Saturday, 13 June 2009

Apricot upside down cupcakes

Sorry about the absence. I'm still here, but on a different job rotation, which for no good reason seems to be sapping my energy somewhat. I seemed to have lost my baking desire, but hopefully it's coming back. And what better way to start than with some of the glorious summer fruits that are just becoming available at a price which doesn't require you to remortgage your house (not sure that's even possible at the moment - mine certainly doesn't have any equity in it, but that's another story......yawn). So anyway, yes, apricots - yum!!!

However, I do find apricots a deceptive fruit - beautifully blushed and ripe and looking stunning. Then the let down of the first bite as the flesh is woolly and tasteless. My solution: cook them! This recipe was a take on the Hummingbird bakery vanilla cupcake recipe. I bought the apricots and thought how lovely they'd look on the base of cupcakes - like little sunshines to brighten up the dull day I made them on. I then looked in the book again and was surprised to find a recipe along very similar lines, but using tinned sliced peaches, chopped up. I like my version, but tinned apricots would be great in the winter - I might come back to that idea!



The first thing I did was to halve and roast the apricots until tender. I wanted them to dry out slightly so as not to release too much juice and make the cake soggy. It worked quite well, but I might do them longer next time. I can't really remember how long they took - I was cooking something else at the same time. I allowed them to cool before placing rounded side down in the muffin cases, as shown in the picture above.




I then made up the vanilla cupcake recipe:

Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes
Ingredients
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch salt
40g soft unsalted butter
120ml semi-skimmed milk
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Method
- Preheat oven to 170C/Gas 3. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a large bowl and beat on a slow speed with an electric hand mixer (or put into a stand mixer - oh for a stand mixer!!!) until well combined and a sandy consistency. This was messy and got all over the work top. I found the best way of doing it was to cream the butter and sugar together manually with a fork just until they seemed to be combining slightly.
- Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extract together in a jug and add half to the dry mixture. Beat slowly to combine and then more quickly to beat out any lumps.
- Add the remaining liquid mixture and beat slowly to combine. Do not overmix.
- Transfer (I found semi-pouring/semi-spooning the best way to go as the mixture is quite slack) the mixture into the cake cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven until they spring back to the touch. A skewer inserted should come out clean
-Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- When cool, carefully remove the cases, revealing the delicious apricot at the bottom.



I really enjoyed these, as did my work colleagues. They were just the right size for a mid morning or afternoon snack without putting you off the next meal. The contrast of the wonderfully light and sweet vanilla sponge with the slightly tart (as I didn't sweeten the apricots when I baked them) and juicily moist apricot was truly delicious, and I will be making these again!
My current colleagues are on the Weightwatchers diet and so I used semi-skimmed milk, which together with the small amount of butter in the recipe mean that these were only 2 or 2.5 points each (I can't quite remember - sorry!). So that made them popular too!!!

5 comments:

Furniture removals said...

grrr... cant help but starve..

♥Rosie♥ said...

I remember well what different job rotations used to be like - exhaustion comes to mind here...

Anyway those cupcakes look amazing - I'd love to try one or ....two ;0)

Sophie said...

Apricot flesh is quite tough, but I do find myself craving dried apricots and apricot jam quite often. Ooh and in a dessert, it'd be very tasty!

Margaret said...

I know what you mean about apricots they look fabulous and then disappoint on taste.
I love your idea for using them up.

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