heat and leave the apricots in the pan.

Weigh the gluten-free plain flour, gluten-free oat flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir together then sift at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.

Cream together the dairy-free margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs a little at a time. The mixture will probably split but will come together when adding the flour.

Fold in the apricots then the flour mix.

Spoon into the cake tin and level with the back of a spoon or palette knife. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.

If you have a loose-bottomed cake tin, leave the cake in the cake tin while you make the topping. If you haven’t, place a plate on top of the cake tin, empty out the cake then place the right way up in a deep lipped dish.

Open the tin of coconut milk. There will be a solid part and a liquid part. Spoon 75g solid coconut into a saucepan. You can use dairy-free whipping cream instead.

Weigh the light brown sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and add the coconut cream or whipping cream. Stir to melt the sugar. Once melted, boil for a minute then pour over the still hot cake. Leave to cool before carefully lifting out of the cake tin.

This makes a warming winter dessert – make two or three times the topping recipe and serve this alongside the warm apricot pudding with dairy-free custard.

In all recipes requiring self-raising gluten-free flour, I advise stirring the flours together with the gluten-free baking powder then sift at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.

Gluten free cakes are crumblier than other cakes but taste just as good. To cut neat slices, dip a serrated knife in hot water and wipe clean between slices.

You can make your own gluten-free oat flour by blending gluten-free oats in a food processor until fine. This may not turn out as fine as shop bought but is not as expensive.