This Chocolate-Apricot Cake with Chocolate Toffee Glaze is just boozy enough to turn any (adult) birthday party into a celebration.
The fruit puree in this cake keeps it very moist. It can also be made one day ahead and stored covered at room temperature.
- cooking spray (as needed)
- 1 ¼ cup (plus 1 tablespoon) water (divided)
- 15 ounce dried apricots (chopped)
- 5 tablespoon bourbon (divided, plus lots more for optional brushing)
- 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus a pinch for the glaze)
- 2 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 16 tablespoon unsalted butter (divided, at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 9 ounce chopped bittersweet chocolate (divided)
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- whole dried apricots (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 or 9‑inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment, then spray parchment. Set aside.
Make the apricot puree: Combine 1 ¼ cups water, chopped dried apricots, 3 tablespoons bourbon, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally. Puree cooled apricot mixture in a blender or food processor (you should have about 2 ½ cups). Set aside 3/4 cup puree in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Place remaining apricot puree in a large bowl.
Make the cake: Whisk flour, 1 teaspoon salt, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat 12 tablespoons room temperature butter and dark-brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (batter will look curdled).
Stir baking soda into the large uncovered bowl of apricot puree (there will be a slight chemical reaction from the baking soda and the lemon juice). On low speed, beat flour mixture into egg mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the apricot-baking soda mixture. Beat in 5 ounces chopped chocolate. Transfer batter to prepared pan, and smooth top.
Bake in the heated oven for 60 to 70 minutes (depending on pan) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, using a serrated knife, trim the rounded top of the cake so it is flat all the way across.
Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen, and invert cake onto rack. Remove parchment, and brush the cake all over with bourbon in several applications, allowing it to soak in completely between applications, for as many applications as you like (optional), then let it cool completely.
Make the glaze: Meanwhile bring remaining 4 tablespoons butter, light-brown sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1 tablespoon water, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in cream. Add remaining 4 ounces chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon. Let cool until thickened but still pourable about 10 minutes.
Assemble the cake: Place cooled cake, smooth side up, on a cake plate or stand. Spread remaining 3/4 cup apricot puree over top of cake taking care to slope the edges cleanly for best presentation. Pour glaze over top, letting some decoratively drip down the sides and onto the plate. Garnish with whole dried apricots (if using).