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Baking.

by Now Then Sheffield

Recipe by Ben Davies, Forge Bakehouse.

Friands are bite-sized almond cakes that really hit the spot. They’re perfect with a cup of tea or coffee and are very versatile. At the moment we are topping them with raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb, but in the winter months we use figs soaked in honey. They are very delicate in flavour and not too sweet. We make these in the shop and use special friand moulds to bake them in, but at home you can use a greased or silicon muffin tin. The smaller the better – mini muffin tins are perfect.

250g unsalted butter
100g ground almonds
250g caster sugar
100g plain flour
250g egg whites (about 8 eggs)
Fruit (for topping)

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted increase the heat and bring to the boil for about five minutes or until the butter turns golden yellow. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 180°C.

In a large bowl combine the ground almonds, sugar and flour. Add the egg whites to the dry mixture and combine well. Add the melted butter to the egg white mix and combine well. Spoon or pipe into friand moulds or muffin/cupcake tins and top with rhubarb, berries, figs or whatever your heart desires. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden. Bake time will depend on how large your moulds are.

Photo courtesy of Forge Bakehouse.

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Recipe by Cassie Kill.

This is one of the easiest and most delicious puddings out there. You can use slightly stale bread or brioche and it works even better than fresh. Try covering the bread with your favourite marmalade or jam, or sprinkling dark chocolate through the pudding for a twist.

1 loaf brioche – approximately 16 slices (or panettone, croissants or white bread)
3 eggs
300ml milk
300ml double cream
Seeds of one vanilla pod, or a few drops of vanilla essence
125g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter (plus more for greasing)
75g sultanas (soaked in water, brandy or rum overnight if possible)
2tbsps of Demerara sugar
Cream, custard or ice cream (to serve)

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease a solid oven dish. Add milk and cream to a large bowl with the vanilla and whisk together thoroughly with eggs and sugar.

Melt the butter and brush a little bit on each slice of the brioche. If you use plain bread, cover with unmelted butter, but you don’t need this much butter on brioche because it’s very buttery already. Place each slice into your greased dish as you go to create an overlapping formation with a few edges sticking up to get crunchy, sprinkling a few sultanas in each layer.

Pour the wet mixture over the top, sprinkle with any remaining sultanas and top with Demerara sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with cream, custard or ice cream as preferred.

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by Now Then Sheffield

Next article in issue 66

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