Tag Archives: egg whites

Peach Friands

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I love the magic that is the stone-fruit of the Pacific North-West. As summer dawns upon us and the markets become laden with summer peaches I’m determined to use them in every way I can think of. Pudding, cakes, and even salads.

I bought a rather large quantity of almond meal from Costco some weeks ago and in an attempt to utilise both the peaches and the almond meal I settled on making friands for some friends that were dropped by for a lazy afternoon tea. On the day of, the temperatures in Bellevue was predicted to hit the 30s. After a late night, we rose at 8am to find sun streaming in and the temperature already rising. I was loathe to sit around separating eggs while the oven made the temperature inside climb even higher, so I went for a different version of these tasty treats, the whole egg version. It provides for a slightly different texture, but delicious nonetheless.

These are just as delicious with peaches, plums or berries. If you’re not feeling the fruit, a sprinkle of almonds and pistacio would work just as well.

Yield: 12 Friands (or 24 mini muffin size)

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Ingredients 

  • 195g (1 1/2 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • 155g (1 1/2 cups) almond meal
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla paste or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 180g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1-2 peaches sliced
  • icing sugar to dust

Preparation

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 12 friand moulds or mini muffin tins with melted butter to grease. Dust with plain flour. Combine the sugar, flour and almond meal in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add egg and butter. Stir until well combined.

Divide among the prepared pans. Divide the peach slices and place on top of the friands.

Bake for 20-25 mins (for the friands) 15-20 mins (for the mini muffins) or until light golden. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Dust the friands with icing sugar to serve.

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Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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The Aussie blogger, Not Quite Nigella once commented that most people have a celebrity cook or chef who’s recipes never work for them. She remarked that Karen Martini’s recipe always flopped for her. For me, that cook was always Martha Stewart. Living in Australia I thought her recipes would be foolproof, her shows were staged in a test kitchen after all. However I experienced flop after flop. Having moved here I suspect it was the conversions I had to do, or couldn’t do as the case may be. Now that Martha and I live in the same country the results of her recipes are infinitely more promising. This is a recipe based on a recipe of hers. I use it when normal butter cream won’t do, or I’ve made creme brulee and I have lots of egg whites left over. I find this icing not too sweet but rich and delicious all the same.
Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1  cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes.     

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Instructions

Put egg whites, sugar, and salt into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. My kitchen aid has a metal bowl so I just use that. Remember you don’t want the water touching the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture for about four minutes or until warmed through.

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Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. At this point reduce the speed. 
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Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition, the meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added. Sometimes it can look curdled, like the mixture has separated. This is normal too, just keep going.  You want a smooth glossy finish to the buttercream, so beat for about 5 minutes. 
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Buttercream can be refrigerated airtight for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and beat before using.
Spread onto a cake or cupcakes and enjoy! 
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