Monday, 18 July 2011

Green and Gold Barley Muffins

The green from the grated courgettes and the gold from the strips of apricots.

I know it doesn't look like it, but honestly there are courgettes in these dark muffins.  The courgettes are cleverly disguised by the cocoa powder, a bit like the courgette and chocolate waffles I made at the weekend.
I was originally just going to make some good old courgette and chocolate muffins, but then remembered the We Should Cocoa Challenge for July and the secret ingredient Apricots

My husband really loves eating fresh apricots.  Seduced by fond memories of apricots growing, ripening and bursting with sweetness in my late father-in-laws backyard in Cyprus, we went hunting for some golden delights in Scotland.  Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find any fresh apricots that appeal to our senses.  Those we did come across were hard as round pellets or unripe.  So I resorted to my store cupboards that contain dried goods such as flours, pulses and dried fruit. Amongst the raisins and sultanas, I found some dried apricots. I think dried apricots are a better substitute for some of the tasteless fresh apricots we find at the supermarkets here.  Whilst fumbling about in the store cupboard, I also came across a packet of barley flour that was given to me by my mother a few months ago. I decided to incorporate it into my muffin recipe for an experiment.
Well as you would expect from a muffin, it raised wonderfully.  The barley flour gives the muffins a slight bitter aftertaste, but this is compensated by the natural sweetness from the apricots. It was also a much chewier muffin.  In a strange way the texture reminded me of the confectionery the Mars Bar, even the apricots mimicked a healthy version of the oozing caramel.  So all in all, these were not bad at all.
Therefore, I am submitting these 'Courgette and Apricot Muffins' to Chele who is hosting this months We Should Cocoa Challenge. The challenge this month is to create a chocolate or cocoa recipe containing Apricots.We Should Cocoa is alternately hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog or Chele of Chocolate Teapot.
Courgette and Apricot Barley Muffins
Makes 12
130g plain flour
120g barley flour
85g caster sugar
1½ tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 - 3 tablespoons fairtrade cocoa powder
200ml milk
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 - 6 dried apricots, sliced
A small courgette, grated
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in a large bowl.  In another bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, oil, apricots and courgette. 
Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, dividing it evenly.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.  Serve warm.
These are good for 2 days.
Updated: 12/09/2011
I am always humbled when fellow bloggers make a recipe of mine and then share it not only with friends and family, but with their readers too.  Here. Said the Hobbit made her variation of these muffins, please do go by and check out the Hobbits Zucchini and Apricot muffins.


  1. I do most definitely like your blog entry today! Thank you :) These look wonderful, and your comment about the Mars Bar gives me hope my partner may overlook the vegetable ingredient and enjoy them too!

  2. Thanks Kari.
    I'm so please you like them. You can'treally tell that there is courgette in them, and hte truth is courgettes can be pretty tasteless.

  3. I love muffins, they are my favourite cake! :))

  4. What a great recipe! I think I actually prefer the flavours of dried apricots to those of fresh, they are so much deeper and darker! And of course their wonderful almost-gooey texture, you have yourself the perfect "healthy" muffin!

  5. Thank you so much Hazel.
    I like dried apricots too - always seem to have some in my humble abode.

  6. MMMMMMMM....two of my favorite things This will be tried out on my soup people. Hope that's all right with you

  7. Hello Hobbit,
    Its been a long time.
    So good to hear from you.
    Of coruse its okay, I hope they like it - barley flour is bit of an acquired taste, you can however replace it with 1 cup of plain flour if you so wish.

  8. Now that is exciting pairing courgettes and apricots - the chocolate goes without saying of course ;-) I've use quinoa flour sometimes and that also creates some bitterness. Have never tried barley. Your muffins look lovely and I very much like the sound of a healthy mars bar. Those bars so beloved of my childhood and youth I can't eat any more as they are sooooo sweet. Thanks for entering We Should Cocoa.

  9. Thanks Choclette.
    I've never seen Quinoa flour here, let alone used it. But now, i will look out for it even more.

  10. Hi again, This is the week I try these muffins out on my people. Although apricots are mentioned in the title I failed to see it in the recipe.Nope just checked again and it's not there. I'm sure I can figure it out,but, I thought it was funny that in reading the ingredients I never noticed. Today is shopping day that's why I was checking the recipe again

  11. Oh Thank you so much Hobbit,
    For pointing it out to me, I'm surprised noone had previously. My excuse is I created the recipe and don't always remember in my head, I know I should have a pen to hand - I know poor excuse.
    I do hope you get to make them and test them on your willing guinea pigs :)
    Once again, thank you for letting me know - you will see that the post has been updated.

  12. Thank you ...........Making them in the morning:D

  13. Thanks Hobbit.
    Please do let me know how they go: good; bad; or mediocre.
    I'm always nervous when bloggers make my recipes at home.


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