By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional
“Eat Me” the card says, before Alice starts her Adventure In Wonderland. All cakes seem to have a similar card next to them whenever I see them. They are one of my greatest weaknesses. And yet, each bite (or should I say each sitting, since I have been known to polish off half a cake in a matter of moments) is an adventure in taste and satisfaction for me. Each different. Each flavorful. Each distinctive in experience.
I don’t normally get cravings for sweets and the older I get, the less I want them. But I do have a husband and kids that LOVE IT when I bake. For the first few years of our relationship, I didn’t cook many meals (have you seen the size of a typical NYC apartments kitchen?) since we tended to eat out every night.
But baking I did do. I would use the table in the living area as my countertop. This was because our kitchen was so tiny that the refrigerator door only opened half way before hitting the sink. And if you needed to get to the bathroom, whom ever was in the kitchen had to leave since only one body could fit in the space. It was 1 tile deep and 4 tiles long.
I think that is why Danny asks me to bake things. It was how I won his heart and stomach. Of course now, he has a huge list of favorites and the ones he likes the most, he will insist on telling people that he taught me how to make it. He is so funny.
- 2 Boxes of Jiff Cornbread Mix
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3+ Cup of Italian Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer
- 6-8 Apricots, Pitted and Sliced With The Peel On
- Caviar from 1 Vanilla Bean
- 2 Tbs. Butter, Salted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add your Jiff cornbread mix, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup Italian Sweet Cream coffee creamer and the caviar from your vanilla bean. With a wooden spoon, mix together until well combined. Set to the side and let rest for a few minutes.
- Add your 2 tbs. of butter to a 9″ pie plate and place into the oven to melt.
- While you are letting your batter rest and your pie plate is heating up and melting your butter… rinse, pit and slice your apricots. You don’t want your slices to be too thick, so try and keep them about a 1/4′ thick each. If too thick, they won’t cook through.
- Once your butter has melted, remove your pie plate from the oven. Be careful, as it will be hot. Swirl your butter around the hot pie pan / plate to ensure that the sides are coated. Scrape your batter into the pie plate with a spatula and carefully spread out evenly. The excess butter should pool around the edge.
- Place your pie plate on the center rack of the oven and cook for about 5-7 minutes. This is to partially cook your cake. The total bake time will be about 15-20 minutes.
- Next, very carefully take your pie plate with batter out of the oven and ever so gently, place onto a wooden cutting board (you don’t want to deflate your cake.) Take your apricot slices and place them around the outside edge of your pie plate in a fan pattern. In the center, use the remaining slices to compliment your fan design.
- Return to the center rack and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, until the edges become a light golden brown.
- While your cake is baking off it’s second and final round in the oven, pour about 1/4 cup of Italian Sweet Cream coffee creamer into a small bowl.
- After your cake is golden brown around the edges and when you test with a toothpick, it comes away almost completely clean, carefully remove from the oven one more time. With a small spoon, drizzle a thin layer of Italian Sweet Cream coffee creamer between and around the apricot slices.
- Return to oven and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven and let cool.
- This unique take on sweet cornbread is so tantalizingly good that no one would ever know how simple it was to make or that the initial prep time was only about 7 minutes. Your friends and family will be begging you for the recipe and I suggest that you keep this one a family secret. Creates bargaining power for when you need a favor in the future. You can always say “I’ll make that Apricot Cake you love!”