Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blood donor boost

Every three months or so, a handful of brave Versacoldians traipse over to the Hornby blood drive. Since it's important to have plenty to eat and drink before giving blood, I usually bring in some baking to ensure no one's donating on an empty stomach.

I'd chosen to make refrigerated apricot and lemon slice (p65) a simple recipe with similar method and ingredients to lolly cake, using crushed malt biscuits, melted butter, condensed milk and coconut. The difference is mostly in the addition of chopped apricots and lemon zest - plus the icing, of course.

You start by melting butter and condensed milk together in a saucepan. While the butter is melting, get the food processor out, and crush up those malt biscuits. Tip the crumbs in a bowl, and, since you've already got the food processor out, use it to chop the apricots as well. I initially thought this wasn't going to work, but with persistent pulsing, the thunk-thunk of whole apricots spinning around the bowl lessened, and I had nice, finely chopped apricot.

Add the apricot to the crushed malt biscuits, then throw in some lemon zest and a cup of coconut. By the time you've got this done, the butter/condensed milk mixture (which you have carefully been keeping an eye on throughout, of course..) should be ready. Pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and combine.

The resulting mixture is almost identical to that of lolly cake - just with apricot instead of lollies. Press it into a tin, and stick it in the fridge to set. The whole process up till this point takes about 10 minutes - I even managed to get it done before Masterchef came on!

An hour or two later, I took the slice out to ice. I'd made up some lemon icing (p77), this time being very careful not to make it too runny - my usual error with icing. As it happens, I'd actually made it too thick: when I tipped the icing on top of the slice, it looked like there was nothing like enough to spread over the whole slice. With considerable persistence, and a spoon dipped in boiling water, I eventually managed to stretch the icing across the whole slice, albeit a bit thinly in places. A handful of coconut scattered over the top, and back into the fridge to set the icing.

Just before I went to bed, I realised I hadn't actually cut up the slice yet. It had been in the fridge for several hours, so I had a job cutting through it! I got it into reasonably neat slices in the end though, and prepared a platter to take to work in the morning. Naturally I had to test it (quality control, you know) and found the taste very familiar. The Edmonds apricot and lemon slice is very very similar to the citrus slice you'd find in many bakeries and cafes. That's not in any way a bad thing - it's one of my favourite bakery items!

I left the slice sitting on my desk until after lunch, as the first blood drive appointment was at 1.40pm. It was difficult not to sneak a piece, but I managed it. The slice was received very enthusiastically by my fellow blood donors, and I have to say I enjoyed my piece as well.

I'd recommend this slice as quick, easy and yummy. Since there's no cooking required, it's probably good one for kids to have a go at too. Basically, if you can make lolly cake (and who can't?) you can make this. Why not give it a go?


  1. Oh my gosh...lolly cake!! Yum!!!

  2. Interesting.. I was expecting a lolly cake comment from Bryn, but I see we've converted you!


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