Man, it's been ages since my last post. I have been busy since school started and other stuff. I have created many things since last time, but I only photographed a few, as circumstances weren't suitable for others. Because we eat desserts at night (like normal people) I rarely get the chance to shoot a slice of cake or a cross-section, due to bad lighting. But this Anzac long weekend has granted me the time to try out many new recipes. I have made Coconut Panna Cotta, Zucchini Slice, Apple Tarte Fine, Friands, Orange Self-saucing Pudding, Vanilla Bean Ice cream, Apple Tart, and Caramel Croissant pudding. It's a huge list for four days, but we had guests over for dinner so it gave me an excuse.
I received some vanilla beans a few weeks back, thanks to a good friend, and have been aching to make vanilla ice cream. Vanilla beans are the second most expensive spice, and though they look wrinkly and unappetising, they are great in desserts. The first thing I did with them was make my own vanilla essence. In Australia, vanilla essence/extract/anything is very expensive. That's why ever since I heard you could make your own vanilla essence, I wanted to. Homemade vanilla is simply split vanilla beans seeped in alcohol. Vodka is recommended, but I didn't have any so I used Cognac, a kind of brandy. And don't worry, I did not drink a drop of it (as of yet). You shake the bottle every few days to let the flavour seep out, and it is ready to used in 8 weeks. Once a quarter of the essence is used up, you simply fill with more alcohol. This is much cheaper than buying vanilla from the shops, and they make great presents for other foodies. I will be posting about the vanilla ice cream in a short while.
Friands are ridiculously easy, and are a welcomed change to cupcakes and muffins. They are not as complex as other recipes which require egg whites - you need not whip the egg whites. So try them when you have leftover egg whites.
Makes 12 (or 10 in my case)
190g unsalted butter
60g plain flour
1 1/3 cups (200g) icing sugar, plus extra to dust
120g almond meal
5 egg whites
Grated zest of 1 lemon