Some of you that follow me on Instagram will know we go to New Zealand every couple of years for a month. My husband is from there and we go back to visit everyone and introduce our boys to a little more of the culture and beautiful country. This year we went for Easter. My family and friends have started to develop little lists of cafes and restaurants that I must visit when I go and there were a couple of new places I found that I absolutely love. The first one that inspired today’s recipe is Little and Friday.
We were on a day trip to Devonport and my MIL said she’d like to take us to a cafe on the way that my sister-in-law used to take her to. It was mid-morning and my husband was keen to get on with the trip to the military caves so was not especially delighted about stopping for me to gorge on cakes - when she said he’d gone past the end of the road, he slammed on the breaks and did a three-point turn along with lots of huffing and puffing. Pulling up outside the cafe, it comprised three units and there was a huge window where you could watch them making brioche which was just amazing. The blow about having to stop was eased slightly when the boys all saw massive trays of doughnuts being made! The windows were full of huge salad bowls and tarts and the counter displayed lots of different mini cakes. We all chose different things which is what we always do when we go out; then we slice them up and give everyone a taste of everything so we can decide what we really love. In our mix was a chocolate and beetroot cake, banana and caramel cake, lemon and coconut cake and large brioche doughnuts filled with custard and jam. We sat down and my husband took the first bite of his banana and caramel cake and it was honestly like that scene from “When Harry Met Sally”. You know the one? We were all instantly forgiven for having dragged him out of his way! I think what makes their cakes special are the layers of flavours. Take the banana cake, for example. It’s not only filled with homemade caramel sauce but also a layer of mascarpone; and not only topped with delicious cream cheese frosting but also more caramel sauce and candied walnuts. There are little touches to all their cakes that make them that little bit more of a treat.
I went straight from there to a small bookshop in Devonport and found their book on the shelves. They have three books but the only one in the shop was the only one I had eyes for right then as I’m all about the cakes - so Treats From Little & Friday was quickly purchased and squirrelled away in my bag. Finding it there was definitely serendipitous (I’d already been poo’d on by a bird that day so I was looking for the apparent luck that being poo’d on brings :)) and I knew that transporting my fifth (oops!) cookbook back from NZ to the UK would be totally worth it - and the extra suitcase we had to buy to accommodate our holiday purchases, namely my books!
So my first bake from the book was, surprisingly, not one that we taste tested in their store. It was driven by my love of raspberries, coconut and friands. I realise I make a lot of friands. A couple of people have said that when they think of friands, they think of me. I’m not sure whether to take this as a compliment, but I sure do love making them. They’re easy to make, totally delicious and you can whip them up so quickly, you get (relatively) instant gratification. I usually make them in little friand tins but these raspberry and coconut ones are muffin size so I make them in wrappers with my muffin tin.
The proof of the pudding is, they say, in the eating. In this case, my husband came home from work and ate his dinner. He always checks that he’s allowed to eat what’s been baked in the kitchen, just in case it’s for someone else. He wandered back in with a muffin in hand and took the first bite. Through a mouthful of food and lots of “mmmming”, he declared them to be amazing and very tasty. I replied they were from the vaults of the Little & Friday book and instantly I was redeemed for buying that additional suitcase. A thumbs up from my husband is a testament to a successful baking session and left me wishing I had made more than the six I set out with!
Raspberry & Coconut Friand Muffins
makes 6 muffins
125g unsalted butter
170g icing sugar
75g plain flour
0.5 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
200g egg whites (approx 5 large eggs)
1.5 cups frozen raspberries (min 18 raspberries)
large muffin tin
tulip muffin cases
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)
Place your muffin cases in the muffin tin
Melt the butter and place to one side to cool
Sift the icing sugar, flour and baking powder into a large bowl together with the coconut and almonds and stir them together
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form
Add the egg whites and butter to the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined (do not over-mix here)
Half fill each muffin case with batter and then sprinkle over a few frozen raspberries
Top up each muffin case with the remaining batter and then sprinkle over the remaining raspberries
Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes - if you use a skewer to test that they’re baked, it will come out moist from the raspberries but the top of each muffin should be golden brown
Allow them to cool in the tin - if you get them out too early they will collapse so it is important to allow them to cool first
Once they’re cooled, remove them from the tin and dust them liberally with icing sugar