Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dreaming of a new oven, friands and SHF23


Friands: Raspberry surprise and Green tea Chocolate surprise

I dream of an oven.
An oven that does not turn off whilst in the middle of cooking;
One oven that does not have faulty seals that tampers with the circulation of hot air in the oven;
One that when you turn the temperature knob to 180 deg C will heat the oven at 180 deg, not 200 deg;
An oven with a working display screen;
And an oven light that will allow you to watch over the little goodies in the oven, as they bake.
I dream of the day that I can remove the hanging oven thermometer that I purchased for the oven..
I dream of the day my goodies will turn out well browned in all places, not just in patches where a large pocket of hot air lies..
I dream of an oven..

Ok, so that dream hasn't come through yet. But that doesn't stop me from fantasizing about it. :)

I have access to two ovens. One at the rental place that I'm currently living at (with my number one piggy/taste tester: the Housemate) and one at the boy's place. The oven at our place (being me and the Housemate) is an ancient electric wall oven with: non working display, an oven light that is broken and unreplaceable (not irreplaceable because the heat's in the oven probably permanently welded the light into its socket) and door seals that are way overdue for replacement. If you stand close enough to the oven, you could probably feel the heat eminating from the loose seals on the oven door. When I make roast veges in the oven, you could see see the moisture building up at the top of oven where the door meets the oven and steam rising through the gaps. LOL It's hilarious!

The second oven, is a gas oven. Yes, the notorious gas oven that turned off on me in the middle of my lemon tart and when I was baking the green tea butter cookies. It's clean, white, about 10 years old, the lights are working and it's almost perfect, except for the fact that the fire turns off whenever it feels like it. Oh and did I mention that the timer on the oven is faulty.

I am plagued by bad ovens. I can't wait til the day I own my own home with the kitchen of my dreams. I digress!

Friands also known as Financiers, are a type of French tea cakes similar to Madeleines. Spongey in texture, the difference between the two is that Friands contain almond meal (or almond flour). My friand experience was from my colleague Jules (whom I always share my goodies with and vice versa), who made them for her children. She made a double chocolate friand, in which she used cocoa powder and chocolate pieces in the friand to double the taste and texture. It is from this that I drew my inspiration for these friands.

I've been scouring the internet for friand recipes and have come across a few different ones. Most of them have your basic ingredient "beurre noisette" (brown butter), egg whites, almond meal (almond flour), vanilla extract and some flour, but all in different quantities. I have chosen to try two of the ones I've found to see the effect of difference quantity of egg white, almond meal and beurre noisette makes to the tastebuds.

Friand: Raspberry Surprise

Raspberry Surprise

So called because of the "raspberry surprise" inside.


This is an adaptation of the Strawberry Friand that jenjen from Milk & Cookies.

2/3 cup unsalted butter
½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup almond meal or almond flour
1½ cups icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
6 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until browned, be careful not to burn the butter. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 200°C.

In a bowl, combine flour, almond meal, icing sugar and salt. Fold in the lightly beaten egg whites and then add the vanilla and browned butter. Mix well.

To the recipe, I added Raspberry Coulis (frozen)

? Frozen Raspberries
1 Tbsp Lime Juice*
1.5 Tbsp of Caster Sugar

Melt frozen raspberries, lime juice and sugar in a saucepan. Cool mixture and place into ice cubes mould and freeze.
*I used Lime juice because I had 1/2 a lime lying around but you could substitute it for lemon.

Freeze a small bowl or plate in the freezer before you remove the frozen raspberries to prevent them from melting too quickly.

Half fill friand moulds, drop a cube of raspberries and top it up with more friand batter. Fill it up to about 1cm before the top and tap/knock the mould a little bit to remove any trapped air in the pan.

Setting up the surprise

Bake friands for 10 - 12mins at 200 deg C. Remove from oven and cool.

Note: If you're like me and do your baking at night during the weekdays, be sure to remove the friands from the moulds before you nick of to bed! Or you'll have a nice handful removing it the next day. :(

Makes about 6 friands.

The verdict: The friands from this recipe was delicious! Moist, spongey and not to sweet at all. The raspberry surprise added a lovely blend of sweet and sour taste to the friands. Best raspberry friand I've ever had, and I'm not a big fan of raspberry either.

Green Tea Chocolate Surprise friand

Chocolate Green Tea Friand

For this friand, I adapted the Financiers Recipe form Joy of Baking

1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) (85 grams) beurre noisette (will need 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter)
1/4 cup (35 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) almond flour (meal) or ground blanched almonds
3/4 cup (90 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp of matcha (green tea powder) melted with about 2.5 tbsp of hot water.
6 squares of dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 177 deg C and bake almond meal for approximately 6 - 8mins until browned. Turn the temperature up to 200 deg once it is done.

Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium low heat. When melted, turn up the gas and let it come to a boil and continue to cook the butter until it looks clear and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of the pan and have turned dark brown. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth lined strainer. You should have more than 1/3 cup of butter. Let it cool.

Meanwhile, combine flour, almond meal, icing sugar and salt. Fold in lightly beaten egg whites, vanilla extract, butter and matcha.

Grease friand moulds with left over butter. Fill half the moulds (like in the raspberry friand) with the batter, drop in 1 square of dark chocolate and top it up with more batter until it's approximate 1cm from the top of the mould. Lightly tap mould to remove any trapped air in the pan.

Bake for 10-12mins.

Makes 6 friands.

Heat friand in the microwave for about 5 - 10secs before serving.

See the chocolate..

The verdict: I'm not sure baking the almond meal beforehand makes any difference to the friand. Maybe it's just me. Although this recipe seems to bring out the almond texture in the friand a bit more compared to the previous one. The added complexity of straining the beurre noisette kind of threw me off a bit. Considering it tastes the same with the raspberry friand when I didn't even strain it. Perhaps it's the proper way of doing it, but I don't think I fancy this recipe very much.

The chocolate however, was yummilicious. I love green tea and would normally put on more than what I've prescribed above but since I didn't want the green tea to over power the taste of the friand and chocolate, I was a bit conservative with the amount of matcha I added. That led to the chocolate overpowering the matcha effect. As you can see, the middle of the friand seems a little undercooked. It was fine when I tested it with the cake tester. Pity, it still tastes yummy and didn't taste undercooked at all.

Little surprise that this will be my entry to Sugar High Friday 23, themed "Surprise" hosted by Alanna over at A Veggie Venture. :)

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Trackback link: SHF23 at A Veggie Venture


jenjen said...

Those frinds look great and tasty!!! Well done.
Good luck with finding a new oven, I know that mine is on its last legs and its frustrating.

ejm said...

Friands look like they are right up my alley! When I saw the photo of the "raspberry surprise", it reminded me of banana cream cheese muffins. I really must make these again - I realize I haven't made them since we got a camera.

They aren't exactly friands but you might adapt the muffin recipe to make it a friand... or just make the muffins. :-)


cin said...

I love the sound of the green tea one with the square of dark chocolate in the middle. What a lovely surprise that would be!

Alanna said...

Hi I-Ling ~ These are lovely! I do thank you for contributing to Sugar High Friday. Look for the round-up later today! Alanna

swee said...

Hello there :) Really nice blog here, and yummy friands! have a good week

Anonymous said...

I already know these are going on the to do list next week. Absolutely good looking! Great entry!

keiko said...

Hi ilingc - can I confess it took a while for me to realise that friands and financier are the same... (aren't they?) Your friands look really lovely, I'm sure they disappeared very quickly...

ilingc said...

jenjen: The raspberry one was very yummy! thanks to your recipe :) I will try and make the green tea one with yours soon.

Elizabeth: Hi Elizabeth. Banana and cream cheese sounds good. I'm usually not a big fan of bananas unless it's a fritter but I might give that a go :)

cin: Hi cin, green tea and chocolate is my favourite combo.

Alanna: Thank you. It's a pleasure and it gives me a good opportunity to try out new recipes.

Swee: Hi Swee. Thank you.

Helene: Thank you. Hope you enjoy them too. :)

Keiko: yes it took me a while too! :) I use to think they were muffins! hehe
I had to contain my housemate. She had to be given strict instructions on "how many" she can consume and "when" she could have them :)

s'kat said...

You did all of that with faulty ovens? Girl, you end up getting a working model, and you'll be dangerous!

kojojojo said...

it looks so delicious
i will tell my mommy to make it