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Tag Archives: ground almonds

Lime Friands

“A Friand is a small almond cake, popular in Australia and New Zealand, closely related to the French financier. The principal ingredients are almond flour, egg whites, butter, and powdered sugar.” (Wikipedia)

Everyone makes friands these days, so it seems, and why not? They are actually easier to make than cupcakes, as you can make them without the aid of a mixer or food processor.

I hadn’t made any in ages, but was inspired to try my hand at them again when I  was in receipt of some beautiful limes from the bountiful tree of a work colleague.

I mixed lime juice and grated lime zest in the batter, and topped the friands with a little lime glaze made with lime juice and icing sugar.

Delicious and super quick to make!

Ingredients

6 egg whites, beaten lightly

75g plain flour

240g icing sugar, sifted

125g almond meal

150g melted butter, cooled

Juice and grated zest of 2 limes

10 tablespoons icing sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan-forced. Lightly grease 12 friand molds.

Beat the egg whites until frothy with fork in a large mixing bowl.

Sift the flour and icing sugar into the bowl, stir in almond meal and then add the melted butter. Stir in the juice and zest of one of the limes.

Spoon the mixture (approximately ¼ cup) into each of the molds.

Bake in preheated oven for 20  minutes until cooked through and golden brown or until a skewer is inserted into centre comes out clean.

To make the glaze, mix the juice of the other lime with the icing sugar. You may need to add more or less juice or more or less icing sugar to get the glaze to the right consistency to ice the friands.

Ice the friands with just enough glaze to coat the tops and perhaps to run down the sides a little.

 

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Mixed Berry Muffins

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Lots of mixed berries make these muffins moist. I varied my usual recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook by adding some ground almonds to the dry ingredients. This gave the muffins a softer texture. Cooking the muffins in flexible silicon molds lined with muffin papers gave the muffins a nice high shape.

Ingredients – Base Mixture

1 and 1/4 cups plain flour + 1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bi-carbonate soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
Demerara sugar for sprinkling on tops of muffins

Mixed Berries

3/4 cup fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan forced. Line 6 silicon muffin molds with muffin papers. If you don’t have these molds, use an ordinary muffin tin. If you use the muffin papers and three quarters fill them you will get 6 muffins.

Mix the dry ingredients for the base mixture with a spoon in a bowl until well combined.  In another bowl mix the oil, beaten egg and milk.

Gently fold in the mixed berries.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin papers.  Sprinkle the tops with a little demerara sugar for extra crunch. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from the oven – eat  warm or cold.

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Mini Upside Down Cakes

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Here is another way to vary the basic cupcake recipe. I made some mini upside down cakes, placing some nectarine slices in the bottom of my silicon muffin molds. I sprinkled a spoonful of ginger nut crumble over the fruit then topped up with the cake mixture. For this recipe I used half self-raising flour and half ground almonds.

They were very moist, fruity and the crumble added crunch.  The little cakes turned out well, helped by lining the base of each mold with a little disc of baking paper.

This recipe makes 6 muffin sized cakes.

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Ingredients

1 medium nectarine (peach or plum would be great too)

Crumble

3 ginger nuts biscuits

1 tbls plain flour

1 tbls caster sugar

1/2 tbls butter

Cupcake mixture

60g self-raising flour

65g ground almonds

125g caster sugar

125g butter

2 large free-range eggs

2 tblsp milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fanforced. Spray the molds with baking spray unless you are using silicon molds. Cut 6 discs of baking paper and line the muffin molds.

Slice the nectarine finely and place a couple of slices onto the baking paper in each mold. Bash the ginger nuts into crumbs, and rub in the flour, sugar and butter to make the crumble. Divide the crumble mixture between the 6 molds, sprinkling on top of the nectarine slices.

Put the rest of the ingredients into the food processor except the milk and blitz till smooth. Add the milk while pulsing to make a soft, dropping consistency.

Spoon the mixture into the molds. Place the molds into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cakes are cooked and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool the cakes for 5 minutes. Loosen each cake by running a knife around the sides of the mold. Carefully invert the molds onto a serving plate. Remove the paper discs. The fruit should be intact on top of each cake. If the cakes have risen unevenly, you can trim the bottom (the original top of the cake) to make them sit straight.

Serve as is for afternoon tea, or with cream as a dessert.

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Hazelnut Grape Tart

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I devised this recipe, based on a couple of similar ones, because I have just acquired a rectangular flan tin! I love the simplicity and regularity of the shape of the tart when baked.

It’s also very easy to cut into portions, small or large, to serve. My tin is about 36 cm long x 13 cm wide.

Ingredients

Pastry

140g plain flour

50g ground hazelnuts

100g butter, diced

50g caster sugar

1 free range egg yolk

Filling

1 cup ground almonds + 1 tablespoon of flaked almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup plain flour

100g butter, softened

2 free range eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups seedless red grapes, halved

Icing sugar, for dusting

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

For the pastry, put the flour and ground hazelnuts into the food processor and add the butter. Process until the mixture looks like bread crumbs, then add the sugar and pulse. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp cold water, then pulse briefly until the dough comes together.

Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of cling wrap with a rolling pin to fit the rectangular flan tin. Removing the cling wrap, carefully ease the dough into the tin. Make sure the dough comes all the way up the sides of the tin and press dough into the sides. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes).

Line the shell with baking paper and fill with pie weights. Bake until sides are set and edges are pale golden,15-20 minutes.

Carefully remove baking paper and weights and bake shell until  golden all over, 10-15 minutes more. Cool completely.

For the filling, pulse ground almonds, flaked almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the food processor until just mixed. Set aside, then use the processor to beat the butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in vanilla and almond extracts. Mix in almond mixture until just combined.

Spread filling evenly in the tart shell and scatter the cut grapes over it, lightly pressing them in.  Bake until filling is puffed and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. While still hot, dust tart with icing sugar, then cool completely.

Serve at room temperature with double cream and/or ice cream.

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Cherry Frangipane Tart

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This is a lovely almond filled tart, a traditional French sweet treat. The base is pastry, layered with jam, then topped with a thick almond custard like cream. I added some cherries  to the frangipane for texture and tartness.

“Frangipane is a filling made from or flavoured with almonds.This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries…Originally designated as a custard tart flavoured by almonds or pistchios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods…It is normally made of butter, sugar eggs and ground almonds.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frangipane

My version uses a shortcake pastry base, to give a little more substance to the base. I cooked the tart in a springform tin. I think it might have better to cook the mixture in a traditional tart mold or tin. My cake tin version was quite deep, resulting in tart that took a long time to cook in the middle and overcooked a little on the base and sides.

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Ingredients

Shortcake Pastry Base
70g unsalted butter
70g castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Tart
3 tbls cherry jam*
225g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla paste
225g caster sugar
5 free range eggs
225g ground almonds
Handful of whole cherries, plus more to decorate

Method
For the shortcake, beat the butter and castor sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, then stir until combined.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.

On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Carefully line a 23cm springform tin with the pastry, pressing the pastry into the edges of the tin.

Spread the jam over the base of the tart, then place in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes.

To make the frangipane, beat the butter, vanilla paste and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until all of the eggs have been fully incorporated into the mixture. Fold in the ground almonds carefully by hand.

Top the pastry base with the almond mixture and smooth to the edges. Placer some halved fresh cherries on top of the mixture, pushing them gently into the mixture. They should still be partially visible.  Bake the tart in the preheated oven for 40 45 minutes, or until the filling has risen, is cooked through and the surface is pale golden brown.

* I made a simple cherry jam by placing 6 or tablespoons of morello bottled cherries with their juices in a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Bring to the boil and cook till the cherries are jammy and the liquid is reduced.

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Blood Orange Cake with Lemon Drizzle and Candied Orange

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This recipe is based on the now famous orange almond cake of Claudia Roden, from A Book of Middle Eastern Food (1968).

I have cooked this cake many, many times over the years and made several variations. This version uses blood oranges as I had some left over from jam making.

Ingredients

Cake
2 blood oranges
4 large free range eggs
1 cup sugar
200 gms ground almonds
1-2 tsps baking powder

Candied Orange
1 orange
6 tbs sugar

Lemon Drizzle
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Enough icing sugar to make a lemon drizzle

Method
Cook the oranges whole by boiling in a saucepan, with a lid, with enough water to cover, until the oranges are soft (somewhere between 1-1/2 hours).

Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Process in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs and sugar, process again. Add ground almonds and baking powder and pulse to mix. The mixture will be quite loose, if too liquid, you can add more ground almonds.

Grease a 22cm springform tin if you want a flatter cake, or a grease a 20cm tin for a slightly higher cake.

Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake in a slow oven (150 degrees C fan-forced, 170 degrees C non fan-forced) for about an hour or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. You can cover the top of the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly.

Remove from the oven to cool to room temperature.

Candied Orange
Make the candied orange in the following way:
Cut the orange into fine slices, removing the flesh and juice , leaving only the skin.
Place into a saucepan of water, and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and drain the rind. Do this twice more.
Finally make sugar syrup with the sugar and 1/2 cup of water. When the sugar is dissolved, place the orange rind into the syrup and cook for 10 minutes or until the syrup is reduced and thickened.
Remove the rind and place on baking paper on a baking sheet making sure the pieces do not touch.
Dry in very low oven for 1-2 hours until the pieces are no longer “wet”.
Store in an airtight jar in caster sugar if not using straight away.

Lemon Drizzle
Mix the lemon juice with enough icing sugar to create the desired lemon icing that will drizzle down the sides of the cake.

Serve the cake iced with the lemon drizzle and decorated with candied orange pieces.

For this cake, I didn’t have enough candied orange, so added some of my cumquats in sugar syrup from a previous post.

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