Baking cakes with quinoa and herbs might seem odd, but I was feeling experimental when I developed this recipe and the result is pretty brilliant if I can say so myself. You can find plenty more deliciously unpredictable recipes in my first book, but this one for Roasted Apricot and Quinoa Cakes with Rosemary is one of my favourites. —Jordan Rondel, The Caker
Preheat Oven to 180 degrees (celsius) and lightly flour 8 muffin holes.
In a baking tray scatter 110g of the caster sugar. Add the vanilla seeds and mix to combine. Place the apricots cut side down in the sugar and press into the sugar before turning over. Drizzle with the orange juice and scatter the rind over. Roast for 25 minutes until golden and tender.
Transfer half the apricots to a food processor and purèe.
Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a small saucepan along with the vanilla bean and water. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat and reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and all the liquid has evaporated.
Add the apricot purèe and quinoa and mix to combine.
Pour into the muffin holes and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
Serve warm with the remaining apricots and their syrup, orange zest and rosemary.
To store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to three days.