When I was younger I hated apricots. I think it came from my hatred of sultanas, raisins and mixed peel and I had simply just associated apricots as yet another horrible leathery dried fruit, because in all honesty I can't remember ever eating a fresh apricot back then. While I can happily say today I enjoy dried apricots today, especially Turkish apricots, I still simply cannot stand sultanas, raisins and mixed peel - bleh.
So when I saw the recipe for Roasted Apricot, Vanilla and Quinoa Cakes in this months Gourmet Traveller I couldn't wait to give it a try, because despite my recent fondness for dried apricots, I hadn't actually baked with fresh apricots yet. The use of whole quinoa in these gorgeous little cakes also intrigued me. While I've used Quinoa flakes in a number of baking recipes - Chocolate Quinoa Pear and Plum Crumble and Orange and Honey Quinoa Muffins, to name a few - I haven't actually used whole Quinoa in baking, so I thought that this recipe would be a great introduction.
These little apricot cakes are lovely, however I should note I did change a few things. I forewent the orange and lemon juice and zest when roasting the apricots and simply used sugar and some of my all time favourite dessert wine, Pedro Ximinez, along with vanilla seeds. For the cakes, which called for the use of slivered almonds, I substituted 100g of the flour for ground almonds, and I replaced the melted butter with olive oil, which made the cakes beautifully moist and light. These Apricot Cakes are especially delicious served warm, with a dollop of cream, or even a spoonful of thick Greek yoghurt, which was my preferred option.
So tell me, have you used quinoa in baking and desserts? What is your favourite sweet quinoa recipe?
Roasted Apricot, Vanilla & Quinoa Cakes
- 550 g raw caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split, seeds scraped
- 16 small apricots halved
- 100 ml Pedro Ximinez or other sweet dessert wine
- 90 g white quinoa rinsed
- 250 ml water
- 4 large eggs
- 200 g olive oil
- 160 g plain flour
- 100 g almond meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- toasted flaked almonds to serve
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (390 Fahrenheit). In a small baking tray scatter 220g of the raw caster sugar. Add the vanilla seeds and mix to combine. Place the apricots cut side down in the sugar, pressing into the sugar, before turning over. Pour the Pedro Ximinez over the top and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and tender. Half way through roasting remove from the oven and spoon the liquid over the top of the apricots. Transfer half the apricots and 2 tablespoons of pan juices to a food processor and purée.
- While the apricots are roasting place the quinoa in a small saucepan along with the vanilla bean and water. Bring to the boil over a medium high heat and reduce to low to simmer. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. If any liquid remains drain and remove the vanilla bean and place on a plate or baking tray to dry and cool, around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 Fahrenheit) and grease 8 dariole moulds and dust with flour.
- Whisk the eggs and remaining sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy before adding the oil and whisking to combine. Sieve over flour and baking powder, and add the almond meal and fold through the mixture. Finally add the apricot puree and quinoa and mix to combine. Pour into the dariole moulds and bake until golden and the centres spring back when lightly pressed (20-25 minutes). Cool in the moulds for 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining roasted apricots, toasted flaked almonds and syrup along with a dollop of cream or thick Greek yoghurt.
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Martyna @ WholesomeCook says
I saw Quinoa and I thought: this will be a healthy cake - it;s deliciuos and slightly decadent instead! Yum!
hehe yes, it's not exactly a super healthy cake, but I thought it was an interesting way to use Quinoa 😀
balvinder ( Neetu) says
This is something for me to try. Awesome combination with quinoa and almonds.
Erika - The Teenage Taste says
These cakes sound so yummy! I, too, am a lover of apricots! I bet they taste delicious roasted!
Samah@Good Cooks says
I love apricot, it's one of my favourite fruits, but never tried quinoa before, I guess will give it a try soon... your cake and pictures looks so delicious, thank you delicious...:)
Love your choice to add Pedro Ximenex 🙂
everybody is getting so creative with quinoa. This is second quinoa cake I saw today and it looks so cute! I haven't baked with quinoa. So far only tried salad with it.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I just love your delicious photography! I see a lot of people using quinoa but I haven't tried it yet. Very interesting that you used it for the cake. Ohh I need to try Turkish apricots!
Thank you for your sweet comments Nami 😀 Yes, you should try dried Turkish apricots, they are soo good. Especially as part of a cheese board.
Lovely sweet tea cakes;-)
Kaytee @ Little Red says
delicious!! i've been looking for a sweet quinoa recipe.
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
What pretty little cakes!! I don't mind apricots, but they aren't my all time favorite either. But put it in a cake like this, and I would be all over it!
Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen says
That first photo really made me do a double-take, your apricot cakes look so luscious and inviting! Like Sandra, I've always loved apricots and like you before this post, I've never baked with quinoa. Now I want to try it, if I manage to find some over here 🙂
I've only used quinoa flakes in baking (cookies), not whole quinoa, but I am curious about it. I did see one recipe recently that used whole quinoa, but it was cooked first before being stirred into the batter. What was the texture of your cake like? Could you see the individual quinoa seeds?
Hi Jeanette, the quinoa in this recipe is cooked too, in step 2, so it makes it light and fluffy. 😀
Choc Chip Uru says
I love your blog - everytime I visit I am fortunate enough to see more and more exquisite sweet recipes every time 😀
This is so rich and delicious looking!
Thank you 😀
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I'm still not all that friendly with quinoa. I now really like eating it but whenever I use it at home it doesn't turn out all that nicely. Maybe baking with it would be safer.
I'm still trying to get used to Quinoa. I find despite washing it a lot it still has somewhat of a strange, almost bitter taste, however you can't taste that in this. Cooking it with the vanilla helps too I think 😀
I actually have never eaten or baked with quinoa before. How sad is that! Must gt on the bandwagon soon!
these look & sound delicious
What an absolutely gorgeous idea. I've never baked with fresh apricots either - and am not a huge fan of other dried fruits - so completely trust your take on this one - I bet it's delicious!
Anna @ the shady pine says
These look like the perfect afternoon tea...great idea to roast the apricots!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Sounds really delicious, Jennifer... love the almond meal and Pedro.
Hehe you can't go wrong with Pedro can you 😀
I've always loved apricots, but I hate them raw especially if they are too soft and overripe. Those cakes look lovely! I really like the ingredients used.
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
I have not used whole quinoa in baking yet but like you I have a box of the flakes in my pantry.
Sneh | Cook Republic says
Lovely recipe! Today yours is a chic little pretty lady of a cake while mine is a rough around the edges Mr Monsieur Muffin, lol. Truly similar wavelengths I must say. Amazing! I can still only eat dried apricots (a childhood thing!). I MUST meet you, I am sure we will hit it off 🙂
I can't face fresh apricots either. Weird LOL! It is amazing how we post similar things at similar times. We certainly must be on the same wavelength, and yes, I'm sure we'd hit it off 😀
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
This is the second recipe I've seen recently using quinoa in a sweet preparation - I'm definitely intrigued. Love apricots with almonds...ready for it to be summer here!
Sanjeeta kk says
Would love to make this version of Quinoa..have used it in savory dishes, baking and pudding. Love apricots.
I love apricots! What a great treat. And beautiful presentation.
I went through a 'love' then 'hate' then 'love' relationship with dried apricots and other dried fruit hehe 🙂 Now I loved dried apricots part of a snack ~ yum yum!
This looks like a great cake ~ So moist with the and I love how it's got Quinoa I always think it's healthy 😀
I love quinoa in baking, these have been bookmarked straight away! So beautiful to look at too, almost too beautiful to eat... but not quite!
Thanks Sarah 😀
Jas (the gluten free scallywag) says
oh yum, I knew this was from the current issue of gourmet traveller as soon as aI saw the picture! They look so good, I can't wait to try them out. I must admit I've not used whole quinoa in sweet cooking yet, but I have seen a few recipes using the whole cooked quinoa.
Ps I'm not a big fresh apricot fan either, but dried aussie apricots - yum!
Sandra's Easy Cooking says
I always loved apricots..and your cakes look very tasty! I can just imagine the taste..mmm! Yummy!