This is an excellent party cake for grown-ups! The flavor of bitter almond, naturally found in apricot seeds, makes the prefect pairing with the apricot compote. With three separate components to the cake, this may seem like a daunting recipe, but it's actually quite quick and simple to prepare. This recipe is made even easier by the fact that the ricotta filling and apricot compote can be made days in advance. See advanced preparation and perfect apricot compote tips below.
Serves 8-12 Per slice: 258 calories, 7.5 grams of fat
To prepare the filling:
In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Using a mixer, beat the mixture, on medium speed, until smooth.
Add the ricotta and mix just until combined. Set aside, or if making ahead refrigerate the mixture, removing it from the fridge one hour before use, so that it has time to soften.
To prepare the apricot compote:
Place the chopped apricots and jam into a small pot. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Transfer the compote to a storage container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
Once cooled the compote will thicken and is ready to be used.
To prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 with a rack in the center position. Grease two 8" cake pans and line the bottoms with greased parchment paper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 º with the rack in the center position. Grease two 8 inch cake pans and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the almond extract, milk, yogurt, eggs and melted butter.
Create a well in the center of the bowl with the dry ingredients, pour the contents from the other bowl in and whisk well, to thoroughly combine. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
Place the pans in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of each comes out clean.
Once baked, remove them from the oven. Place the cakes on a bakers rack and cool for several hours.
Once cool, remove the cakes from the cake pans, and trim the tops of the cakes so they are level.
To assemble the cake:
Place one of the unmolded cakes onto a serving plate. Spread the ricotta filling evenly over the surface of the cake, until the top of the cake is completely covered, spoon the apricot filling on top of the ricotta, allowing some of the compote to run down the sides of the cake.
Sprinkle the two tablespoons of powdered sugar on top of the cake using a fine mesh strainer. Serve the cake immediately.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to three days.
Make ahead! Prepare the apricot compote up to three days in advance and the ricotta filling up to two days in advance, store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the perfect apricot compote, choose ripe apricots preferably at the peak of apricot season (June - August). Although apricots naturally contain a large amount of pectin, I suggest you choose a thick consistency jam to cook with the apricots. This will help set the compote so that it isn't too loose when spooned onto the cake.