baking and blogging 101

It’s best not to do the blogging thing while on a 280 cupcake order.

The timer malfunctioned and the music was too loud and I was distracted.

…….best to keep focussed is all I am going to say.


cupcake art

my poster for design indaba

I was recently asked to do a piece of art which would form part of the launch of a design competition ‘its in you let it out’ (Jupiter Drawing Room CT) design indaba superstars

Each entry works with a side profile of the persons head and shoulders (A3).

This is the poster of my art piece which was chosen to be published in the December issue of House and Leisure


quick apricot jam

the ingredients

My paternal grandmother Betty used to make the most incredible apricot jam and I remember the delight I felt as a child finding a more-or-less whole apricot in the jam, and then squishing this on my toast.

I started making apricot jam about 10 years ago and bottled these under the name ‘Sam’s jams’.  The friends and family were pleased, but oh what a mission it was to do. I would make about 10 kg’s at a time and boil multiple pots on the stove for hours unable to leave my flat. Due to the scale of the project, I have not made jam since those vintages of 1999 and 2000.

I really do love the concept of preserving, so when I found myself with a massive amount of the most beautiful imported and out of season strawberries after an international TV shoot, there was no way I was not going to convert these treasures into something longer lasting.

I came across a recipe for ‘small batch’ strawberry jam on YouTube and what a win it was.  It takes about 20 minutes to make and produces a jam that is so much about the fruit and less about the sugar.  I love it.

I followed the recipe using apricots the other night and it worked out perfectly. It’s so easy. I’m planning on buying a little extra fruit each time this summer and making up a quick batch to bottle and give away as gifts.


  • 3 cups apricots quartered (about 600gms)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

to make:

  • put all ingredients in a wide shallow pan/ pot on high and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes.
  • the wider the better as this facilitates quick evaporation and thus quicker jammification
  • to test if the jam is ready, freeze a side plate for 5 minutes. Drop a dolop of jam on the cold plate. Run your finger through the middle. if the jam stays apart and doesn’t immediately join back together, its jammy enough.
  • at the same time boil the storage jars in a large pot of water – remove and drain
  • scoop the hot jam into the jars and seal
  • pop the sealed jars back into the boiling water for 10 minutes (this gets rid of any bacteria etc)
  • remove from the pot, drain and allow to cool

bubbling in the pan

…..I couldn’t wait,  so I scraped the pan down and spread on a toasted whole-wheat crumpet. So delicious, quite tart, not too sweet.

I still may go back to making apricot jam the way my grandmother did if only to find the whole apricot again.

bottled and ready for gifting


Other quick jams you might like:

The best 8-minute strawberry jam (video)

Quick strawberry jam with Pimms, ginger and balsamic

red pepper and chili jam





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