Monday 17 September 2018

boysenberry and hazelnut friands

Friands, they're awesome you should bake them, feel free to skip to the recipe below tout de suite!

I'm having a nineties moment. Like many Australians a couple of decades ago, I was obsessed with friands, scouring cookbooks and food mags for a recipe. There was no google, I don't think we even had a computer at home, so my search lead me to a fabulous shop called The Cookery Book, above an equally fab shop selling books about boats. The recipe revealed a friand is essentially a financier with added bits, less chic than the french version, every bit as delicious. 

My now mother-in-law headed off on a trip to Europe, still back in the nineties, and was tasked with buying some tins. I hadn't realised they were baked in aspic moulds, probably a key piece of information. In an amazing cook shop in the beautiful town of Tours, Marge asked for what approximately translates as "little metal boxes for cooking little cakes" and surprisingly found exactly what I was after, M is fabulous with a task! I probably should have used them today, but was distracted by my collection of tiny tart tins... Created for Barker's Pantry.

Friands are definitely comeback worthy, they're light, yet buttery, and have the most perfectly crisp edges. My version includes hazelnuts, and the caramel depth of browned butter, don't be tempted to skip the jam, it adds a wonderful fruity lift. If you have friand tins the recipe makes 12, muffin and mini muffin pans work well too, 12 regular sized or 18 mini; I'm so glad I tried the tart tins, their fluted edges maximising those crispy bits. 

boysenberry and hazelnut friands, for Barker's of New Zealand

60g almond meal

60g hazelnuts
200g icing sugar
90g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 egg whites
125g butter
3-4 tablespoons Barker's New Zealand boysenberry jam
40g chopped hazelnuts
extra butter for greasing

preheat oven to 180ºC fan, 200ºC conventional, grease 12 friand tins or an 18 hole mini muffin tray

• melt the butter over a gentle heat, keep heating until the butter turns golden brown, and smells wonderfully nutty and caramelly, remove from the heat, set aside to cool
• put the hazelnuts and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until the nuts are finely ground, tip into a mixing bowl
sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl with the hazelnuts and sugar, add the ground almonds
lightly whisk the egg whites until foamy, add to the dry ingredients with the cooled browned butter, whisk until just combined
• fill the friand tins or muffin pan 2/3 full, dot the surface with jam, taking care that it doesn't touch the tin, sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts
• bake friand tins for 25 minutes, mini muffin tray for 15 minutes, until the edges are golden, and the cakes are just set in the centre
• remove from the oven and immediately turn out onto a cooling rack

friands are best just barely warm from the oven, but will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days

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