July 18, 2004

trying out season's favorites

Saturday, July 17

For these past several weeks, I have been busy trying not to miss fruits in season; strawberry, raspberry, peach... and today, it was apricot that I had. To tell you the truth, I don't particularly fancy apricots among out of all kinds of fruits... I like them fresh, but as fresh apricots would be in store for just a week or so and tend to be very expensive in Tokyo, I have had limited experience with them.
And there was a post about apricot coffee cake and its recipe in Clotilde's blog a few days ago, and the cake in the picture looked scrumptious. Now that apricots are in store, and that I have found an interesting recipe using them, it must be about time - to eat apricots!

Plump apricots neatly piled up in a small corner of the shelf were so appealing that I had a compulsion to grab them all, but those bright yellowish orange jewels were in fact pretty much as expensive as those in Tokyo (too bad). I just got a small bagfull of them for the cake.

Since I don't have a large (or small, in fact) round cake pan at hand, I just used small cupcake cups and make mini-cakes. As the batter seemed to be very simple in the recipe, I decided to add some little extras; first, I thought of almond meal, but figured that I didn't have almonds at home except for a small amount of slivered ones. This wouldn't make too much of almond flavor, I thought, and then decided to add crystallized ginger bits in the batter, while slivered almonds would top the cake along with apricot wedges.

The cakes turned out pretty good - slightly tangy and pleasantly sweet ripe, juicy apricots made an attractive contrast with somehow cookie-y cake, and the spicy ginger gave them unique and delicious snap, both in flavor and texture. I wish I had put more apricots on top, though - I thought too much of them might make mess when baked - it would have been even more fruity.


In the afternoon we went to beach. I have never been a beach-bum, ever, and I would rather even avoid staying for too long there. But recently I have been stuck in the house and spending too much time sitting in front of the computer because of work, I thought it would make a nice little change... and just watching waves and surfers, and lying down and read, it certainly did make a nice change.


Santos said...

gorgeous! (both cake and view)

Cat said...

what a beautiful sky! and the food looks glorious as per usual ;)

chika said...

Hi Santos & Cat,
Yeah it was a real nice day out there!
The cakes were really pretty, too... the bright apricot yellow did certainly dress up the cupcakes nicely :-)

Reid said...

Hi Chika,

These cakes look really yummy. I wonder how they would taste using white peaches...hmmmm.

chika said...

Hi Reid,
Yep those cakes made me rediscover how pretty those fruits can make your cake look! Golden yellow apricots were sure a hit, but white peach would... mmmmmm... I have to do something about that!