Thursday, September 17, 2009

Make me a cake please mum

Life has been pretty hectic lately, not exciting going to parties hectic but mundane running around after 2 little people hectic. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying it & have had the occasional night out too, just saying that it's my excuse for being so long in between posts.

I have still been cooking & enjoying it greatly though the food mostly is somewhat adapted to suit our current lifestyle, ie dishes that are quick & easy to prepare, though slow cooking is always an option as I have a lot of time to sit around waiting for things to cook now, also mostly I try & cook food that I hope Chloe will enjoy without being too boring. I do have a stash of meals I have prepared earlier in the freezer for her for when I want to cook something more adult for Michael and I, ie lovely, juicy steaks, salads, curries, none of which I have managed to convince Chloe to eat yet. Also sadly when preparing cakes & desserts for now I am bypassing those recipes that include alcohol & am left to merely drink the stuff (in small quantities for now of course).

Anyway the other day Chloe got up from her afternoon nap & asked so sweetly 'Make me a cake please mum' (on thinking back there probably was no please actually), that even though I have been foregoing cakes lately in the so far unrealized dream of regaining my pre-pregnancy body, I gave in. Thinking quickly as to what I had in the cupboards I managed to scrape together the ingredients for this very moorish 'Apricot bar' slice of Bill Granger's from Simply Bill.

Normally Chloe is a pure chocolate girl & doesn't really fancy cakes without this magic of all ingredients. Sadly I had no chocolate in the house so I gave her some apricots to try which she liked & explained that this was the flavour cake we were making, she agreed & was happy with this & eagerly awaited the slices completion. So when it was all cooled down I sliced it up, she took one bite & declared that she didnt like it, the next day she attempted 2 more pieces without finishing one. What can I say, we loved them & luckily my family were over yesterday to help eat them too otherwise I would have polished off the lot on my own.

Here is the recipe for those who will eat a delicious apricot treat

Apricot bars

155g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour
95g (1/2 cup) soft brown sugar
115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
2 pinches of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
175g unsalted butter, chilled & diced
130g (1 cup) rolled oats
90g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
450g (2 1/2 cups) chopped dried apricots
100g (1/3 cup) apricot jam
40g unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180c. Mix the flour, sugars, salt baking powder & butter in a food processor until a dough forms. Mix in the oats & coconut. Reserve a cupful of dough and press the remainder evenly into a lightly greased and lined 20 x 30cm baking tin. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

Meantime, put the apricots & 125ml (1/2 cup) water in a small pan over low heat & cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed. Cool slightly, then spoon over the dough base. Dot the jam over the apricots & crumble the reserved dough over the top. Spoon on the melted butter & bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool completely in the tray. Slice into squares & sore in an airtight container.

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