Vanilla-Orange Snack Cake with Apricots
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottom of a 9x2-inch round cake pan. Line bottom of pan with waxed paper or parchment paper; grease and lightly flour pan; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a second small bowl, combine egg yolks, buttermilk, zest and, if using, vanilla extract.Advertisement
In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 cup Vanilla Sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Gradually add egg mixture and beat on medium speed until combined (it may appear slightly curdled). Add flour mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Arrange apricot halves cut side up on batter (without pressing down). Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Vanilla Sugar. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Place a rack over pan and carefully turn cake out of pan. Invert onto a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Split 2 vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape seeds into a 1-quart jar. Cut beans crosswise in half. Add scraped beans and 3 cups sugar to jar. Seal jar and shake until seeds are dispersed in sugar and beans are buried. Let sit for 10 days so sugar absorbs vanilla flavor.