Lemon and poppyseed friands

Are you baking a difference this year? If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, CSR Bake a Difference is an event that encourages people to bake/make Christmas presents this year rather than buying. I do admit that I like giving gifts and I often spend a lot of time trying to think of the perfect present for friends/family. But I’ve come to realise what I like the most is not about spending a lot of money – it’s about being thoughtful and making an effort for someone I care about. So rather than purchasing something, why not make something instead?

Bake a difference

Penny from Addictive & Consuming is the host for this event, and this is her description:

“CSR Bake a Difference” is a fantastic event that encourages everyone to bake their Christmas presents this year instead of buying them and donate the money they save to Mission Australia through www.csrbakeadifference.com.au. CSR Sugar will match each donation dollar for dollar up to $100,000 so there’s the potential to raise $200,000 that will go directly towards helping disadvantaged Australians. If you’d like to make a donation, all donations need to be made via the CSR Bake a Difference website.

I’ve made two items that I think would be great as gifts. The first is almond and chocolate toffee. It’s a bit of an ugly duckling – it’s very rustic and you can tell it’s homemade. Fortunately, it tastes better than it looks, and I reckon that it tastes like Almond Roca!

If baking is more your thing, how about some lemon and poppy seed friands? Sweet and lemony, but with a touch of savouriness from the poppy seeds, they’re a light little morsel to have with a cup of tea.

Donations to Mission Australia can be made through the CSR website here, and as mentioned previously, CSR will be matching donations dollar for dollar (up to a total of $100,000). And what do Mission Australia do? They help disadvantaged Australians by providing family, employment and community services.

I hope that you’ll be joining us in Baking a Difference this year. There will be more ideas from other bloggers on Penny’s blog in a few days if you need further inspiration!

Almond and chocolate toffee

Adapted from the Golden Book of Chocolate

1&1/2 cups (200g) almonds, roughly crushed
1 cup (250g) butter
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
1&1/2 cups (300g) firmly packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
350g semisweet dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 25x38cm pan with non-stick baking paper.

Spread the almonds over the bottom of the pan.

In a saucepan, place the butter, both sugars, and salt and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Pour the syrup over the almonds.

Place the pan in the oven until the surface is bubbly – about 5-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

Let it cool in the pan completely and then peel off the baking paper and break the toffee into pieces.

Lemon and poppyseed friands

From AWW Bake

Makes 12 (or 8 large ones)

6 egg whites
185g butter, melted
1 cup (125g) almond meal
1 & 1/2 cups (240g) icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a 12 hole muffin pan (I used an 8 hole mini loaf tin).

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with a fork until frothy. Stir in the butter, almond meal, icing sugar, flour, poppy seeds and lemon rind and mix to combine.

Spoon the mixture into your tin and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked. Allow them to stand in the tin for five minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.