A berry good time

Mixed berries

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries…so many delicious treats we can make with these small wonders.

Chocolate berry mess. Berries can make the quickest dessert. This Chocolate Berry Mess took me a few minutes to assemble. Soak fresh mixed berries in orange juice and cointreau for an hour, crumble one chocolate macaroon or a chocolate ripple biscuit into the bottom of a glass, combine the soaked berries (reserving some to finish on top) with mascarpone and a few more macaroon's and plonk on top the biscuits, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

Rex and Bev's wild raspberries.We had a nice surprise when our neighbours, Rex and Bev, delivered 7 milk bottle loads of wild raspberries. They grow wild on the side of their tractor shed. They had already given several full "milk bottles" to 80-ish year old Norma who makes raspberry jam for the Byron Bay RSL Woman's Auxiliary monthly stall. Norma ran out of jars, luckily for us and we have gone berry mad.

Try these Raspberry Macadamia Friands, it is very quick to make. Friands came before the cupcake but after the muffin, it was in Vogue in cafes in the ’90’s. The friand originated in France and is usually made with almond or hazelnut meal (I used Macadamia meal) and egg whites. Enjoy.

Raspberry Macadamia Friand

Blueberry and Macadamia Friands

Makes 14-16

200gms butter, melted

2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted

1/2 cup plain flour, sifted

1 cup macadamia meal (ground macadamias)

150gms unsalted macadamia nuts, roasted and finely chopped

6 egg whites, lightly whisked

1 cup blueberries

pure icing sugar, to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease twelve 1/2-cup capacity friand pans or muffin holes.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer, swirling pan occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until light golden. Remove from heat. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.

Sift icing sugar and flour into a large bowl. Stir in macadamia meal and roasted nuts. Make a well in the centre. Gradually add eggwhites, stirring constantly with a metal spoon until combined. Add butter and stir until well combined. Stir in berries. Three-quarters fill friand pans with mixture.

Bake friands for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

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