This past Friday, as we all know, was the much-anticipated opening of the Rugby World Cup. In celebration of this event, Lauren and Tom had asked a few people around to watch the opening ceremony, followed by the All Blacks vs Tonga opening match.
Since our opponent was Tonga, the evening had an island theme, and we were all supposed to dress and bring food to match the theme. Finding something 'island' from the Edmonds book was a bit of a stretch, until I started thinking outside the box. After all, you really can't fault apricot islands (p215) as not being in keeping with an island theme.
Lauren had also asked me to bring a salad, so I had a look at the remaining salad recipes and chose rice salad (p178). Probably not authentically islandy, but at least it had pineapple in it!
I got home on Friday afternoon and headed immediately into the kitchen, putting rice on for the salad and making a start on the apricot islands. Apricot islands are one of the 'desserts with Edmonds' recipes, and basically consist of canned apricot halves with cake mixture spooned into the cavity, and a few sliced almonds sprinkled on top.
The recipe uses madeira cake mix, but that doesn't seem to be available anymore. Using the actual madeira cake recipe as a guide, I figured a plain buttercake mix with a bit of lemon zest would be a suitable substitute. I made up the cake mix from the box, added my lemon zest, and set about spooning it into the apricots.
There was quite a lot of cake mix left over. The recipe anticipates this, stating "use remaining mixture to make cupcakes". I hadn't expected to have so much left, since I'd filled a whole can's worth of apricots, and the recipe is for only eight. Still, I had this mixture, so I went ahead and filled up some cupcake cases.
Meanwhile, I'd checked my rice and found it horribly gluggy: I'd forgotten to rinse the rice before cooking, something I don't bother with for my usual basmati, but is apparently necessary for the ordinary long grain I'd cooked for the salad. Since I had to cool it down anyway, I had a go at rinsing the glugginess off post-cooking. It seemed to work, and I left the rice draining in a sieve while I finished off the apricot islands and got the cupcakes in.