My first encounter with a friand (I like how my computer autocorrected it to 'friend') was three years ago. My best friend (hi Edlynapoop!) and I were walking around Novena looking for a quick bite, and we ended up outside the soup spoon, looking at its' large signboard of a menu. I somehow remember us being quite broke that day too, so we (or maybe it was just me) looked for the cheapest thing on the menu. And there it was. A Red Velvet Friand, costing just over $2 (or was it $3? My memory fails me sometimes).
It would be hyperbole to declare that my life has changed since then, as my encounters with friands have since been few and far between. But that red velvet friand was beyond fantastic. I actually think you can find a picture of it on my Instagram, if you scroll down far enough. I distinctly remember it being incredibly moist; tasting like how red velvet should taste (read: the perfect balance between chocolate and vanilla was just right). We swore to recreate this, but three years later, we still have yet to do so.
But I'm sure that day will come. In the meantime, I made some blueberry and vanilla friands! I don't really know what sparked the idea of baking friands in me, but whatever it is, I'm glad I did. Week two of school is over and unfortunately, Friday is my longest day - what are Monday blues? But Friday will always be Friday, which means that celebrations are in order.
However, the weekend is drawing to a close just as I'm typing this. I told myself that I would blog earlier, but here I am just minutes before midnight on Sunday. It's been a good, albeit busy, week. I went for all the open classes at NUS for each of the three dance groups, one of which was a very impromptu decision. I was actually on the way to KR to audition for dance synergy, but I received a call from my friend on the bus to go to for the Blast open class instead, so I took it as a sign that synergy is not for me, especially since I really didn't like the open class anyway. No regrets, though! I enjoyed the Blast class a lot more - we were introduced to the basics of freestyling and hip hop and they really catered to the beginners, which I certainly appreciated.
Ooh I also had my first free Wednesday! I have a four-day school week every alternate week, so I went to Flock at Ghim Moh for brunch with my mom and sister this week. Their cheeky eggs are divine; the pulled pork truly being the star of the show. It's such a lovely, airy space with loads of natural light. I had to go back to school later though, for the VCF (Varsity Christian Fellowship) welcome tea. I got to learn more about what VCF does and we also had a time of p&w. I still feel a little detached, but I guess these things take time. Baby steps. Spent some time catching up with the poops after, and it's always a good time with them.
I had wanted to make blueberry and lemon friands at first, but as fate would have it we ran out of lemons at home. In went the vanilla. I decided to step it up a notch by browning the butter, a process that I greatly enjoy. It also explains why my friands are browner than the usual ones you see around, but hey, at least they've got more character. Friands are rather easy to make (read: no mixer required), so do give this recipe a try, or feel free to adapt it to include whatever add-ons you like! These are impossibly moist, and the addition of ground almonds gives it a rather wholesome taste, coupled with the blueberries. The edges are crisp with a lovely bite to them, the kind of thing you would hashtag goals (#goals) for. OK I'll stop talking now.
Blueberry Vanilla Friands
❆ 100g butter
❆ 125g icing sugar
❆ 25g all-purpose flour
❆ 85g ground almonds
❆ 3 egg whites
❆ 1 tsp vanilla
❆ 1 punnet of blueberries
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Liberally grease your muffin tin.
Brown your butter! Set it aside, let it cool. While it's cooling, sift your icing sugar and flour together. Add your ground almonds after, and whisk it all together. In a separate bowl, whisk your egg whites until they are lovely and frothy.
Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients, and in that well, add the vanilla and butter. Mix them together. Lastly, fold in your egg whites until everything is combined.
Divide your batter into your muffin tin (this recipe makes about 6 friands) and top them with blueberries (as many as you wish, really).
Bake for about 18-20 minutes!