Friday, July 12, 2013

Blueberry and Star Anise Friands : IHCC

"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! 

IHCC Fruitfull Collage

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
150gm blackberries

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.


  1. Joyce, I find it interesting that star anise is used in a cake. The friands baked beautifully and I love that it is studded with bleuberries. I know I will enjoy it very much!

  2. It looks as though your new oven is working! Your friands look so pretty and very moist.
    I agree that Mr. Ottolenghi is very clever at combining flavours in sweet as well as savoury dishes. Star anise with blackberries/blueberries sounds delicious.

  3. I love star noise ! It must be flavorful!
    Do participate in my event

  4. Star anise in blueberry friands....they sound and look divine, Joyce.

  5. Star anise, i remember i accidentally bite it during my childhood when eating at grandma's house and my tongue feel numbness. I can still remember the feeling. But seems that you grind it until very fine for this cake!

  6. Delicioso me encantan las bayas,saludos y abrazos.

  7. I haven't seen a recipe using Star Anise in years Joyce! I don't remember even seeing it at the store lately either. I must check. I can definitely see this being a wonderful "marriage" in flavors. A bit exotic too:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, I'm glad you went with the blueberries, Joyce. The crop is exploding this year and they are everywhere!

  8. Hi Joyce! Like many others, I have not used nor tasted star anise in cakes before. This will be an interesting one for me!

  9. They turned out perfect!! Love that pan!!

  10. What an interesting combination, I rarely use star anise, I must try with blueberries!


  11. Adorable little cakes! And a new flavour combination for me :) Always something new & different from the talented Mr Ottolenghi!

  12. I have never heard of a friand before, but they look very pretty! I love that you substituted with blueberries (one of my faves). How interesting to grind the star anise. I can almost smell these baking now!

  13. I just love the flavor of Anise and with the blueberries it would be delicious. Can't wait to taste this one. Hope you are having a great summer weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  14. Joyce, I love your pan! Wonder where I can find that? Have never baked with star anise but I can imagine the flavours it would impart to the bake with blueberries... I would like a piece!

  15. I love friands and that combination of blueberry and star anise sounds delicious. I want one of these with my morning cup of tea. ;-)

  16. i think i will be as curious as you about the star anise in cakes. You have baked these in the friand pans beautifully and i can see that it has a lovely texture!

  17. Ok, so now I need to break out my friand pan that I have yet to use. These look deliciously moist, and what an intriguing flavour combination. Never would have thought to use star anise in a friand - Ottolenghi surprises us once again.

  18. These look perfectly baked...just perfect, Joyce! Thank you for linking up. I've gotten behind and apologize for being so late to stop in.

  19. Joyce , such an interesting combo ! I wonder what the taste like :D The friands look dainty and yummy !