Apricot Slice

I can’t say that it has been all doom and gloom these past few months spent in “isolation”. We’ve had lots of movie nights and discovered the wonder that is Disney +. We’ve gone for walks in the sunshine and, excitedly, welcomed a furry friend into our household.

There has also been lot of cooking, and baking, with all three girls being all too eager to assist in the kitchen. The only downside being that even my ‘comfy’ jeans are now ‘snug’, and that’s putting it nicely.

But I’m sure things will even out as we start to get back to normal. I hope so, at least. Until then, you will generally find some form of baked good adorning our countertop, making for a nice morning tea treat (and afternoon tea treat, and after-dinner treat…you get the drift)

We created this apricot slice a little while ago, and I must say, it didn’t last long. Even my food sceptical daughter was happy to give it a try – although I think she enjoyed licking the white chocolate bowl more.

It is a no-bake slice, although there was some heating of the butter and sugar involved. Overall, though, it was relatively kid-friendly to pull together.

The apricot layer consisted of biscuits, chopped dried apricots, sweetened condensed milk and butter / sugar. Pressed into a lined pan, and then placed in the fridge for a few hours to firm up.

As for the chocolate layer, well this looks fancy but was really very simple. Just melted white chocolate with drops of orange colouring swirled through for a marbled effect.

I placed the slice back in the fridge overnight, and by the next morning, it was ready to be cut into slices. And to reduce our sugar-consumption (a little bit at least) we shared the slice “love” and delivered some to our neighbours.

But now, where are my stretchy pants….

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Apricot Slice
Course Baking
slices (depending on the size)
Course Baking
slices (depending on the size)
  1. Grease and line a slice tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the biscuits into a food processor and process until they are a fine crumb. Add the chopped apricots and condensed milk.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and sugar in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the sugar has disolved. Add to the biscuit mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Press into the lined tray, and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Melt the white cholocate and spread over the top of the slice. Add drops of the orangefood colouring, and use a skewer to swirl to make a marble effect.
  6. Place in the fridge to set overnight then cut into slices.
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Apricot and white chocolate bars

After the success of last week’s school snack baking session, I was eager to add another homemade treat to our list.

As Miss C, in particular, is a big fan of dried apricots, I hoped that an apricot treat would be well received. While she was a little hesitant to try these apricot and white chocolate bars at first, they did not return home when I packed a couple in her lunchbox – so I’m calling it a win (either that or a school buddy had an extra snack that day). Either way, the speed at which they are disappearing from our kitchen counter suggests that they may also be a hit with the older members of our family…

Somewhere between a bar and a cake, these treats are sweetened simply with a little brown sugar and white chocolate.  They may not be the ‘healthiest’, as such, but they are not overly sweet and the ingredient list is modest.

They slice nicely too, making them perfect to pack into little lunchboxes, and could easily be jazzed up with the addition of walnuts or the like (if you don’t have any school nut-bans to be mindful of, that is). 

Oh and in case you were wondering, I most certainly had my little kitchen helper on hand when making these too!

Apricot and white chocolate bars (makes 18)

  • 1 cup dried apricots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 120g butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 cups self raising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a slice tray.
  2. Place apricots and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer until the water has been absorbed. Add the butter and brown sugar, and cook over a low heat – stirring – until the butter and sugar have melted.
  3. Combine the flour and oats in a mixing bowl. Add the apricot mixture and stir to combine.  Fold through the chocolate bits.
  4. Press into lined pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice.

Homemade holiday treats – Apricot & coconut biscuits

Happy Christmas Eve Eve Smile  I hope that you have all made it to the end of the working year safely. I for one, was most happy when the clock struck 1pm (yay for half work days), and it was time to head home and finish packing for our trip to Melbourne. Which included packing up the final treat in my homemade holiday treats seriesholidaytreats On the menu today… biscuits Apricot and coconut biscuits (cookies)! aka. a break from chocolate overload that was occasioned by yesterday’s chocolate bark. IMG_4031 Oats, spelt, brown sugar coconut, apricots and nuts. IMG_4032 Mixed with eggs, vanilla and butter to form a sticky biscuit mix. IMG_4033 Rolled into balls, flattened… IMG_4035 And baked for 15 minutes until golden. IMG_4036 These biscuits turned out nice and light, but also rather chewy… IMG_4047 Quite reminding me of ANZAC biscuits actually. IMG_4056 And, once they had cooled sufficiently, I wasted no time in filling a Christmas tin and leaving half of the batch on my neighbour’s front door step by way of a little Christmas gift. IMG_4051 The rest, however, will be coming with us as we make our way down South for the Christmas holiday. IMG_4052 Delish! IMG_4054 Apricot & Coconut Biscuits (makes 16-18 large biscuits) (adapted from here)

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1cup desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C, and line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the oats, coconut, apricot and almonds and stir until well combined. Make a well in the centre.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Use your hands to roll heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place balls onto the prepared trays (leaving room to spread) and flatten slightly.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool completely

I hope that you have enjoyed this 5 days of Homemade Holiday treats. You can find links to all the treats below… gingerbread Day 1 – Gingerbread doughnuts fudge Day 2 – Salted caramel fudge chilli Day 3 – Chilli lime nut mix bark Day 4 – Chocolate bark biscuits Day 5 – Apricot and coconut biscuits But enough ‘sweet talk,  its time to get this BBB show on the road! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas Eve Eve, safe travels if you are travelling and happy eating if you are eating! What about you? What are your plans for the festive season?

A South African “poeding” attempt

IMG_3096 As I mentioned previously, our  recent weekend was filled with lots of Rugby World Cup watching. The third big match for the weekend was, of course, Australia v South Africa, in which Australia held on to win, perhaps with a bit of luck! So our theme for the post-match dinner was, quite appropriately,  South African. I actually had quite a hard time coming up with a suitable dish, until Mr BBB advised me that he had the main meal covered… IMG_3100 Boerewors…. IMG_3098 it doesn’t get more South African than that 😉 So that left me with the challenge of dessert. A South African dessert nonetheless. IMG_3074 It is moments like these that I am so grateful for my ol’ pal google. For, within a matter of moments, I came across this recipe for Malva Poeding, aka marshmallow pudding,  that I knew I just had to try.  IMG_3075 Adapted to be gluten free. Malva poeding is so named for its marshmallow-like spongy texture, and is apparently a South African favourite.  IMG_3073 This pudding smelled absolutely amazing while baking in the oven. So, you can imagine my dismay, when I opened the oven door at the end of the cooking time to discover that it had well and truly sunken in the middle. oh well. Looks aren’t everything right? IMG_3077 Particularly when the pudding is drowned in a rich sherry cream sauce. IMG_3079 Despite its rather rustic sunken appearance, this pudding was an absolute treat. IMG_3094 So moist and flavoursome. IMG_3086 So much so, that I  had to stop myself from going back for seconds thirds 😉 IMG_3090 But then again, a pudding made with pretty much all sugar, cream and sherry is always going to taste nice. It just may not be too friendly for one’s hips 😉 IMG_3087 A lovely little South African dessert indeed! GF Malva Poeding a.k.a Marshmallow Pudding (adapted from here)

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbs apricot jam
  • 185g GF plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2tbs butter
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 125ml milk
  • 200ml  double cream
  • 100g butter
  • 1/4 caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup sherry sherry
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Beat the caster sugar and eggs until fluffy and light, then beat in the apricot jam.
  3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together 3 times.
  4. Melt the butter with vinegar and milk over low heat.
  5. Fold the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately into the egg mixture and pour the batter into a greased ovenproof dish.
  6. Bake the pudding for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Meanwhile, place the cream, butter, sugar and sherry into a saucepan and stir over moderate heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Remove the pudding from the oven, pierce it in a number of places with a skewer and pour the hot sauce over it immediately.
  9. Serve hot or cold with cream.

What about you? Do you have a favourite South African dish?

Apricot delight

Training: After a few weeks of holidays, rich food and lots of indulgence, I have been keen to get back to my normal routine. And my plan to do so? Healthy food, lots of water and a regular workout sessions! Simple yet effective. This week certainly started on the right foot when I headed to my morning Body Pump class. 1 hour of weights and  I was ready to take on the day – albeit with shaaaaaaaky legs. Gotta love squats! Meals: My quest for routine continued when I arrived home this evening after a busy day at work. Without hesitation, I turned to the Mystery Box for dinner inspiration. The chosen ingredient…. IMG_0183   Apricot! IMG_0185 Did you know? Apricots are originally from China but arrived in Europe via Armenia. Apricots are full of dietary fibre and beta-carotene, and are a great source of vitamin A, C, magnesium and potassium. While I didn’t have any fresh apricots on hand, I did have a bag of dried apricots. So, with dried apricots, a desire to create a healthy (yet tasty) dinner and this recipe for inspiration,  my ‘apricot chicken’ dish was born. Starting with a bean mixture made with butter beans, pepitas, onion and thyme – sautéed until soft. IMG_0191 Then mashed with diced dried apricots and parmesan cheese (instead of feta).  I left out the nuts. IMG_0195 Spooned into an organic chicken breast – that I had sliced through the middle. Then closed and oven baked for 25 minutes until cooked through. IMG_0196IMG_0197 Topped with a sprinkle of fresh thyme. IMG_0199 And served alongside a pile of steamed broccoli. IMG_0201 I am not normally one to cook with fruit when making ‘savoury’ dishes, but I was really pleased with how this tasty little chicken dish turned out . The apricots added a lovely sweetness to the chicken, without being sickly sweet, perhaps mellowed by the herbed bean filling. IMG_0202 So simple, yet tasty and healthy! I was still a little peckish after dinner so I broke into a punnet of fresh strawberries and blueberries for dessert. IMG_0205 Topped with yoghurt and shredded coconut. The perfect fuel for a task I was working on after dinner. I’ll give you a hint…. IMG_0198 Looks complicated huh!?  All will be revealed tomorrow… What about you? How do you like to cook with apricots? Happy Baking 🙂