"Fruitfull" is our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) where we are cooking from our featured chef, Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes until September. There are tons of recipes using fruits from Ottolenghi, that I cannot decide in selecting which one to try! I'm having an eye on one particular salad recipe, but somehow the "star" ingredient of this recipe that actually made me decide on making this.
The star in this case comes in the form of "Star Anise", the spice! I was somewhat curious as to the usage of finely ground star anise in a French little cakes, friands. I have never seen ground star anise being sold before, and thought of replacing it with ground cloves from my spice jar. But really, these little friands are all about the fragrant Star Anise, so I have processed the Star Anise till as finely ground as possible.
Star Anise, so fragrant. The scent of the Star Anise lingers in my kitchen for a couple of hours! These are very coarsely grounded as it is difficult to ground them finely when there are only 2, so I have further process half the amount (since I'm making only half a recipe), with some icing sugar from the recipe to further process them finely.
It helps to ground them further, though I could detect a piece or two when I bite into the friands, which did not bother me at all.
With just half a recipe, I used my 8-mini-rectangular pan and got me 5 mini cakes. This recipe is so straight forward and so easy to make, the batter was done in under 10 minutes. Only thing is, I have forgotten to chill the baking pan as required in the recipe, but it works out fine. The friands bakes up beautifully.
I have reduced the icing sugar to 120gm for half a recipe and have replaced the blackberries with blueberries instead. I have chosen to omit the icing, as these are actually good as they are.
These friands are delightful! Yummy! So good with a cup of warm tea.
Look at the moist and soft crumbs. Ottolenghi does it again with his clever usage of spices, this time in a friand!
Please do stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) to view the delicious dishes that my friends have made for the theme "Fruitfull", and if you are interested to join us, please find out more details from IHCC.
I'm sharing this post with :
See Ya In The Gumbo hosted by Ms. enPlace
Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage
This is the full recipe, makes 10. I have made half a recipe and reduced the sugar to 120gm.
Blackberry and Star Anise Friands
(adapted from the guardian, Yotam Ottolenghi)
340gm egg whites (10 egg whites)
100gm plain flour
300gm icing sugar
180gm ground almonds
2 tsp star anise, finely ground
1/3 tsp salt
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
220gm unsalted butter, melted and left to cool, plus extra for greasing
For the icing (optional)
70gm blackberries, plus 10 extra, to garnish
2 tbsp water
300gm icing sugar, plus extra to dust
Heat the oven to 170C/3356F/gas mark 3. Use melted butter to brush the bottoms and sides of 10 mini loaf tins (4.5cm high x 9.5cm long x 6.5cm wide), or similar small baking tins, and chill. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk to froth them up a bit; don't whip them completely. Sift the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds, star anise and salt, add to the egg whites, and stir until incorporated. Add the lemon zest and melted butter, and mix just until the batter is smooth and uniform.
Pour into the baking tins, filling them two-thirds of the way up. Halve the blackberries and drop into the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a little, take out of the tins and leave until completely cool.
To ice the cakes, put the berries and water in a small bowl and use a fork to smash the fruit in the water. Pass through a fine sieve, pressing the pulp against the sides. Pour three-quarters of the purple juice over the icing sugar and whisk vigorously to a uniformly light-purple, runny paste. It should be just thick enough to allow you to brush it over the tops of the cake, and will set as a thin, almost see-through coating on top with some icing dripping down the sides. (If not, add more juice). Place a blackberry on each friand and dust with icing sugar.