5 ounces (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans

All-purpose flour, for dusting the pans

9 ounces cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon freshly grated tonka bean

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

10 ounces sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces crème fraîche, at room temperature

12 apricots, peeled, halved, and pitted

 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans or 24 3 ¼-inch brioche tins. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, tonka bean, and salt.

 

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then ½ of the crème fraîche, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining ½ of the crème fraîche, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups or brioche tins. Press 1 apricot half cut side down into the center of each one. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until the edges of the cakelettes start to shrink away from the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cakelette comes out clean. Let the cakelettes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks and finish cooling completely.

 

Makes 24 cakelettes. You can substitute a few drops of almond extract and a pinch of ground cloves for the tonka bean. If you are using muffin pans, feel free to use paper liners instead of greasing and flouring them.