Sunday, May 31, 2009

Less is More - Rosemary and White Peach Friands - Weekend Herb Blogging #185

Rosemary & White Peach Friand
See those teeny, tiny flecks of green? Don't be fooled - rosemary's
culinary power is anything but innocent and understated.

Rosemary 2
A slim and delicate relative of mighty, muscular pines, this comely
herb is suffused with medicinal and mystical properties that are
best handled with the lightest touch in and out of the kitchen.

Rosemary and White Peach Friands* - Another adaptation from Patricia Wells' recipe for Hazelnut Financiers from her Bistro Cooking, page 230, and online here


1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup ground almonds (also known as almond flour or meal; almond paste and marzipan are different products)
1/2 cup cake flour
2 level tablespoons of very finely minced fresh rosemary needles or 1 level tablespoons dried needles, slightly crushed with a mortar and pestle
6 large unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled in a small saucepan
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped peaches or other stone or berry fruit. (I used bits of white peach from homemade freezer jam that I just thawed out from last summer.)
1/3 cup almonds, slivered or chopped


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Sift powdered sugar, almonds and flour into a large bowl. Add rosemary and whisk to combine. Pour in egg whites, beating with the whisk or a large spoon until they are well mixed. The batter will be wetter than you'd expect, moderately thick and slightly elastic. Pour in melted butter and stir until smoothly blended without any butter separating from the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.

Fill the well-greased depressions of a regular-sized muffin plaque (financier, barquette, madeleine or mini muffin sizes also work) almost to the rim with batter. Place on center oven rack to bake for 7 minutes. Carefully remove hot tin from oven and set on a heat-proof surface. Divide and arrange fruit and almonds on top of each friand, slightly pressing the toppings into the partially unset centers. Return plaque to oven. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and continue baking another 7 minutes. Turn off heat to let them set in cooling oven for a final 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and lift cakes out as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Place them on a rack to complete cooling. Makes 12, or more if using the smaller aforementioned tins. Store in a tightly sealed tin or plastic container. --
* Friands are nearly indistinguishable from French financiers, the small, ultra-rich, moist and dense ground nut and butter cakes with their burnished, chewy crusts. They are wildly popular in the U.K. and Australia, often enhanced with fruit, and baked in oval muffin-like tins. I have yet to find this shape anywhere in the U.S. (despite several good sources for professional bakeware), and have used our typical round ones instead.

This recipe is for Weekend Herb Blogging #185, hosted by yours truly on behalf of Haalo of Cook Almost Anything at Least Once, mistress of ceremonies for the long-running weekly food event that was created over three years ago by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen.

The round-up will be online tomorrow, June 1, New York time. Do stop back for a taste of everything. I welcome late arrivals should some posts come to me after the deadline. Thanks always for your wonderful recipes!

Been There, Done That ~

Hazelnut Financiers
Yellow Raspberry & Rosemary Crisp
White Peach Crumb Top Pie

Other People's Eats ~
Banana Cinnamon Friands
Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers
Easy Rosemary Focaccia


  1. Sensational! What an interesting use of rosemary too.

  2. Oh, how delicious! These friands look divine! A nice flavor combo!



  3. Wow, Susan , these friandes looks delicious ,and I love your new lay out

  4. I'm always intrigued by the use of herbs in sweet stuff - beautiful pix!

  5. Love the rosemary, the almond & the peaches. It has to be just exquisitely good! I will have to do this!

  6. What a wonderful dish! I bet your kitchen smelled wonderful while these were in the works.

  7. Just gorgeous Susan. And that last photo in particular is just masterful.

  8. Gorgeous photos! My rosemary bush is one of the few things that is doing great in my little herb garden. I recently had to cut it down substantially because it was overwhelming other plants. I have never used rosemary in a sweet dish. The pairing with peaches sounds quite intriguing.

  9. What a gorgeous photo of rosemary! I love the way it enhances the flavors of fruit. This is a wonderful recipe that I'll have to try.

  10. Those are beautiful! I'm trying to branch out with rosemary also, I hope I have as stunning results as you did!

  11. MMMMMMMMMMM....Susan; they look georgous! rich! apart & interesting! great desserts!

  12. Ive always loved the look of small, delicate and pretty. Ive not yet tried on because they have so many eggs in them, yours look beautiful though!

  13. Friands are a new one on me, but from the looks of yours, I want to get to know them better. Looks delicious and your photography is wonderful too.

  14. What a lovely recipe! I'm a big fan of "herbifying" baked goods. They just add such a nice, different, well-rounded hint of awesome to any pastry! Your photos are impecable :)

  15. Thanks, Kalyn!

    Hi, Rosa. Thank you!

    Good to see you, Sylvia. Thanks!

    Thanks, Sra. Sweet herb recipes aren't nearly as common as savory ones.

    Soma - Thank you. Too good - deadly rich. : )

    Hi, Jessica! Thanks! And you could detect the faint fragrance of rosemary before the first bite, too, when they were cool.

    Lisa - Thanks always. : )

    Simona - Thanks. I know rosemary is difficult to grow from seed, but I didn't realize it was invasive. Wonder if it would win the battle for your garden against, say, mint. ; )

    Thanks, Susan. Good to see you.

    Hi, Pam! Thanks for the catch on the round-up link and for your kind words here. These are pretty even in person. You'll be happy with the results.

    Thank you, Sophie! MMMMMMM, indeed. : )

    Hi, Rose. Thank you. Yes, they do have a lot of eggs in them, but there is probably a way to make them in a vegan kitchen if you experiment enough.

    Welcome, Ciao Chow Linda! Thank you very much.

    Hi, Marta - Welcome! Hear, hear on "herbifying" baked goods. Thanks for the kind words.

  16. I can just imagine how heavenly these are.

    Love the new header!

  17. Hi that looks absolutely amazing!!! May I know what is powdered sugar? What is the difference between that and the caster sugar? Thank you.

  18. Cynthia - Double thanks!

    Anonymous - Thank you. Powdered sugar is also known as confectioners or icing sugar and is sometimes labeled 10X, indicating the highest level of fine grinding (literally into a powder). Caster is also known as bartender or superfine sugar; it is less finely ground than 10X but melts instantly in cold liquid w/out any gritty texture.