Busy baking

I’ve had a busy wee day today. I made:

Apricot muffins

Apricot and orange loaf

Walnut biscuits (which don’t actually contain walnuts – it’s an old family recipe that once upon a time called for walnuts, but as none of us liked them, we always substituted sultanas. The name has stuck, though.)


Fruit loaf

Chocolate and apple loaf (which left its bottom behind in the tin so it doesn’t look great, but it still tastes good, and I managed to cut it up in a way that disguised the damage :-))

All (except for a few deformed biscuits and edge bits we kept back for ourselves) cut and wrapped into individual portions, ready to be taken down to the campus tomorrow morning for the Student Volunteer Army, the student group who are out on the streets of Christchurch cleaning silt and generally helping out. Hopefully having a wee treat with their lunches will help them keep going.

I realised while I was baking that it’s been a long time since I’ve just done ordinary boring fill-the-tins type baking. Nowadays I tend to only bake for special occasions, so I tend to go for the more impressive things like cakes and fancy slices. It was fun to go back to some of the old recipes again (and a couple of new ones – the apricot muffins and apricot and orange loaf were experiments in adapting recipes, both of which turned out well).

Some recipes:

Apricot Muffins

(I was looking for an apricot muffin recipe because there were a few over-ripe ones in the box we got in Cromwell, but I couldn’t find one that I had all the ingredients for. So I adapted a basic blueberry muffin recipe, changing the spices and adding a topping.)

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 cups diced fresh apricots
100g butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Sift dry ingredients together, and toss apricots through. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix until only just combined. Spoon into greased muffin tins and sprinkle over topping. Bake at 220C for about 15 minutes.

1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Apricot and Orange Loaf

(There were still a few apricots left over after the muffins, and again I couldn’t find a recipe I liked, so I combined a few together to come up with this one.)

1/2 cup sugar
15g butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1-2 cups diced fresh apricots (you could probably substitute dried – just add a bit more water)
Rind of one orange, grated (plus a squeeze of the juice – maybe a couple of tablespoons full? I forgot to measure that bit :-))
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Put all except flour and baking powder into a pot and heat gently until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved (don’t let it come to the boil, or heat it for too long, or you’ll end up with apricot jam!). Remove from heat, and add sifted flour and baking powder. Mix well, and pour into greased loaf tin. Bake at 180C for 45 minutes.

‘Walnut’ Biscuits

(This is not quite the recipe mum used to make – I’ve spiced it up a wee bit to make the taste more grown up.)

110g butter
110g sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp mixed spice
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup mixed dried fruit & peel
225g flour

Put all except fruit and flour into a pot and heat gently until melted together. Remove from heat and mix through fruit and flour. Roll teaspoonfuls into balls and put on a greased baking tray. Press down lightly with a fork, and bake at 180C for 15 minutes.

(The other recipes came from an Alison Holst book, so I won’t breach her copyright by posting them here.)

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