It’s rare for me to capture moments in my life where my mind is content to stop whizzing, whirring, fretting, leaping and cavorting. At times, I find myself wishing I were a calmer person, that I could find an island of placidity within my self to curl up on and just be.
But then again, perhaps being an ever-sedate soul would would mean missing out on the dizzying exuberance and laughter-tinged joy that suffuses me most days. I like that joy. Then again (again again), I wouldn’t mind respites from anxiety on a more regular basis. See what I mean? The constant whirring?
It’s even better if what I’m conjuring up is destined for people I love, and intended to create smiles, comfort, relief.
Friands are not an uncommon treat to find in my or my parent’s kitchen, for they are easily adaptable to the gluten-free and dairy-free needs of myself, my mother, and grandmother. However, I must admit that I find normal friands rather… dull. The flavour is too expected, sedate and, well, placid.
So instead of creating friands with almond meal, I created my own pecan and coconut meal and made fragrant, enticing, complex, surprising, and joyful gluten- and dairy-free pecan and coconut friands with raspberries on top.
And you know what? My Dad, grandma and grandpa, and I all loved them.
It seems that, sometimes, you can reach soaring heights through moments of calm. I just wish my mind would remember that more often.
Pecan and Coconut Friands with Raspberries, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
Makes 8. Recipe from my mindheadthinking.
- 65g raw pecans
- 20g desiccated coconut
- 125g Nuttelex (or butter, if you’re so inclined), melted
- 4 egg whites, lightly whisked
- 160g icing sugar
- 50g gluten-free flour* (normal flour can be substituted), sifted
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, optional (I say optional because I meant to add it and forgot. Ta-daa!)
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), and line or generously grease eight holes of a muffin tin.
- Place pecans and coconut in a food processor and process to a fine meal.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the pecan and coconut meal, melted Nuttelex, egg whites, sugar, flour, and cinnamon if you don’t forget that cinnamon exists.
- Divide the batter amongst the prepared muffin tins, and top each with about three frozen raspberries.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for five minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
- Nibble. Breathe. Smile. Calm.
* I had a nincompoop moment and accidentally put in 75g flour, which is the amount you’d use for 12 friands. Therefore you can feel safe in the knowledge that this recipe is flexible enough to permit for mistakes. Woot!
Question Time: How do you create calm in your life?