Wounded Soldiers

As soon as I saw the finished result of these muffins,n the first thing I got reminded of were soldiers. A little  rough and rugged looking when considering their appearance but so wonderful inside. While these muffins have a soft, butter cake dripping with caramelised fruit juices, the soldiers are proud and courageous with a patriotic spirit inside them. We respect them.

Ironic isn’t it, that I should make something that reminds me of soldiers so close to Remembrance Day (Nov. 11th)? I believe in fate and I like to believe there is a reasoning behind it…

21I found these muffins in the Good Living section of the Sydney Morning Herald a while back actually. It sort of stuck out at me then and now, due to my almond meal dilemma and massive load of nectarines in the fridge, I decided to make them today 🙂

They are moist and delicious from the caramelisation on top as  well as the light and fluffy butter cake containing the roasted fruit. I love the amount of versatility in these cute muffins (which, may I add, are a perfect breakfast! just like my cream cheese muffins) that you can potentially have. Let’s see:

  • 31Can use potentially any stone fruit (I used nectarines obviously instead of the original apricot called for) or any chopped up fruits if you are not feeling in a stand-out-fruit-face mood 🙂
  • Can add in a variety of additions including honeycomb (which I sprinkled on top giving a wounded look – next time mix into batter!), dried fruit, nuts, citrus zest, desiccated coconut, fruit based essences or spices
  • Since you only use the flat disc cut from any fruit for impact, you can use the other pieces, dice them small and also add them to the batter for an extra fruity touch!

Didn’t I tell you these beauties were totally versatile?

I’ll give you all the original recipe but here are some other changes I made according to my own needs as well as the additional honeycomb I added:

  • I used all almond meal and no plain flour therefore since there was no raising agent, I filled up the cupcake liners close to full and it worked out beautifully
  • I used a golden syrup to glaze the finished warm muffins instead of honey (berk!)
  • I ignored the sugared almonds but I am positive it would be a welcome addition with its crunch factor!

Little Apricot Cakes With Sugared Almonds
Source: Good Living 2011 (I do not remember the month but I hazard maybe a week in June or July)

Serves: 6 ramekins or 8 muffins
Ingredients

  • 3 ripe but firm apricots (or as many cheeks as needed)
  • 150g softened butter
  • 150g caster sugar + 1-2 tbs extra
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 50g almond meal
  • 150g SRF (sifted)
  • 3 tbs flaked almonds
  • 1 tbs icing sugar + extra to serve
  • 1 tbs honey for serving

12Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Split apricots and discard stones (or cut off cheeks of desired stone fruit)
  3. Butter the inside of 6 (9cm wide and 5cm high) ramekins OR line 8 muffin tins with liners
  4. Beat butter and 150g sugar until pale and creamy
  5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition
  6. Beat in lemon juice and essence
  7. Fold in almond meal and flour, mixing thoroughly until well combined (Mix in any
    add-ins)
  8. Add batter halfway (close to full if used no raising agent) up the sides of the liner/mould
  9. Push half an apricot – cut side up (cheek of stone fruit, skin side down) into batter
  10. Scatter with remaining extra caster sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes or until  springy to touch and skewer insertedcomes out clean
  11. Let cool a little before unmolding, glazing with honey and scattering almonds
  12. Dust with icing sugar and serve

Optional: Flaked Almonds

  1. Rinse flaked almonds and dry thoroughly
  2. Toss in icing sugar
  3. Bake for 4 minutes (180 degree C oven) until golden
  4. Leave to cool and crisp until needed
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