Sweet Lil' Strawberry and Cream Friands

recipe

Strawberry and Cream Friands

And there's a little surprise in these. Because while strawberries and cream are a great combo so is strawberry jam and cream. Underneath the surface of these friands I've dolloped a spoonful of home made strawberry jam! I find strawberries not quite sweet enough for me so adding cream and or jam makes them juust right.

Strawberry and Cream Friands

Out of all fruit, I think really I prefer tropical fruit that is super sweet and on our recent trip to Cambodia I found myself reaching for fruit, something that I don't do often unless it is in the context of cake. I love travelling especially overseas as it really opens up your mind and experiences to people that live very different lives. During our time in Siem Reap in Cambodia we met a guide. Cambodia is still a third world country that is recovering from an awful and yet recent tragedy. The Khmer Rouge killed about a third of the population targeting intellectuals and the educated like lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers and scientists. I had heard about the Khmer Rouge but did not realise the extent of what had happened.

Despite what has happened and the level of poverty many people are sweet and honest and we were chatting to our guide Lim. He was explaining how he and his brother were talking one day. They had heard that planes were bumpy and full of turbulence. "How can they be bumpy? There's no road and no pot holes," Lim's brother asked him. Because the roads in Siem Reap are dirt roads full of pot holes. Neither brother had been on a plane so his brother, having had a successful year with his duck egg business asked Lim if he wanted to try flying on a plane to see what it was like. They took the shortest route-Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and his brother paid the fare. It was a way for them to see what everyone else was talking about and what many in the world take for granted.

It made me think, it's nice to be home but sometimes you need to travel to appreciate things completely. Like strawberries any which way or the ability to travel.

So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a favourite fruit? And do you remember the first time you got on a plane? What appeals to you about travelling?

Strawberry and Cream Friands

Strawberries and Cream Friands

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes 12 friands

  • 1.5 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 cup caster or superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g/3.5ozs. butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 125g/4ozs strawberries, diced
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • a dozen or so strawberries sliced and then cut into hearts with a small heart cutter or a paring knife to make 24 hearts
  • Whipped cream

Strawberry and Cream Friands

Cutting out the heart with a knife

Strawberry and Cream Friands

Cutting hearts out with a cutter

Step 1 - Generously spray the friand tins on the base and sides with oil spray or butter. Place a little square piece of parchment on the base of the friand tins. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Strawberry and Cream Friands

Step 2 - Whisk the almond meal, sugar and baking powder together in a bowl. In a large measuring jug, whisk the melted butter, eggs and vanilla bean paste. Make a well in the centre of the almond mixture and incorporate the egg mixture in 2-3 lots along with the strawberries. Place the mixture back into the jug and pour into the friand cavities about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are done.

Strawberry and Cream Friands

Step 3 - Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the friand. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then gently remove from the tin (I placed a rack on the friand side and upturned it, they should come out if you've run the knife around the edges). Cool completely.

Strawberry and Cream Friands

Step 4- Cut out a little triangle out of the centre of the friand and place a teaspoon of jam in it. Pipe some cream and then add two strawberry hearts on top. Keep refrigerated with the cream on.