In an effort to detach from the final effects of the recently passed winter, I have been aiming to create recipes that use seasonal ingredients with vibrant colours and bold flavours. It was this approach to cooking that led me to reflect upon an old childhood favourite recipe.
Though I have hundreds of food related memories, this recipe has closely remained with me. As a child, school was a dreaded chore and I always anticipated returning home… mainly due to the delicious afternoon tea that would await, prepared lovingly by my mother.
My mother would bake many different treats for my afternoon tea but her friands were always my favourite. After a long day at school, her home-made friands had the ability to improve any poor mood and make an ordinary day feel special. Her raspberry and vanilla bean friands were like a security blanket that welcomed me home. They were always enjoyed and quickly devoured alongside a glass of milk.
This recipe is a version of my much loved childhood favourite. These french oval cakes pair the classic flavours of raspberry, vanilla and almonds. They have a delicate, moist and fluffy frangipane interior that is punctured by the addition of tart raspberries and surrounded by a crisp crust.
The best things in life are often the most simplistic and friands definitely fall true to this statement. The recipe is so simple and fuss free… the focus is solely on the divine flavours. Friands definitely come under the category of simple home-baking, but believe me; these friands are neither plain or dull. The heavenly blend of almonds, raspberries and vanilla is delicious both in concept and reality. These friands satisfy my tenacious sweet tooth and are always quickly devoured.
Just like my mother, I bake for the people that I love. There are too many nostalgic emotions mixed into these little almond cakes… a mouthful generates the memories of my young, carefree days. The flavours wrap around my tastebuds and bring a sense of warmth, familiarity and love. These friands have not lost their magical comforting power. I encourage you to create the recipe and by doing so, make your own memories.
- 5 egg whites, room temperature
- 150g unsalted butter, melted
- 1tb vanilla bean paste
- 90g almond meal
- 50g plain flour
- 185g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 2x punnets or fresh raspberries or 200g of frozen raspberries
- Preheat an oven to 180C (350F).
- Grease a 6 or 8 holed oval friand pan well with butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites to just combine.
- Add the melted butter, almond meal, flour and sifted icing sugar and combine well.
- Mix in three quarters of the raspberries into the batter and pour into prepared pans to two thirds full.
- Place two or three raspberries on top of each friand and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out the center clean.
- Let the friands cool slightly and then remove from the pan carefully and dust lightly with icing sugar.
- Serve warmed and with extra fresh raspberries, if you like.