Claire Ptak’s The Violet Bakery Cookbook includes recipes from the London bakery, sharing their delectable confections.
Friands are little French almond cakes, which we love at Violet because they are moist and tasty and also so easy to make. In this version, I substituted hazelnuts and pistachios for some of the almonds because I had a few left over that I wanted to use up. I really like the way these turned out, because the hazelnut has a lovely light flavor and the pistachio gives them a pretty pop of color. It is another recipe that we can have fun with at Violet, as the nutty base lends itself to a variety of seasonal fruit toppings. Here I’ve used raspberries, but you could use any berries you like, or slices of peaches, nectarines, plums, figs, or whatever.
- Preheat the oven to 320°F (285°F convection). Butter 12 to 16 friand molds or muffin cups.
- Combine all the ingredients (except the raspberries and slivered pistachios) in the bowl of a food processor and process until foamy (about 1 minute).
- Spoon the mixture into the molds, filling them to about three-quarters full, then top each mold with 2 or 3 raspberries and sprinkle with the slivered pistachios.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are springy to the touch.
- Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their molds, then remove and dust with confectioners’ sugar. They will keep well in an airtight container for a few days.
Reprinted with permission from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, copyright © 2015 by Claire Ptak. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.