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APRICOTS are my SUMMER SYMBOLS, wherever I may be (or dream of being) especially while enjoying glorious summer holiday mornings, if possible, close to the Mediterranean Sea (or at least close enough to feel and smell a salty sea breeze). That freshness, crispness, clarity and transparency in the air as you’re having breakfast, ideally composed of some iced coffee with cream, fresh bread, cold butter and apricot compote or a thick plain yogurt with wild honey and some nuts. All of this happening during that quiet peacefulness and slow pace of those early hours, before everybody else gets up and the full heat of the sun’s rays (and the people you'll meet and the day) blast your surroundings, making things fuzzy and hazy, beating down on your head before you’ve even had the time and the foresight to get everything ready quickly enough and escape to a quiet, remote beach. These simple ‘yeasted’ BREAKFAST-CAKE SQUARES with APRICOTS & ALMONDS are reminders of those lazy Mediterranean mornings. It’s like beginning the day with pre-toasted, pre-buttered, pre-jammed and pre-sprinkled bread, but without repeating the seemingly endless rituals morning after morning . . .

That’s what I like and need in summer. I’ve done enough working, worrying, organizing, cleaning, cooking, caring, behaving, ocassionally entertaining and all that stuff all year long, so I bid a warm and open-armed welcome to anything that will seem like a brief moment of respite (after the initial effort of preparation of course). This is how I want to start my days off, whether at home or far away.

We all need a «break».

I’ve actually readapted my simple sliced sandwich bread recipe (see the recipe here) and included and incorporated all these extra ingredients as a summery version of this bread, but as a breakfast cake. Sweeter, more buttery, fruity and nutty. It still has a tight crumb like sliced bread but it resembles a cake because of all that added sugar (which I sometimes reduce for a more neutral bready version or increase for a truly cake sensation). Then again, I’m not eating this breakfast cake alone so I adapt myself, my preferences and the recipe to others around me.

Anyways, they're quite DELICIOUS, DELIGHTFUL, DELECTABLE … and I’ll always post at least 1 apricot recipe every summer (see the other 2 recipes here & here).

Where are you guys now ? Are you going away on holidays ? Are you working on your gardens ? Are you thinking of re-painting your homes ? Are you actually resting and reading a book ? Are you trying to catch up on doing those chores you couldn’t get to during the working months ? Are you just eating, drinking and napping ? 


Holidays can be exhausting too . . . :)

apricot & almond breakfast-cake squares


20 squares (40-45 grams each)


fruits :

  • 250 grams (10 small) apricots (weight after halved & stones removed)
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice

dough :

  • 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) golden cane sugar (but I sometimes reduce it to 50 grams or ¼ cup for a more neutral and only slightly sweet version or increase it to 100 grams or ½ cup for a sweeter version)
  • 45 grams (¼ cup) fine wheat semolina
  • 8 grams (2 tsp) instant active dried yeast
  • 2,5 grams (½ tsp) sea salt
  • 200 ml (¾ cup) light cream (12% fat)
  • 55 grams (1 medium) egg
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

toppings :

  • 75 grams (¼ cup) apricot jam
  • 25 grams (¼ cup) almond powder
  • 25 grams (¼ cup or 20) whole & roasted almonds
  • 25 grams (2 tbsp) golden cane sugar 
  • optional : 10 grams (1 tbsp) rock sugar

oiling & brushing : 

  • 60 grams (¼ cup or ½ tbsp + 2 tbsp + 1 ½ tbsp) butter (melted & slightly cooled)


  • mix the flour, semolina, sugar and salt in one bowl and the beaten egg, light cream, vanilla extract and yeast in another bowl, combine both mixtures together and knead with a dough hook for 5 minutes at low speed, then cover and let rest in the mixing bowl for 2 hours until doubled, then knead again for 2-3 minutes, transfer to a bowl brushed with ½ tbsp melted butter and let rise again for 1 hour until doubled
  • brush the large baking pan (mine measures 32 cm x 24 cm x 3 cm and has a cover too) with 2 tbsp melted butter, then transfer the soft dough to the pan, let it spread out and then flatten it and gently stretch it out until it reaches the edges
  • wash and cut the apricots in half, remove the stones and brush the exposed cut sides with some lemon juice
  • combine the almond powder and apricot jam together until smooth and creamy (and roast the almonds if not already roasted in a 200°C oven for 5 minutes)
  • place the apricot halves on the dough, push them in slightly, add a ½ tsp of the apricot jam and almond powder cream inside each, top with a roasted almond, then brush the top surface of all the dough and the filled fruits and almonds with another 2 tbsp of butter, sprinkle with the sugar(s), cover and let rise for 45-60 minutes
  • preheat the oven to 190°C and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden (loosely cover with a sheet of aluminum foil for the last 5-7 minutes if it gets too dark)
  • note : to crisp up the underside, you can place the baking pan directly on the floor of the oven for the last 5 minutes of baking …
  • let cool down, slice in squares and serve for breakfast (or a mid-afternoon snack)
  • *note : if all the cake is not eaten on the first 2 days, wrap up and refrigerate because the apricots (that are not fully cooked and still juicy) can get moldy after 3 days in warm summer temperatures !