My neighbour was stepping out with her 3-year-old. That little fellow is my year-and-a-half old fellow’s best friend. They live right across and their door is forever open to my bullet train of a boy, so, well, my neighbour is my best friend too! Her stepping out with her son, with a B-I-G bag sent panic alarms through my entire body.
“Umm..where are you off to?” Their not being around for as little as a day can mean I run around in my night clothes after my son, who is, well, always running around! And so, I was alarmed to see her going out with her son.
“Hey! I’m going to that library book sale. Do you want to come?” It was too good an invitation for me to refuse. I love books and have had very little time since the birth of my son to indulge in book reading. It was a good opportunity to stock up on books for both, me and my little one.
I’d rather not get into what happened at the book sale venue. There was row after row of table strewn with books, neatly categorised. But there was also my son, running under the tables picking up books from the edge and throwing them around, running out of my hold every other minute and trying to lick everybody’s shoes. I can really understand his need to be naughty, but licking people’s shoes is… do I even need to complete the sentence?
Suffice to say I got back home with a very light shopping bag. I bought a few pop-up board books for the boy, but the pick of the day was an old, make that really old, book on cakes and cake decorating. A 1974 publication, it could actually qualify for the ‘vintage’ tag. It has tonnes and tonnes of recipes and some old sepia-ish colour pictures (some with step-by-step pics too!) with names of many hard-to-come-by cakes and bakes. This Apricot Coffee Bread is the first recipe I tried from this book. Whatever I have prepared from the book so far has been a great success. You’ll see a lot many recipes from this book this month. Given my pathetic cake decoration skills, it probably was a book I really need. I have to admit (sheepishly though) that I’ve only tried the fuss-free and decoration-free bakes so far!
Oh! By the way, I’m back writing a blog post after months of hibernation. And to make up for all the lack of action, I’m going to be blogging every single day this month. I’m participating in the monthly Blogging Marathon activity organised by Valli and this month’s challenge is going to be blogging every day alphabetically! So it is Apricot Coffee Cake for A today.
There are four themes and all recipes have to adhere to either of those – baking, international/fusion, regional and street food/condiments/posts about ingredients etc. I’m starting this marathon with a baked dish. An international spice is to follow tomorrow, so be tuned in! For now, here’s the Apricot Coffee Bread recipe. I reduced quantity to one-third of that mentioned below and baked it in a small 6”x2”x2” use-and-throw bakeware case in which Rajani had packed our cookies during our BM#25 meet at Ahmedabad. I also got two extra mini muffins. I should have just put in all the batter in the pan for a somewhat taller loaf. Since this was for an order, I do not have a cross-section to show you the slices!
Btw don’t be fooled by the name of the dish expecting a coffee-flavoured loaf. This is a cake-ish loaf to be served along with coffee 🙂
APRICOT COFFEE BREAD
Self Raising Flour – 3 cups
Salt – 1 tsp
Granulated sugar – 6 tbsp
Dried Apricots – soaked overnight, drained and chopped
Almonds – ½ cup (blanch and chop the almonds). I used chocolate chips instead
Zest of 1 orange (I left this out)
Egg – 2, beaten (I substituted it with 1 tbsp flax seed powder + 3 tbsp warm water)
Milk- 8-9 tbsp
Butter – ¼ cup (melted)
Preheat oven to 165 deg C (my oven has either 150 or 175 deg C. I choose the latter)
Line the bottom and sides of a 2 lb loaf tin (4 cup capacity or the standard 9”x5”x3” loaf tin/pan) with parchment/foil and brush with oil/butter (I skipped this step since I used a non-stick use-and-throw case)
Sift flour and salt into a bowl
Add sugar, apricots, almonds (or chocolate chips) and orange peel. Make a well in the centre
Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour into the well
Mix to a soft dropping consistency, stirring briskly without beating
Transfer into the prepared pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 1.5 hours until well-risen and firm OR until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean
Leave in the tin for 10 mins, then cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container and consume within 2-3 days
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