Continuing the Summerfruit theme, cherries are now in season for a short but sweet period. I love nothing more than eating fresh yellow cherries, but when it comes to baking they can be pricey and it seems indulgent – so I’m embracing frozen Summer berries in my cakes. These cherry, almond and ricotta friands combine the fresh sweetness of morello cherries with a light almond sponge and creamy, zesty ricotta. They sound complicated but couldn’t be simpler! The trickiest part is separating the eggs; I used my leftover yolks to make a quick lemon curd. To make the friands, you will need:
100g butter, plus extra for the tin
vanilla paste ¼ tsp
1/2 lemon, finely tested
125g icing sugar, plus 1 tbsp and extra for dusting
100g ground almonds
35g plain flour 35g
3 large egg whites
12 frozen cherries or other Summerfruit
Handful almonds, to decorate.
Heat oven 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6. Lightly butter a 6-hole friand tin or regular-sized bun tin. Mix the ricotta with the vanilla, lemon zest and 1 tbsp icing sugar until smooth.
Mix with the ground almonds, flour and icing sugar in a big mixing bowl. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until you get a light foam.
Tip this into the dry ingredients with the melted butter and gently stir together.
Divide the batter between the holes in your tin, then, working quickly, top each with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture. Add a cherry to the top of each, a sprinkling of flaked almonds, and a dusting of icing sugar.
Bake for 20-23 minutes until they have risen and are golden – if you check with a skewer you’ll probably hit the molten ricotta, so check round the edges instead. Cool for 10 minutes in the tins, then lift out onto a cooling rack. Serve once cooled.
What are you baking this weekend?
My cherry, almond and ricotta friands recipe is a riff on Delicious Magazine’s peach friands with pistachio, which sound really tasty too!