(Skinny) Apricot Loaf Cake

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Apricots are in season once again. My mum brought home a bunch from a friend’s garden and I didn’t know what to do with them. All I knew was, that I  was sick and tired of the usual apricot cake recipes.
So I went over to Pinterest and looked around for a bit. Pinterest never fails to provide me with fun and easy recipes, today was no exception. After a while I found a recipe that sounded promising. I altered it a bit. You should know by now that I’m a lazy baker ;-)

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Ingredients

2 cups / 10,5 oz / 300g all purpose flour
1/2 cup / 3,5 oz / 100g brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup / 6,7 oz / 190g greek yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1lb / 450g ripe apricots (cored and cut into small pieces)

Optional
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
I imagine cinnamon would work too.

I didn’t use any of this and it still turned out really well.

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What to do

Pre-heat the oven to 360°F/180°C. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl beat sugar and eggs together. Gently mix in the yoghurt. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apricot pieces. Make sure it’s all blended well together. I was a bit concerned at first because the batter was firmer than what I usually work with but don’t let this deter you, mine turned out really well and moist in the end.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine was done after about 40 minutes.

Recipe Source (I altered it slightly)

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Rhubarb-Strawberry-Apple Pie

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Rhubarb is back in season, and if you can remember from last year, I go absolutely crazy whenever rhubarb hits the markets.

It’s not a joke, it’s something I take very seriously! I love it. It’s just so easy to make and I love the crisp and sour taste!

Last year I made Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Cake and Rhubarb – Curd Cheese Tartlets. I was tempted to just go back and repeat these recipes because I couldn’t really find anything that tickled my fancy but then I stopped and thought “well, why not do your own thing?”

Why indeed?

Among my friends and family I’m mostly known for three things and ironically I haven’t posted either of those recipes here yet.
As it is I’m known for my Chocolate-Coffee Cake, my Chocolate – Banana Bread and my Apple Pie.

Then I started thinking – I could make that Apple Pie and just switch apples for rhubarb. And yes, it really was that easy. Kind of.
I had to tweak it a bit as I went but if you’re like me and enjoy the hands on cooking more than the fussy weighing of the exact amount of grams, then let’s get started, shall we?

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Ingredients

400g flour
40g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
200g butter (unsalted at room temperature)
1 tbsp vinegar

1kg rhubarb
400g strawberries
1 apple
200ml strawberry juice*
50ml maple sirup (honey works just as well)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp rum
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

* I used strawberry juice but rhubarb leaves more juice than apples so I ended up having a lot of liquid in my fruit mixture which I had to drain out again. So you can either forgo the strawberry juice (as well as the lemon juice as rhubarb is already very sour) or you can just put it in and then drain the excess liquid before you put the fruit on the dough.

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What to do

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

For the dough you mix together the flour, 25g sugar, salt, 175g butter (room temperature and cut in small pieces), vinegar and 9 tbsp cold water until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap in foil and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Wash, clean and cut the rhubarb and apple into small pieces. Don’t worry if they’re a bit bigger as it will cook and soften anyway. Add the strawberry juice, lemon juice, maple sirup (I usually always use honey instead), cinnamon and rum and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Wash and cut the strawberries and add them to the mixture. If you think this isn’t sweet enough you can add some (brown) sugar or more honey if you want to.
In a separate cup put together the cornstarch with 3 tbsp cold water and stir it until it dissolves. Add this to the fruit mixture and let it cook for another minute or so. Leave the mixture to cool.
If you have used the juice (or even if you haven’t) and the whole mix seems very runny, try to get rid off the excess liquid by draining it.

Grease a form with the remaining butter. Roll the dough until it fits the form, put it in and then prick the bottom with a fork.
Put the fruit mixture in the form. Roll the remaining dough and cut into stripes so you can braid it on top of the fruit.
Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush it on top of the dough.

Bake for around 60 minutes.
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A couple of days later I basically made the same thing but without the strawberries. I also tried my hand at braiding the crust around the form. With the leftover dough I made some rustic tartlets filled only with rhubarb (cooked with honey, rum and cinnamon – basically that’s all you need!).
It really is easy and such a fun and creative way to try new things.

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Brass Monkey

Instagram is a wonderful, wonderful place. Especially when you are constantly looking for new places to drink coffee and eat cake. Like I mentioned in an earlier post I’m trying to work my way through all the tiny cafés Vienna has to offer and so far this is going really well!
This suggestion came my way and I couldn’t be happier.

Brass Monkey is a relatively small café but offers a variety of cupcakes. The coffee selection is a bit more limited than in other cafés but their tea-game is strong. The Staff is incredibly friendly and there’s a ton of magazines and newspapers on the table waiting to be read. I instantly fell in love with the relaxed atmosphere,  chalkboards and colourful tiles of the counter.
The only downside of this place is that (as far as I can tell) there’s no restroom for customers. Which is, if you’re like me and sit around cafés for hours, not ideal at all.

Still, I’m sure I’ll be back. There’s coffee to drink and cupcakes to eat.

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Brass Monkey
Gumpendorferstraße 71, 1060 Wien

Lately

I haven’t had one of these in a while again so here we go.

Life is pretty amazing right now. Uni-wise I’ve accomplished all I wanted last semester and this semester is off to a very enthusiastic start as well.
I’m taking a French class, which, for the first time in a long while, I seem to enjoy immensely. I’m still discovering new cafés and restaurants in Vienna every day and the weather has been warm and perfectly spring-appropriate the past two weeks.
There are summer plans in the making and while nothing is concrete yet, all of the possibilities excite me so much, I cannot even tell you.

Starting tomorrow I will also be a regular contributor over at The Blogwander. It’s a lovely network for like-minded young women who chase dreams and adventures, who dare to do what others have told them they could not, and who make mistakes and learn along the way. Just like me. I could not be happier for the warm welcome I have received so far and cannot wait to get started over there!

The past few weeks have been filled with tears (which happens when your pony decides to unhinge a door with his bridle), laughter, some drinks, good food, impromptu dance sessions through my room (Ray LaMontagne has been on repeat for weeks now!) and long walks through the forests and meadows around my town. Seasonal food is growing in the woods and we’re reveling in all the ways it can be used. The good life.

It’s been an incredible start in the new year so far and more exciting things are to come (Prague! Paris!).

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As always, you can follow my adventures on Instagram. Come and say hi. I really am incredibly chatty ;-)