Orange and chocolate friands

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The egg white situation is out of control.  At last count, I had 34 in my freezer!  I don’t know how it happens. I don’t feel like I make that much custard, although, …

I did make a passionfruit tart the other day which contributed 12 egg whites to the collection.  EllaDee was visiting so I thought I would make something special.  One has to impress fellow bloggers, doesn’t one?

Well, things went astray from the beginning.  I am a star pastry case maker, if I say so myself, so you can imagine my surprise as I watched the sides of my pastry case wobble and collapse.  “Oh, well,” I thought, “I will make another one, this time in a tin with higher sides.”  Of course, I am in Bridgetown and the tin I wanted was in Perth.  I ended up using a tin with sides much higher than I needed.

Then, when I went to make the filling on the morning of EllaDee’s visit, I realised I was supposed to make it the day before.  Shit! I could easily have done that but it never occurred to me to read the recipe in advance.  Number one rule: always read the recipe in advance.

Then, the filling wouldn’t set.  EllaDee and the G.O. were driving up the driveway and still the centre wobbled.  I cooked it and cooked it to no avail.  And the pastry was so hard from all that cooking, it virtually shattered when I tried to cut it.  A yellow blob surrounded by shattered pastry was presented to my guests.  Of course, if I had made it when Maus and I were home by ourselves, it would have been magnificent.  Oh well, EllaDee, I tried.

Anyway, as I mentioned,  the failed passionfruit tart added 12 egg whites to my collection.  Friands to the rescue.  I checked out my previous friand post – Blueberry Friands.  I didn’t have any blueberries so that was a non-starter.  In the post, I mentioned a coconut and raspberry recipe – no raspberries – another non-starter.  I also mentioned a hazelnut and chocolate recipe but I couldn’t find it so I then went to Eat Your Books and found this recipe – orange and chocolate just works.  It is a no brainer.  And I had all the ingredients.  A starter at last!

The recipe is from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries III which the darling, Colette, bought Maus for Christmas last year.  I don’t know what Colette was thinking.  Maus is no cook.  She was in charge of dinner a couple of nights ago and all she managed was burnt boiled potatoes.  She is in charge of dinner tonight and I am nervous.  (I really do love her but …🙂 )

I am not usually a big friand fan but these friands were very, very good.  The browning of the butter gave them a lovely rich buttery flavour.  They took a bit more effort than the blueberry friand recipe but I think the extra effort was worth it.

If you have an egg white collection in your freezer, do make them.  They will not disappoint.

Makes 9 – 12, depending on the size of the cups.

Ingredients:

  • 60g crystallised orange peel
  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 180g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 180g icing sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 5 egg whites

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  2. Lightly butter a friand tray (a muffin tray works equally well).
  3. Finely chop the crystallised orange peel and the chocolate then set aside.
  4. Put the butter into a small pan and melt over a gentle heat until it becomes a dark, golden colour.  Take care not to let it burn.  Leave to cool slightly.
  5. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the ground almonds.  If you have a coarse sieve, sift the ground almonds into the bowl.
  7. Grate the orange zest and add to the flour mixture.  Make sure it is well distributed and there are no clumps.
  8. Add the crystallised orange peel – again, make sure it is well distributed.
  9. Add the chopped chocolate.
  10. Beat the egg whites to a soft foam – we are not looking for peaks here.
  11. Add the melted butter to the flour mixture.  Skim off and discard all the solid bits and impurities.
  12. Add the beaten egg whites.
  13. Mix lightly but thoroughly, then pour into the buttered cups.  Fill each cup about two thirds full.  If you don’t use all the cups, add about one inch of water to each empty cup.
  14. Bake for 15+minutes (until a skewer comes out clean).  The time will depend on the size of your cups.
  15. Leave to settle before carefully removing from the tins.

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BTW: these photos are taken with my new camera.  It is fabulous but, of course, it does a million things more than I know what to do.  I started reading the advanced manual but my brain began to pickle.  Once things settle down, I will try again.  I can’t see the point of buying a good camera and not using it to its full potential.

Pavlov’s dogs and intermittent reinforcement

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Anyone who has studied Psychology 100 knows all about Pavlov and his dogs.  For those who escaped:  Pavlov was a Russian researcher who was studying salivation in dogs (who knows why).  When he presented food to the dogs, they would salivate (which, for some unknown reason, he would measure).  After a while, he noticed that the dogs would begin to salivate as soon as he came into the room – even before he presented the food.  They associated him with food and his mere presence would get them salivating.  This association is known as classical conditioning.

Those who lasted past first semester would have then been introduced to BF Skinner.  Skinner built on Pavlov’s theory. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Sis

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It’s my big sister’s birthday.  Well, she is not really my big sister.  She is, at least, 8 inches shorter than me which actually makes her my smallest sister.  I should say, “It is my OLDEST sister’s birthday.”

Talking about getting old, like we were in my last post, Sandra really is getting old.  She is much older than me.🙂

Sandra recently told me she doesn’t need any more things so I decided to make her some personalised soap for her birthday.  We all need soap.

So here is your present, Sis – 12 bars of soap.  Happy birthday!  I hope you like them. Continue reading

When did I get old?

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I used to be young.

People say, “You are only as old as you feel.”  Well, I feel old.

Maus and I have finished the winter pruning and it’s time to celebrate or, it would be, if not for the fact that all the Spring jobs loom large.  We have to start mowing and weeding and rake the bottom acre before the fire season.  We have to fertilise everything and spray the roses and the grapevines and prune the passionfruit and get the vegie patch ready.  Oh, me!   Oh, my! Continue reading

Aromatic Baked Chicken

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The other day, we had one of those rare days in WA when it rains all day.  A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called ‘One Perfect Day’.  It was one of those days.  I just love rainy days.  You can’t go outside and work.  All you can do is stay inside and play.  Yippee!  Well … I guess you could do housework but that would be silly.

Because we had all day, I thought we would make something a bit different for dinner.  If we are busy outside, we usually have what we can whip up in the shortest time. Continue reading