This quick and simple loaf cake gains rich taste and elegance from the combination of apricots and marzipan.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the mixtures looks like fine crumbs. You can also do this stage in a food processor: tip the flour and salt into the processor bowl and ‘pulse’ to combine. Add the diced butter and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Stir in the sugar, chopped apricots and sultanas. Beat the eggs with the vanilla and milk until thoroughly combined. Add to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to make a stiff cake mixture that should just drop off the spoon with the shake of a wrist. Spoon one-third of the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
Cut the marzipan into dice-sized cubes and arrange half the cubes on top of the cake mixture. Cover with half the remaining mixture, spreading it evenly, and arrange the rest of the marzipan cubes on top. Add the rest of the cake mixture to the tin and spread it evenly.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 to 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (try in several different places as it’s hard to avoid the marzipan). Run a round-bladed knife inside the tin to loosen the cake then leave to cool for 10 minutes before carefully turning out on to a wire rack. Brush with warm apricot glaze then leave to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container, tightly wrapped, and eat within 5 days.
Makes one large loaf cake – cuts into 14 slices
300g Marriage’s Organic Self Raising Flour
A pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, cool and firm but not hard, diced
100g golden caster sugar
100g soft-dried apricots, roughly chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
A few drops vanilla essence
150ml milk (not fat-free)
125g ready made marzipan
1 heaped tablespoon apricot jam mixed with 2 teaspoons boiling water (for the glaze)
900g loaf tin (about 25 x 13 x 7cm) greased and base-lined (or use a paper liner)