Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Jul 16, 2013

Little Apricot Cakes with Bourbon

Libations used: 3/4 cups bourbon...
Libations left over: None, but make yourself this Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail while you're waiting for these lil' cakes to bake...
As you all know, I love baking.  But if I baked for myself every day, I would inevitably eat everything and then I wouldn't be able to maintain my lovely girlish figure.  So when there's a party, even if I don't have to bring anything, I will inevitably come bearing baking goods laced with booze...or just a bottle of booze.  My friend Dan was celebrating his 40th birthday this past weekend, and I knew the kids would be with a nanny and it would be a rolicking good time, so Lush Chef treats were okay to tote along.  Bon Appetit had a quick and easy recipe for Little Apricot Cakes from their June issue, and I always get a great supply of stone fruit from my friends at Summer Harvest Farms at the Farmers' Market.  In exchange for some apricots, I promised to bring them a batch the following day.  I love farmers.  To Lush Chef this recipe up, I soaked each little cake with a teaspoon of bourbon after they had cooled down a little bit.  They're the perfect little treats to transport for parties and picnics, and would taste amazing topped with any stone fruit.  I had to use 3 apricots, as I wanted to make sure each cake had at least 3 wedge on top.  I might even try these with sliced berries or cherries next time too, and double the amount of lemon zest.

Little Apricot Cakes - makes 12
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 apricots, halved, pitted and cut into quarter-inch wedges
  • 2 Tbs raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup bourbon - I used Woodford Reserve
- Coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan with vegetable oil spray or shortening.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and milk in alternating additions, starting with the dry for three and the milk for two, with the mixer set on low speed.
- Fill the muffin cups about 1/3 full with the batter — it looks low, but they'll rise!
- Smooth out the tops and top with 3 apricot wedges and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
- When the cakes have cooled for about 5-10 minutes, pour 1 tsp of bourbon on top of each cake and let it soak through.