This recipe for individual dried apricot cakes is perfect for a dinner party – serve warm and top with double cream.
1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
3/4 cup dried apricots, quartered
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp chopped almonds
3/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 + 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup of milk
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg whites at room temperature
Lightly butter the inside of six oven-proof ramekins and then line with baking paper (I found it was easiest to cut circles for the bases and strips for the sides, rather than to try and use a single piece). Preheat oven to 180C.
Combine the pineapple juice and apricots in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or until plump. Drain the apricots in a colander over a bowl, reserving the pineapple juice.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside 1 Tbsp in a small bowl for later. Add 1/3 cup of the reserved pineapple juice and brown sugar to the butter in the saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for about 1 minute or until the mixture thickens slightly.
Carefully divide the caramel sauce between the six ramekins. Pour the sauce into the base of the ramekin and gently swirl to get an even layer. Sprinkle the apricots and almonds over the caramel sauce and set aside.
Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, milk, egg yolk, and vanilla to the melted butter and stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring well; set aside.
Beat the egg whites at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks almost form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.
Carefully pour batter over the caramel apricot mixture in the ramekins. Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. In the meanwhile, return the saucepan with the reserved pineapple juice to the stove on medium heat and reduce to a syrupy consistency.
After removing the cakes from the oven, allow to stand for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then carefully invert each ramekin onto an individual serving plate. Lift the ramekin carefully – it should come away from the cake easily – and peel off the baking paper. Pour a little of the pineapple juice syrup over each pudding and serve with a blob of double cream (I also scattered some crushed pistachio nuts over mine, but this is optional).
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