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Pear, chocolate and ginger friands


Makes: 12
timePrep time: 35 mins
timeTotal time:
Pear, chocolate and ginger friands
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Pear, chocolate and ginger friands

Friands are made with ground almonds and egg whites, which keep them lovely and moist as well as deliciously light

Makes: 12
timePrep time: 35 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (With icing/decoration)
Calories
339Kcal
Fat
23gr
Saturates
13gr
Carbs
27gr
Sugars
12gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
4gr
Salt
0.1gr

Ingredients

  • 175g unsalted butter, plus 10g very soft butter
  • 50g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 65g ground almonds
  • 150g egg whites (from 4 large eggs)
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp grated root ginger, optional
  • 1 large ripe pear
For the garnish, optional
  • 1 ripe but firm pear
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
For the ganache, optional
  • 100ml double cream
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped

Step by step

  1. If you’re planning to decorate the friands, start with the pear garnish. Preheat the oven to 120°C, fan 100°C, gas 1⁄2. Slice the unpeeled whole pear into very thin circles – you only need 12 to decorate, but any extra make a delicious snack. Put the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a very small pan, heat gently until dissolved, then simmer for 1 minute until slightly syrupy. Brush both sides of the pear slices with the syrup, then arrange them in a single layer on a wire rack set over an oven tray. Dry in the oven for 50-60 minutes. While still warm, pinch the centre of the slice so it forms an open flower shape. Store for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
  2. Melt the 175g butter and set aside. Brush the 12 holes of a muffin tin with the 10g of very soft butter and sprinkle with flour. Tap the tray gently to ensure an even coating of flour, then turn upside down to remove the excess. Put the tray in the fridge while you make the batter.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, cornflour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, stir in the ground almonds and set aside.
  4. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Sift in the icing sugar and whisk well to incorporate, then fold in the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, beat in a quarter of the melted butter at a time. Add the ginger, if using. The batter can be kept in the fridge until ready to bake; just give it a stir before using.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Remove the prepared tin from the fridge and use two spoons to fill the holes (an ice-cream scoop also works well here) so that the batter comes just over halfway up the sides. Peel, core and thinly slice the large ripe pear, then gently press 2-3 slices on top of each friand.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6 and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool, then remove from the tin (the undecorated friands can be frozen).
  7. For the ganache, put the cream and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted, then remove from the heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly. Spread some ganache on each friand (they'll keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container). Decorate with dried pear flowers shortly before serving.

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