Christmas fruit and spice friands
These fruit and spice friands are a delightful treat for a Christmas Day brunch or breakfast. Topped with juicy fresh cherries and sweet spiced syrup, it's the perfect way to start a festive day.
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
- 6 egg whites
- 3 tsp finely grated orange zest
- 200 g butter, melted
- 200 g crème fraîche
- 300 g fresh cherries
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat oven to 230°C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
- Sift icing sugar, flour and spices into a large bowl. Stir in currants and ground almonds; make a well in the centre. Add egg whites, zest and butter; stir with a metal spoon until combined. Spoon mixture into paper cases.
- Bake friands for 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 200°C; bake for a further 12 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave friands in the muffin pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, make Spice syrup (see below).
- Top friands with crème fraîche and cherries; drizzle with syrup.
- Split vanilla bean lengthways; scrape out seeds. Place vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan with sugar and mixed spice; stir to combine. Add the water; cook, stirring, over low heat for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat.