Monday, 27 August 2012

'X' is for....Xingzi Drizzle Muffins

Muffins made with fresh local apricots, topped with a lemon drizzle 
As I have worked my way through the alphabet it gets more difficult to come up with a recipe that evokes a memory alongside it.....'X' has defiantly been one of them! I could of used the word extra omitting the e, but I felt that would been a cop out. Anyway after some research I discovered 'Xingzi', which is the Chinese word for apricots. Very apt right now as we are off to China soon for a months travelling, and I am sooooooo looking forward to the break. I am also rushing now to get this A-Z done so I can starts another baking project on my return, watch this space:) So me thinks some more cake making tomorrow for Y and Z.....
Apricots remind me of summer....I am not sure if your taste buds change as you get older but I am starting to sound like my mum.....she would often remind us that food did not taste the same as when she was young. Well that's me with apricots, I remember them being furry on the outside like they are now, but juicy on the inside. Most of the ones I come across now are hard and sour, or soft and spongy. If anyone can suggest where I can get some super juicy ones it would be much appreciated. They seem to be ok when cooked though....and they made these muffins sweet and moist. I did make these a few weeks ago for my Nutty Knitter ladies. We are a knitting circle that meet in my home every fortnight to sip tea, eat cake  oh and of course do a bit of knitting....not a crumb was left at the end of the day:) 
Apricots remind me of my eldest son.He was 4 when he started school and took to it with lots of enthusiasm, coming home at the end of each day telling me all about his exciting time and all that he had done during the day. I soon realised someone else had stepped into my shoes a little, when he came home and told me how clever his teacher was. He said all excitedly how she could curl ribbon with her fingernails.... seems his world was suddenly not all about me...ho hum.
I think like most Mums we all ask our kids when we collect them at the end of the school day what they had for dinner .Perhaps we ask so we don't feel inadequate in our own choice of food that we dish up!....mind you with a houseful to feed when they are hungry, chicken nuggets and chips from the freezer are always a godsend....oh well something home cooked tomorrow you tell yourself.
When prompted on the way home one evening about his dinner, he revealed he had shepherds pie with lumpy meat....followed by goldfish and custard. Trying not to show a look of horror I questioned him gently to eventually discover he had actually had tinned apricots with his custard....whewwwww there was me ready to pick up the phone and complain about feeding small children goldfish. Would I of had a red face :) 
For the cakes
8oz each of flour, butter and castor sugar
4 large eggs
3 apricots chopped
tsp baking powder 
For the drizzle and topping
3oz castor sugar
fresh lemon juice
Set oven to 200C and put 12 muffin cases into a bun tin
Put soft butter, eggs and sugar into a large bowl. Sieve flour and baking powder together into the same bowl.
Mix until thick and creamy.
Fold in chopped apricots
Bake for 15-25 mins or until cooked 
While the cakes are baking combine sugar with lemon juice. add more lemon if its too thick but you don't want a really runny mix. Chop remaining apricots
Using a skewer make a few holes in each warm muffin, then drizzle the lemon/sugar mix over the top. Decorate with chopped apricots 
Enjoy x 

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