God damn right! Death to all those sugar laden obscenities, thickly plastered with fluorescent icing that seem to be so popular with the masses at the moment. Mini cupcakes, f**king cupcake wedding tiers? Don’t get me started! This recipe is a call to get back to refined, classy baking. If you want cupcakes then this blog ‘aint for you! This is a no cupcake regime!
I’ll be the first to admit I am a fan of baking. I love the process of mixing together butter, eggs, flour and sugar to conjure up something magical. Most of the time, I like to bake something chunky and manly, but from time to time I’ll make a foray into the world of little dainties. Baking that produces cakes or buns with that little extra poshness and wow factor. These buns definitely have the wow factor and they taste like something sold in an up market patisserie, but actually they are so easy to make. The key to this recipe is adding only egg whites which are beaten to a foam. This gives the buns an amazing light airy texture, accentuated by the ground almonds, they have an almost meringue density, with the added zip of late soft summer fruit and some lemon zest. I discovered this recipe in the Observer Food Monthly, Nigel Slater is a genius.
You can add any soft fruit you like but I like a mix of blackberries and strawberries, but blueberries would work too. These wee posh buns are the kind you’re granny would have been proud to serve up – little dainty buns of goodness.
But don’t worry, in my next blog entry I will be hanging up my pinny and reasserting my manhood with a plate by plate account of my rustic culinary adventures in Tuscany and Sicily.
Almond friands (posh buns)
Plain flour 50g
Icing sugar 180g
Ground almonds 100g
Lemon zest 1tsp
Egg whites 5
Black berries 60g
Set the oven at 200 degrees C. Lightly butter 8 shallow bun tins.
Put the butter in a small pan and melt it carefully until it becomes a dark nutty gold. Take great care not to let it burn. Leave it to cool a little.
Sieve the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl, then add the ground almonds. Add the lemon zest. Beat the egg whites to a soft foam – they shouldn’t be able to stand up.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients then pour in the egg whites, together with the melted butter. Mix lightly but thoroughly, then pour into the buttered tins. You can roughly chop the blackberries and drop into the tins, but I prefer to just push a whole berry lightly down into the centre of the mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes, remove from oven, then leave to settle before carefully removing from the tins with a palette knife.