Have you ever flipped through a cookbook and stumbled upon a picture so breathtakingly beautiful you’re not sure if you want to make the recipe or just hang the image on your wall? That’s how we feel about pastry chef Claire Ptak’s The Violet Bakery Cookbook ($17, amazon.com), a collection of recipes inspired by her popular East London-based shop (hence the book's title). A former food stylist for magazines, Ptak’s obvious visual talent and baking prowess are revealed in photos and recipes for both savory dishes, like the Squash, Brown Butter, and Sage Quiche, and sweet creations, such as her gorgeous Pistachio, Hazelnut, and Raspberry Friands. Read below for the recipe—just don’t forget to take pictures!
Pistachio, Hazelnut, and Raspberry Friands
Makes: 12 to 16 friands
½ cup butter, melted, plus more for greasing the molds
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
7 tbsp ground almonds
6 tbsp ground hazelnuts
6 tbsp ground pistachios
1⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar
5 egg whites, slightly whisked
2 tsp vanilla extract
7 oz (about 40 to 50) fresh raspberries
1¾ cup slivered pistachios
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 320°F. Butter 12 to 16 friand molds or muffin cups.
2. Combine all the ingredients (except the raspberries and slivered pistachios) in the bowl of a food processor and process until foamy (about 1 minute).
3. Spoon the mixture into the molds, filling them to about three-quarters full, then top each mold with 2 or 3 raspberries and sprinkle with the slivered pistachios.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are springy to the touch.
5. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their molds, then remove and dust with confectioner’s sugar. They will keep well in an airtight container for a few days.