Peach and Raspberry Friands

A perfect summer combination of peaches and raspberries baked into delicious little tea cakes.

P&R Friands

Friands are dainty little, oval cakes that are moist but deliciously light and chewy. There are endless variations but all are easy and quick to make. As you need 6 egg whites, I use Two Chicks refrigerated liquid egg whites available in the supermarket. This saves on finding something to do with all the yolks if you use whole eggs.

friands

These are made in a specially shaped friand pan, but could easily be baked in large muffin pan if you don’t have one. You would just need to increase the baking time by around 5 minutes.

Friand closeup

Ingredients:
6 egg whites or 250ml refrigerated liquid egg whites – I use Two Chicks
250g icing/powdered sugar
125g ground almonds
100g plain flour
Zest of 1 small lemon
180g melted butter
1-2 fresh, sweet peaches, skinned and sliced fairly thinly
24 fresh raspberries
A little extra melted butter for brushing the friand pan with

Method:
Brush the friand tin with melted butter and pre-heat the oven to 180°C

Briefly whisk the egg whites until broken down and a little frothy, there is no need to whip them.

Add the zest, butter, icing sugar and fold in the flour until just combined

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and add a slice of peach and a couple of raspberries to each one.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they have risen, turned golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before gently turning out. I learned the hard way that if you turn out straight away, the tops will come out, leaving the bases behind in the tin – disaster!

Dust with a little sieved icing sugar to serve

Peach Raspberry Friands

Served warm, these make a perfect accompaniment with coffee or for afternoon tea, but also good in a lunchbox, picnic food, or a tasty afterschool snack.

These are supposed to freeze very well if you wrap them carefully in plastic, but they get eaten too quickly in my house to make it to the freezer!

Peach Raspberry Friand closeup

Smoked Salmon, Jersey Royals and Asparagus Salad

This salad says summer on a plate. A really simple to make salad, but delicious and substantial. Wild smoked salmon, with Jersey Royal new potatoes and asparagus, served with a honey, mustard and dill dressing.

Salmon potato salad2

The quantities here can be adjusted for as many people that you are serving. I normally serve around 200g of smoked salmon and 150g of potatoes per person.

Ingredients:
Wild Sockeye smoked salmon
Jersey Royal baby potatoes
Fresh asparagus, trimmed

Dressing:
1tbsp Dijon mustard
2tsp runny honey
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one small lemon
Small bunch of dill, stems removed and roughly chopped – leave a little for the top of the salad
Salt and pepper
Extra lemon slices to serve

Method:
Start by boiling the potatoes in salted water until they are tender. At the same time put the asparagus into boiling water for just one minute and then plunge into iced water to set the brilliant green colour.

Drain the potatoes and slice any larger ones, but leave the tiny ones whole.

To prepare the dressing, add the mustard, honey, a pinch of salt and pepper to a small bowl and using a fork – whisk in the lemon juice, followed by the oil. The mustard and oil will emulsify and thicken slightly. Stir in the dill.

While the potatoes are still warm, toss in the dressing, so they take on the flavour. You can either leave to cool at this point, or serve warm.

Salmon potato salad

Layer the salmon on a plate and pile the dressed potatoes over the top, with the asparagus and a little more dill, freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

This is a perfect summer salad combination and quantities can be increased as necessary to feed a crowd.  Best served on a summer’s afternoon with a chilled white wine.

Salmon close up

Choux Buns filled with Orange Crème Pâtissière

My youngest son William and I popped out shopping when he was on half term holidays recently and he asked if we could buy some pizza.  He was just choosing one when the lady in the shop asked if we wanted to get a meal deal which included a dessert option.  Of course we then found ourselves choosing one of those too.

We went for some little profiteroles with a white chocolate topping that looked pretty ordinary, but how wrong we were!  Absolutely delicious!  The insides were full of orange flavoured cream and I decided there and then to try and recreate at home.

These were going to be topped with white chocolate too, but when I came to melt my chocolate, I discovered my oldest son Sam had eaten it all!  Luckily enough, I had some dark chocolate and so we had a last minute recipe change which worked out really well.

Profiteroles1

Pâte à choux buns:
250ml/9floz water
110g/4oz cold butter – diced
1 tsp caster/superfine sugar
150g/5oz plain/all-purpose
4 large eggs

Orange Crème Pâtissière:
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out
300ml/11floz whole milk
2 large egg yolks
75g/3oz caster/superfine sugar
20g/¾oz corn flour
300ml/11floz heavy/double cream
Zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed orange
1tbs Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract

Topping:
200g/6oz of good quality dark or white chocolate
60ml/2floz heavy/double cream

Method:
Start with the crème pâtissière and mix together the egg yolks sugar and cornflour in a heatproof bowl.

Add the vanilla seeds and pod to the milk and heat to bring up to a boil, taking care not to let it boil over. Remove from the heat and add to the eggs and sugar, whisking well.

Return to the pan and bring to a full boil, whisking all the time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.  Remove the vanilla pod and squeeze out any remaining precious seeds.

Place the cream, zest and orange extract into a bowl and whisk into soft peaks. Fold into the orange custard and place into a piping bag fitted with a small attachment and refrigerate until needed.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/430°F and prepare a lined baking sheet

Heat the butter, water and sugar in a pan until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil. Keeping the heat on low to medium, add the flour all in one go and beat with a wooden spoon until completely smooth and coming away from the side of the bowl.

Transfer the dough to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for one minute. You want the mixture to have cooled enough to add the eggs without scrambling them.

On medium speed add the eggs one at a time and carry on beating until thoroughly mixed.  The dough will be shiny and smooth.

While the dough is still warm, place into a piping bag with a large plain tip.

Pipe small mounds onto the lined sheet – at this point, you can go small for profiteroles or a little larger for buns. Use a wet fingertip to press down any pointed bits as they will burn.

Bake the buns for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190°C/375°F and continue to bake for about 15 more minutes until they are light and a lovely golden brown colour. Switch off the oven.

profiterole

Take them out and pierce a small hole with a sharp knife in the base of each one to allow the steam to escape and place each one on its side and return to the oven for a final 5 minutes to crisp up.

Place on their sides on a cooling rack and leave to cool completely. They must be completely cold before you fill them.

To serve, melt the chocolate. I normally do this in the microwave as it is less likely to seize. Heat the broken up chocolate on high for around a minute and stir well, keep heating for 10 seconds and stirring until almost melted. The residual heat will continue to melt the remaining solid pieces. Add the cream and stir well

Pipe the delicious, zesty orange crème pâtissière into the profiteroles through the little hole in the bottom and dip in the warm chocolate sauce.

You can serve right away, or refrigerate for an hour or two. I actually prefer them quite cold and think they are perfect for a summer dessert.

profiterole1

Try not to eat too many!