The combination of hazelnuts, apricots and cream is really delicious and this recipe is one of my favourites.
The biscuits can be made in advance and assembled when required. This recipe asks for whole hazelnuts to be ground but if you can find ground hazelnuts it saves time. I have used fresh apricots as they are in season but when they are not available canned ones can be used instead.
- 75g (3oz) whole hazelnuts – or ground
- 75g (3oz) butter
- 50g (2oz) muscavado sugar
- 100g (4oz) wholemeal flour (or white)
- 450g (1lb) approx fresh apricots (or 1 can)
- 25g (1oz) sugar
- 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream
Lightly brown the whole hazelnuts in a hot oven (Gas 6/200C) for about 5 minutes then cool before grinding but reserve 8 for decoration. If using ready ground nuts brown these in the oven for a few minutes then cool them.
Reduce the heat of the oven to Gas 5/190C
Beat the butter and sugar together until soft. Stir in the ground nuts and flour then mix to a firm dough. Knead lightly until smooth.
Divide the dough in half and lightly roll each piece on a floured surface into a 20cm/8in round, use a plate or tin as a guide. Have a little patience to keep the edges neat.
Transfer each carefully onto greased baking trays and bake for 10 -15 minutes. They will still be slightly soft but they harden when cold.
Cut one of these into 8 sections whilst still warm.
Dissolve the sugar into approximately 10 fl oz of water over gentle heat.
Halve the apricots and remove the stones, poach them gently for approx 5 minutes until softened. Strain and dry them on kitchen paper then purée them either in a liquidizer or with a hand blender. Leave to get cold.
Put the uncut biscuit on a serving plate and spread with the cold purée.
Whip the cream to soft peak. With the piping bag pipe a rosette on each of the sections of the second round then spread the remaining cream over the purée.
Place the sections on top and put a hazelnut or piece of apricot on each rosette.
Note: this should be eaten on the day it is assembled or the biscuits will soften.