This week Will and I celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone, especially this last year with a baby keeping us even busier.
I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately about our wedding because my sister got engaged at Christmas and will be getting married at home in the garden (like we did) next summer. I might just be a teeny tiny bit excited already about it.
It makes you think back to what you did, what you’d change and what you would do if you did it all again… obviously with the same man standing at the altar. 😉
One of the things I really enjoyed on my wedding day was waking up in a beautiful four-poster bed in a gorgeous little country pub in Chiddingfold. We’d hired out the venue so all the bridesmaids and Will’s family could stay together with the best men and groom staying just a mile down the road at pub owned by Chris Evans (randomly!) We’d visited a number of gastro pubs in the area and this one had won us over with the characterful interior and THE best club sandwich I’d ever eaten! What a surprise, decisions led by our stomachs!
On the big day I was up bright and early, off on short run with my three bridesmaids to get the blood flowing in an attempt to try to get rid of some nervous energy and get some fresh air through the lungs. One of my bridesmaids had even had a t-shirt made for me with ‘Run away bride’ emblazoned across the front.
Having worked up an appetite we headed for breakfast in the main dining room. Now I know most brides are so nervous and excited that they can’t eat on their wedding day. Whilst I was both of these, it definitely didn’t have an impact on my appetite and I just couldn’t stop eating!
I remember piling into the crunchy, nutty granola and smothering it in creamy yoghurt and fresh summer fruits. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy my appetite, so next up were flaky croissants and an indulgent pain au chocolat. But still, I felt I needed just something extra to tide me over till the wedding breakfast later that afternoon. I remember spotting the bright pink grapefruit and it conjured up images of mum and dad sitting at the dining room table in our old house, enjoying grapefruit for breakfast sprinkled with a little sugar to take away the tartness.
Armed with a teaspoon, I worked my way through each segment carefully removing the juicy pink flesh and trying not to squint with each sour mouthful. Perfect end to the breakfast and I was ready to walk down that aisle and become Mrs Rolt.
Now four years on, I wanted to bake something that took me back to those memories of the breakfast on our big day and these dainty little friands hit the brief.
I’ve made friands in the past a few times experimenting with different flavours, but deciding on the combination of raspberry and pistachio which had really worked well together.
I’m not sure I’ve ever used grapefruit before in any of my baking adventures, so I was interested to see how the flavour would come through especially against the cinnamon and almonds.
It was in fact a lovely surprise.
What it delivered in spades was a beautifully fresh and zesty flavour that sung through the moist almonds and cinnamon.
The crisp layer of icing on top gives a little crunch and sweetness, much like when you sprinkle a little sugar on the top of your grapefruit in the morning. Although I do think in this instance, the sweetness probably isn’t necessarily required and I preferred the couple I ate without the topping. It might depend on how sweet your tooth is and it does mean you can add the speckles of pink flesh to the top when you drizzle on the icing which does look ever so pretty.
The stark contrast of bright pink flesh against the creamy icing and almond sponge is inviting to the eye and who doesn’t need a bit of neon pink in their lives?! You get just a hint of tarragon from the speckles of green dotting the almond sponge but it really is the grapefruit that steals the show. And so it should.
Friands always achieve the lightest of sponges that make them the perfect teatime treat. You don’t even feel too guilty when you reach for another one to munch through whilst you finish that cup of coffee.
Go out and buy a grapefruit today and make your teatime a little more special.
Pink grapefruit, tarragon and cinnamon friands
Slightly adapted from ‘What Katie Ate at the Weekend’
Makes 12 friands
160g unsalted butter
1 pink grapefruit
100g buckwheat flour
125g ground almonds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
450g icing sugar, split
6 egg whites, whisked till frothy.
10 tarragon leaves finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease twelve holes of your friand tin (preferably a silicone one as they are much easier to get out). If you don’t have a friand tin, then you can use a cupcake or muffin tin.
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon and 250g of your icing sugar in a large bowl and mix together. Pour in your frothy egg whites and cooled butter and combine thoroughly using a wooden spoon or you kitchen aid mixer. Zest one grapefruit and add this to the mixture along with your chopped tarragon leaves.
Fill your fraind holes till they two thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes. They should be a lovely golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before removing them from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Once cool, place some baking paper or foil underneath your rack of frainds.
Cut your grapefruit in half. Split one half into small segments – these will be sprinkled on top at the end.
Juice the other half of the grapefruit and add this to your remaining 200g of icing sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Spoon the mixture over your cooled friands (don’t worry about it spilling over the side) and decorate the top with small grapefruit segements / pieces.
Leave to set and enjoy.