Amidst all the baking in preparation for the farmers’ market this Saturday, 6 March, I felt like I needed to be selfish and bake something for me. Not for sale, not for someone else’s consumption, for me (and my mom). It would be good to note that this ‘just for me’ baked good, will eventually make it’s way to my mom’s colleagues because we won’t be able to finish it. Let’s just say, baked goods in this household is like haute couture fashion- today’s is tomorrow’s so passe.
But before I go on, indulge me and allow me to share my not-very-smooth-sailing preparations for the market.
1) My brownies stuck to the pan so will now be sold as brownie bites, terribly cute, and obviously better for you as smaller bites = smaller waistline (or so I am inclined to think)
2) My marmalade loaf overflowed. No drama there though, just extra for me to eat (all the overflowed excess). Lucky it’s still rustic looking and tastes as good as usual.
3) The weather is horrible (which isn’t a fail on my part) but means seriously re-shuffling of my baking/frosting schedule and OT on Friday night.
Moving along to my reward, today I baked friands, or what some other people who don’t follow the aussie-food-of-thought call financiers. I prefer friands just because it sounds more like ‘friends’ and not some scary grey suit wearing, skinny, thick bushy eye-brow, long sharp faced man who sits in his office and calculates my debts/taxes/income (If you haven’t seen Confessions of a Shoppaholic, please do! You’ll totally get my reference)
The recipe comes adapted from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics Book 2. Her recipe is for a berry friand; short, dense and studded with raspberries. But I was feeling more earl grey today so I didn’t add in the berries and whizzed the almonds with dried earl grey tea leaves I just removed from 2 teabags. And in order to make this dairy-free, I didn’t use beurre noisette (blasphemy!) but used canola oil instead. I suppose with the taste of earl grey lacing the friand, you probably wouldn’t miss it too much.
Sweets By Vicky Earl Grey Friands with Rosewater Glaze (makes 10)
6 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup almond meal
Earl Grey tealeaves from 4 teabags
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup GF flour blend
3/4 tsp baking powder
5 egg whites (large)
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degreesC, fanforced. Grease 10 muffin tins (I used mini bundt tins).
2) Place the almond meal, half the icing sugar and tea leaves in a food processor and whizz for 10-15 seconds or until leaves and almond meal are finely ground.
3) Add flour, remaining icing sugar and baking powder to the almond meal mix. Whizz for 5 seconds to mix.
4) Add in the oil and whizz for 10 seconds. Mixture will be insanely sticky.
5) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (hand-held is fine), whisk the egg whites until foamy, about 1 minute.
6) Add the batter to the egg whites and fold to blend. Don’t worry about deflating the egg whites too much, friands are meant to be dense and moist.
7) Reduce oven temperature to 170 degreesC. Distribute evenly between the prepared muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and springy to touch but moist in the centre.
8) Let cool in tins for 10 minutes before unmoulding and spreading rosewater glaze.
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2-3 tbsp water
1 tsp rosewater*
1) In a bowl, mix the icing sugar, 2 tbsp water and 1 tsp rosewater with a whisk. If mixture if too thick, add in water, teaspoon by teaspoon. The icing shouldn’t be too viscous and should fall sloooowwllyy from the whisk when lifted.
*Rosewater is available from many middle eastern shops. I got mine from an Indian provision store though!