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    Cherry and basil friands

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    Cherry and basil friands

    Basil and cherry might sound like an unusual combination but they work together here to make fragrantly sophisticated little cakes. 

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes

    Makes: 12


    125g unsalted butter, softened
    150g ground almonds
    175g icing sugar
    5 tbsp plain flour
    1 lemon, zest
    4 large egg whites, at room temperature
    ¼ tsp almond extract
    20 basil leaves, finely shredded
    250g cherries, pitted and halved
    handful flaked almonds


    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Generously grease the holes of a 12-hole silicone or non-stick muffin tin. Grease around the top of the holes as well. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan and cook until it starts to brown slightly and smell nutty. Don’t let it burn. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

    2. Mix together the ground almonds, icing sugar, flour, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Stir in the egg whites, almond extract and basil, then strain in 75g of the melted butter (put the mixing bowl on the scales). Beat together until smooth.

    3. Put 24 cherry halves to one side. Stir the rest into the batter. Divide between the muffin tins and put the remaining cherries on top. Scatter with a few flaked almonds. Bake for 18-22 minutes until risen, browned and just firm in the centre. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a rack to cool completely.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, July 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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