3 cups (300 g) plain flour (All purpose)
50 g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups (300 g) soft brown sugar
4 medium size eggs, separated
175 ml corn oil
175 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
411 g can apricot halves
2 tbsp rum or apricot liqueur
1/2 x 340 g jar apricot conserve
284 ml whipping cream whipped
25 g plain chocolate
1. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, then add the egg yolks, oil, milk and vanilla essence. Beat well until smooth. Whisk the egg whites and fold into the mixture.
2. Pour into a lined and greased 25 cm deep cake tin and bake in a preheated moderate oven 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4. for 50 minutes to 1 hour until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin.
3. Drain the juice from the apricots into a small pan. Add the rum or liqueur and heat gently. Pour all over the top of the cake and leave to in the tin until cold, then remove.
4. Split the cake in half and sandwich the with the apricot conserve. Place the cake on a serving plate and cover completely with the cream, spreading it on with a palette knife.
5. Arrange the apricots cut side down around the top edge of the cake.
6. Using a potato peeler, peel the chocolate to make curls. Sprinkle over the top of the cake to complete the decoration.