Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Apricot and Pine Nut Muffins

Things are changing again! FB has got her feet on the bottom of the property ladder, at last, and will be moving out soon. In the meantime Hubs and I are busy helping her get the new house into good condition. She's lucky that there is time to clean properly and redecorate where necessary, before she moves in - whenever we've moved, that sort of thing has had to be left until we've settled in, or be done in a hurry while we are deciding where to store things, and how to arrange the furniture. Although she's lived away from home for many years, and has accumulated lots of books and kitchen equipment, she has always lived in furnished rented accommodation, so has no furniture of her own yet, so that's another task that she needs help with, as she doesn't drive. A trip to IKEA is next on the agenda!

All this is to explain why I've done little baking lately, and why there is likely to be even less in future. With just the two of us here, and both of us with weight problems to varying degrees, there will be less call for cakes and calorific desserts. Even now, when I bake, I often divide the batter to make two small cakes, and freeze one, so I've already cut down to some extent. I'm not sure yet how this will affect my blogging, although I'd like to carry on with the monthly baking challenges, so I don't expect be giving up altogether.

I made a Red Berry, Chocolate and Marzipan cake recently, much like this cake that I made last year. I used double the amount of dried fruit and dark chocolate instead of white, and it was just as delicious, but I only realised that I hadn't photographed it as the last piece was being eaten!

Muffins are also useful when you don't need much cake, as they usually freeze well. Four of these Apricot and Pine Nut Muffins went into the freezer, leaving a manageable amount for us to eat. I really like them, but Hubs didn't like their smell! I'm not sure what he could smell, as I didn't notice anything unpleasant; the only thing I could think of was that the smell of cooked pine nuts was unpleasant to him.

The original recipe, in the Muffin Bible, called these Pine Nut and Yogurt Muffins, but dried apricots are a major ingredient, so it seemed more fitting to call them Apricot and Pine Nut Muffins. I've found this recipe online, which looks identical; the only thing I did differently was not to chop the pine nuts - there didn't seem any point. You'll notice the recipe adds a small amount of honey; I used a wild thyme honey and the combination of thyme, apricots and pine nuts suggested Greek flavours to me. Although I liked these, I'm unlikely to make them again, so as not to offend his lordship's delicate nose!


Katie said...

These sound delicious and quite Greek with the honey, pine nuts and apricots. Congratulations to FB!

belleau kitchen said...

such an intriguing idea, they look wonderful and I agree, they sound very Greek... I must give these a go.


Phil in the Kitchen said...

I have known some people with a strong aversion to pine nuts over the years although I think they smell just fine. These do look lovely.
I completely understand the baking cut back. I've definitely reduced the baking in the last couple of years and there's no room at all in my freezer due to the amount of excess cake. But my wife has lost around 5 stone, so I think I've probably done the right thing.