Happy Jubilee. I trust you’re enjoying the British-est weather ever, if you’re lucky enough to live on this grey isle. If you’re reading from Australia or some other sun-blessed country, we don’t need to know about your high winter temperatures. It’s summer here, so we’re sitting outside in the pissing rain and blasting wind regardless. IT’S A CELEBRATION.
Of a lady lots of us actually don’t and will never know but hey, any excuse for cake.
There is a street party next street over, to which I’ve been invited. There’s a cake competition, a tug of war and a dog show. I will win all three, of course, being Australian and, thus, genetically predistined for success.
I made friands. They’re fast and easy and delicious. I used Nigel Slater’s recipe for blackberry friands. Scandalously, I used raspberries instead. Probably treason.
Recipe out of the Guardian magazine some weekends ago. Maybe even longer.
Now the ingredients are set out below – you can use almond or hazelnuts here – rather unsatisfactorily Nigel recommends hazelnuts in the magazine receipe but almonds in the online version. Very unhelpful, Nige. Despite this, you can rely on me. I used hazelnuts. Almonds would also be nice. I didn’t use the lemon zest, mostly because there are presently no actual lemons in the house.
plain flour 50g
icing sugar 180g
ground almonds 100g
lemon zest 1 tsp
egg whites 5
Set the oven to warm at Gas Mark 5/180C or so.
This is what I looked like when cooking. It’s my nod to the Queen’s various tiaras. Bet she’s not got one like this.
Wonder if she’s ever used a gentle clay exfoliating mask. She probably hasn’t.
I couldn’t find ground hazelnuts in the shops so I bought some whole ones and whizzed them up, as below.
Prob slightly less fine that you’d want but actually quite nice. Make sure you take out any nuts with brown skin still on them, otherwise you’ll get freckly grinds. Not a good look. I went so far as to exactly replace the brown nuts with clean ones exactly. I had 10 dirty ones, I put back 10 clean ones. Very precise.
Whisk/sift the plain flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Add most of the hazelnuts, but not quite all.
Next you need to melt the butter. I melted the butter first, actually. So you do that too. I had a photo of the melted butter to show you, as Nigel is very specific about it going a nutty golden brown (his words) but WordPress is being a shit so you aren’t going to see it. Basically melt the butter over a medium or so heat, then turn down when melted and watch it spit and swear, keeping a very close eye on it till it goes that golden brown. Do not let it burn. If it burns you need to start again.
Whisk the egg whites to white foamy consistency, nothing resembling meringues at all please. The whites should not in any way be self-standing or anything – I guess I whisked vigorously for a good minute or so, that was it.
I am sure there is something amazing I should’ve done with the egg yolks but I didn’t. I gave them to the dogs instead. They inhaled them but did I get a thank you? Mutts.
Fold the whites gently into the dry ingredients, having made a well in the middle. Then pour in the butter, stirring well but gently. When combined pour into little pie-ish moulds as below. They are not as deep as muffin moulds – more like what you’d make yorkshire puddings in. You’ll have buttered them previous to pouring in the mix, of course.
Cut up your fruit – I quartered raspberries, not very scientifically or accurately – and drop them in. Sprinkle on the leftover bits of ground hazelnut and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes or so. If you have ShitOven then be sure to rotate the tray 180 degrees halfway through.
These are nice warm or cooled. I bet they’d be good with some clotted cream. On their own they should have a slightly chewy edge and be all soft and nutty in the middle.