Christmas fruit & spice friands
- 1½ cups (240g) pure icing sugar
- ⅓ cup ( plain flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ cup (40g) dried currants
- 1½ cups (180g) almond meal
- 6 egg whites
- 3 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
- 200 grams butter, melted
- 200 grams crème fraîche
- 300 grams fresh red currants
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- ½ cup (125ml) water
- 1Preheat oven to 230°C. Line a 12-hole (⅓-cup/80ml) muffin pan with paper cases.
- 2Sift icing sugar, flour and spices into a large bowl. Stir in dried currants and almond meal; make a well in the centre. Add egg whites, rind and butter; stir with a metal spoon until combined. Spoon mixture into paper cases.
- 3Bake 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 pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- 4Meanwhile, make spice syrup. Place vanilla, sugar and mixed spice in a medium saucepan; 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.
- 5Top friands with crème fraîche and red currants; drizzle with syrup. Dust with icing sugar, if you like.
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