Sunday, 12 September 2010

Happy products for happy people

Ah Sunday. I love Sundays. It’s the one day of the week I dedicate to complete and utter indulgence, otherwise known as doing all the things in life that make me happy. Today was spent reading the papers, shopping, drinking coffee and baking. To be honest, this is what I do almost every Sunday, as when I’m in my kitchen cooking I am most definitely at my happiest. My mood was further elevated by adding to my Pip Home crockery collection. I discovered Pip Home on a trip to Bliss on Broughton Street a few weeks ago, where I bought a blue cup and bowl, both featuring a hand painted bird. I went back today to try and get the matching plate, and it transpires that I’m not the only person who has been seduced by the bright colours and beautiful detailing. This resulted in me moving onto one of the other colours on offer, just to add to my collection.

So back home with my new crockery, and what better to do than put it to good use. I had a real craving for a fresh warm muffin today, something sumptuous but not too naughty. Upon raiding the cupboards for inspiration, I found I had rather a large number of dried apricots, which have now been chopped up and turned into Apricot and Vanilla muffins. Although only out of the oven an hour ago, there are now only two left. Of course, you must be thinking that I am incredibly greedy. I have however shared the fruits of my labour with friends and family, who have all asked for seconds. The lovely thing about these muffins is that they are very light, and due to all the apricot, you don’t feel like you need to run a mile afterwards to burn it off. Here’s what you need to get started:

300g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

50g butter

75g caster sugar

200g dried apricots

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 eggs

225ml milk

apricot jam (for the unexpected gooey apricot filling)

Here is where the fun begins:

1. Preheat the oven to 200. Grease a muffin tin, or line with cases. This mixture makes around 10 muffins.

2. Mix the flour and the baking powder in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. You should end up with a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs. Now stir in the sugar and the chopped apricots.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract before adding this to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

4. Spoon a little batter into each of the muffin cases. At this point you should aim to have each case half full. Using a teaspoon, take a small amount of jam and place on top of your mixture. Now cover the jam with the rest of the batter, filling each case up to the top.

5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until well risen, golden and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

I recommend topping this off with a mug of coffee and a magazine. This is exactly what Sundays are made for.


  1. Apologies for the poor picture quality. I am a photography novice and until I upgrade my camera, this is about the best I can do. I hope you all enjoy the muffins!

  2. Yum! I'm going to give this recipe a try, although I've had too many baking disasters to know that they won't turn out half as good as yours!

  3. They look amazing! Andy is drooling at the photos and I think he may not forgive you if he doesn't get to taste one of those. Damn you, now I'll have to bake some for him!