August 30, 2009

Friands on Sunday

It was a gorgeous day here.  Endless blue sky, light trade winds, and temps in the mid-eighties.  I woke up at 4:45 a.m. this morning to go an see my daughter compete in the Na Wahine Sprint Triathlon.  After she had finished we waited for the awards ceremony only to find out that everyone's times were incorrect as they had forgotten to push the start button for the timing chips.  Oh well, it was a great race.  For many people it was their first race so they were just happy to finish. Someone yelled out to me as they were doing the race that it was my turn next year but I think I have decided that I will stick to what I excel at - and that is cheering. My thanks to all the volunteers who make these races such a great success.

I decided to go ahead and try the recipe I had for Almond Friands but add some raspberries to them.  For those who have not heard of these delicious treats before they are like a muffin but are much lighter due to the fact that they are mostly almond meal, sugar, and egg whites. I used a recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly cookbook called Home Baked.  I picked up this book whilst I was visiting Australia late last year and it has a wonderful selection of recipes for muffins, cakes, etc.

Thanks to my sous chef Ashleigh I was able to get these made in record time.  We also made Alton Browns' Lemon Curd with the leftover egg yolks.  The hard part was remembering to take photos as I went.  Oh well, I am sure that I will get the hang of this blogging thing.
Raspberry Almond Friands

6 egg whites
185g butter, melted
125g (1 cup) ground almonds
240g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
approx 30 raspberries, pureed
extra icing sugar for dusting 

Preheat oven to 400F.  Grease a 12 x 1/2 cup muffin pan and place on a baking tray.
Place egg whites in a medium bowl.  Using a mixer on low speed whisk lightly until combined. Add butter, ground almonds, sugar, and flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
Spoon mixture into pans approximately half way in each hole.  Place a tablespoon of raspberry puree on top of each one, and then top with remaining mixture.  Use a skewer to swirl the mixture. 
Bake for about 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and dust with powdered sugar.

Variations: Omit raspberry and -

Lime Coconut - Stir 2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 20g (1/4 cup) dessicated coconut into egg-white mixture, sprinkle unbaked friands with 15g (1/3 cup) flaked coconut.

Passionfruit - Use hazelnut or almond meal.  Drizzle the pulp of 2 medium passionfruit over unbaked friands.

Berry - Top unbaked friands with 100g fresh or frozen (unthawed to avoid "bleeding") mixed berries.

Citrus and Poppy Seed - Add 2 teaspoons grated lemon or orange rind and 1 tablespoon poppy seeds to egg-white mixture.

Chocolate and Hazelnut - Replace almond meal with hazelnut meal.  Stir 100g coursely chopped dark chocolate into egg-white mixture.  Sprinkle unbaked friands with 1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts.


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