I still remember the first time I tasted an Aperol Spritz. Late 90s when my drinking escapades were in their youth, fuelled by bubble-gum blue WKD and sticky nightclub floors.
That candescent orange fishbowl was the height of sophistication, imagining myself on the Italian Riviera, drink in hand like some Audrey Hepburn style girl from the Galaxy Advert, bitter, but with a sweetness that separates it from it older, more adult, Negroni Cousin, its approachable and very easily sippable.
So, while it’s been over advertised, overused and over drunk, it still holds a place in my heart. When the sun pokes its little face from behind the blanket of spring, the bottle comes out and the fizz starts to flow.
So, this year I celebrate it with cake. A cake that remembers days gone by and quite happily waves goodbye to those bubble gum blue sticky floors. Cheers Aperol!
150g Greek Yogurt, full fat
80g Unsalted Butter, melted, plus extra for the tin
115g Rapeseed Oil
3 Eggs, beaten
2 tsp Orange Blossom Water
300g Caster Sugar
230g Plain Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1 Leaf Gelatine
Aperol Candied Oranges
1 tbsp Water
3 tbsp Sugar
2-3 Oranges, sliced finely
1. Preheat oven 170C. Butter and flour a loaf tin and set aside in the fridge. If using a cast iron tin, I pop in the fridge overnight to chill through.
2. Add the oil and sugar to a bowl and whisk to dissolve. Add the butter, yogurt, eggs, Aperol and orange blossom water and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the prosecco.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and starting from the centre, whisk clockwise until just combined. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out to cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, to candy the oranges, add the Aperol, sugar and water to a small pan and boil for 1 minute. Add the orange slices, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until glazed and syrupy. Set aside on baking paper to cool.
1. Once the cake is stone cold, make the nappage. Soak the gelatine in chilled water as above. Bring the sugar and water to the boil then remove from the heat. Squeeze out the gelatine and stir in.
6. Pop this into the fridge for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, gently stir, it’s important not to whisk as it will turn cloudy.
7. Once the nappage has started to thicken, pour evenly over your cake. Set aside somewhere cool to set.
8. Once set, decorate with the oranges and serve with plenty of whipped cream and Aperol spritz all round!