Baking an Orange and Apricot Loaf with Lemon Icing

As well as writing this blog I am embarking on a new personal challenge. I aim to bake at least once a week. My current baking craze is loaf cakes. All things loafy. For the first week of this new tradition I decided to make a Orange and Apricot Loaf with Lemon drizzle icing. A picture of my Orange and Apricot Loaf cake with Lemon drizzle icing and orange zest. Perfect Autumn bake.
View from above of the finished bake.
I used an online recipe from the BBC Good Food website. I am usually quite sceptical with online recipes. However this website is very useful and I haven’t had a bad experience to date.

I made one change to the original recipe and decided to add lemon juice into the icing instead of orange juice. I was pleased with this substitution as it added a slightly sharper tang. It went down very well with the flavours of orange and apricot also, creating autumnal flavours. I have recently moved to London in a shared house with 4 other friends. This means a lot of my good baking equipment is situated in my family home back in The New Forest. Oh how I missed my electric whisk for this bake. It was almost impossible to blend the butter by hand, but then when it came to adding the eggs I was verging on new disaster territory of curdling. As a drastic form of improvisation I sought out my friends ‘Nutri-Bullet’ blender. I scooped my eggy batter into her flask in sheer desperation I could save my arms the pain of hours of mixing and poorly blended batter. In a split second it seemed to work. It was of course very liquidy at this point, but once I had folded in the flour, I was back on track.

I did not feel my batter needed milk at this point. It went into the oven for well over an hour. I think I timed it at around 1.5 hours. Every oven is different of course. I was very patient letting my cake cool twenty minutes in the tin and a further half an hour out of the tin. 

My housemates were very eager to sample a slice at this point. Once I had decorated with my lemon icing and a lovely sprinkle of automatic orange zest, I was compelled to photograph my cake. Now, having a photography degree did not help me very much at this point. I came to realise how hard food styling actually is. 

Cutting into my Orange and Apricot Loaf
Finally came the time to gather my friends with a cup of tea and cut a slice. The cake wasn’t bad for a first attempt. My personal criticism is that it could have done with a little bit more moisture in the sponge. I think I will try adding some orange juice into the batter next time. 

I was very pleased to notice the fruit hadn’t sunk to the bottom also. The apricots were not too chewy and the flavours were there. It seemed to go down quite well with my housemates. They even had two helpings. This is one of the reasons why I love baking, as it brings your loved ones together. There is massive satisfaction in instigating this. 

 Stay tuned for next week as I have another loafy up my sleeve!

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