These heavenly little friands are as light as a feather. Gluten, fairy and grain free you wouldn't know it from the flavour of these muffins filled with blueberries and topped with pomegranate seeds. There's no creaming or complicated mess - these little beauties can be made in no time at all!
Dear Reader, the dreams have started already. You know what I mean...the Halloween dreams. Even though we are a few months away, you know what is on my mind? Slightly gruesome ideas that I jot down and have to push away to the back of my mind, lest I peak too early. To keep myself amused and in the Halloween spirit, I now do things like leave little surprises in Mr NQN's lunchbox. Giggling like a demon, I slipped in something the other that would remind him of me.
Can you see it? It's a Halloween prop from last year!
I was waiting by my phone for a message from him. It came just before noon. "Did you leave something behind while you were making my lunch?" he asked me.
With his lunch I popped in one of these friands. I baked them for a meeting with some lovely people at Apple. Baking is how I show gratitude to people. Although they're a small gesture I am hoping that they'll be well received. There was something that made me wonder about allergies though as it's such a big consideration nowadays so I emailed a mutual friend to ask whether there were any. It turns out Kristen was gluten free and not a huge fan of chocolate. I'm relieved that I asked because a standby is usually a chocolate cake of some sort and that would not have been a hit.
I regrouped. It had to be something transportable (cut out ice cream cakes, frozen things, spun sugar) and these friands came to mind. I had blueberries and pomegranates so in they went! I find gluten free and healthy baking really hit and miss especially using ingredients like coconut flour which is fairly new to me. The first batch went in the bin as I saw someone's recipe recommended baking at 200C for 25 minutes. Don't do this my lovelies. You will end up with burnt friands.
One thing that I did learn is that you can make these in record time if you need to. There's no creaming at all, just mixing things together in a bowl and once it is baked, you can simply dust them with icing sugar or make a simple icing for them and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the friands. The coconut flour is a gluten free flour that imparts a nutty wholesome taste to the friands. I didn't bake the pomegrante seeds inside as I wasn't sure how they would cook (and I didn't have the time or the ingredients to go for a third round!).
So tell me Dear Reader, nowadays do you find that you need to check more about allergies? And do you bake to say thank you to people? And is anyone else thinking about Halloween at all or is that just ghoulish me?
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Blueberry & Pomegrante Friands
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 15-20 minutes
- Butter or oil to grease the friand tins
- 1 1/4 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (sifted to get rid of any lumps)
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 120g/4ozs. extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 small pomegranate
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 170C/338F. Butter or oil the friand tins. As these are very light and fluffy friands I place a little square of baking parchment in the bottom of the tin to ensure that they slip out of the tin easily.
Step 2 - Whisk the almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder and bicarb of soda in a bowl. Whisk the eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, honey and vanilla in a jug. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet mix stirring well. Add the blueberries and place back into the jug to pour and divide among the friand tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
*Step 3 - *You can leave them as it is and just sift some icing sugar on top and keep them as blueberry friands but I like a bit of icing on top. Mix the icing sugar with a tiny bit of water and a squeeze the juice of half of the pomegranate. You want it to be thick enough to make an icing. Drizzle or dollop the icing on top and then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Note: These freeze well but I would freeze these without the icing and pomegranate seeds.