Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baking Friands and Hazelnut Pinwheels

Baking in comparison to cooking is often viewed as science because you need to strictly follow a formula and use the exact measurements for the ingredients provided by recipes.

Cooking, on the other hand, has a wider scope for experimentation and is a lot more flexible in that you can add as much or as little of the ingredients as you wish to your desired tastes.

I think there is a lot of flexibility to experiment in baking and add or take different ingredients to obtain different flavours and textures as long as you have the basic foundations and the right ratio of the different required elements (ie: flour to eggs to sugar etc).

One thing that I love baking are friands.

On the weekend I made Raspberry and White Chocolate Friands with some Lemon Zest.


  • 125g raspberries
  • 185g butter
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ½ cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g white chocolate
  • finely grated zest of one lemon

  • Preheat over to 180 degree celcius and lightly grease friend pan with butter.
  • Melt the butter and white chocolate together, set aside.
  • Combine the dry ingredients - flour, icing sugar and almond meal into a bowl, and then grate in the lemon zest.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg whites together until it is frothy/forms soft peaks.
  • Fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Then fold in the butter/white chocolate mixture until just combined (Note: do note overmix).
  • Spoon the mixture into the friend pans 2/3 full and place a few berries in a cluster in the center of the each friend.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the friands are a light golden colour.

To make these friands I used a blueberry and white chocolate friand recipe that I had previously made and adapted it. Replacing the blueberries with raspberries and adding in some lemon zest.

What makes a friand a friand? The friand pan for starters – so you get the oval shape and star imprint on the bottom.

The core elements of a friand are egg whites, butter, almond meal and icing sugar.

You can change the recipe that I used in many ways to make different kinds of friands.

  • You don’t have to melt the chocolate with the butter, you can use chocolate chips and fold them in the batter.
  • You could make chocolate friands by using dark chocolate instead of white chocolate.
  • You can make orange friands by adding orange rind and also poppy seeds.
  • You could use hazelnut meal instead of almond meal.
  • You could add in some coffee or ground cinnamon or even some green tea powder.
The possibilities are endless….

Tip for melting butter and/or chocolate: I use one of those pots that you use to make pasta so that it doesn't burn.

I also made some Hazelnut Pinwheel biscuits

I got the recipe from Australian Women's Weekly


  • 1 1/4 cups ( 175g)
  • plain flour 100 g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk,
  • approximately 1/3 cup (110 g) chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut meal


  • Process flour, butter and sugar until crumbly. Add egg yolk; process with enough milk until mixture forms a ball. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth; cover, refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Roll dough between sheet of baking paper to form 20 cm x 30 cm rectangle; remove top sheet of paper. Spread dough evenly with hazelnut spread; sprinkle with hazelnut meal. Using paper as a guide, roll dough tighly from long side to enclose filling. Enclose roll in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile; preheat oven to 180 C/ 160 C fan-forced. Grease oven trays; line with baking paper.
  • Remove plastic wrap; cut roll into 1 cm slices, place slices on trays 2 cm apart. Bake about 20 minutes. Stand pinwheels on trays 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

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