I’m often asked how to re-create beautiful patisserie items at home and one of the biggest advantages we have is the quality and freshness of raw ingredients used. The high volume purchased means items like nuts are always fresh and there’s no taste of rancidity, often found in older packaged nuts from the supermarket. For cooking at home, I buy nuts from a health-food store as they’re often sold loose, particularly when cooking with walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamias.
These friands only have a couple of ingredients and are wonderfully simple – but there’s nowhere to hide. Buy the best butter and hazelnuts you can find, take the extra 5 minutes to cook your butter to beurre noisette (nut-brown), and you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous little cakes that taste beguilingly deep and rich, but finish with a little pop of acid from the berries. Moreish-ness personified.
You’ll find me with two of these, a cup of light tea, and a novel on the couch. Best eaten the day they are made, or the day after and warm them in an oven at 100C for 8-10 minutes. Substitute hazelnuts for almonds or almond meal if desired.
Hazelnut & Raspberry Friands
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
180g unsalted butter
90g whole hazelnuts
180g caster sugar
150g egg whites (about 5)
60g plain flour
½ tsp. baking powder
150g frozen raspberries (or 36 raspberries)
Icing sugar, to finish
Pre-heat oven to 180C (or 160C fan-forced). Take a 12-hole friand tray (or a muffin tray) and spray with canola oil, or lightly grease with softened butter. Set aside.
Place hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and golden. If they still have the skins, quickly transfer them to a clean tea towel, wrap to enclose and roll around with your hands to release the skins. Discard skin and set aside to cool. Increase oven to 190C (170C fan-forced).
Whilst the hazelnuts are cooling, place butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally until the butter turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Place hazelnuts into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they resemble a fine powder, adding icing sugar before the last pulse. Sieve flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, then add hazelnut meal and sugar. Whisk all dry ingredients to combine and then add egg whites, stirring to combine. Add the melted butter and mix until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between the 12 holes in the friand tray and push 3 frozen raspberries into the center of each.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the friands are slightly puffed in the center and spring back to the touch. Cool on a wire rack for 2 minutes and then gently turn out of the tray – be careful not to leave them in for too long because they can stick. Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar and a cup of tea.