Originally published, Aug-2015, then updated by Tania, June-2018)
The word Friand (which means ‘tasty thing’ in French) does not, in France refer to a small almond tea cake. I think Friands are an Australasian version of French, Financiers, which use the same base ingredients, ground almonds and egg whites but are made with browned butter and are a different shape, rectangles, similar to small gold bars.
All of my Friand recipes are also made with ground almonds as well as rice flour so are gluten free and they make either 9 oval, shaped Friands or if you like, you can use a standard-sized muffin tin and get 12, smaller ones.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating a Friand before, they are slightly crispy on the outside and are perfectly, light and fluffy on the inside. These ones have blueberries and sliced almonds on top and can be flavoured with lemon zest or vanilla.
Now, if you’re a regular visitor to my website and are wondering why my photography skills have suddenly improved it’s because I didn’t take any of these pics! A few weeks ago I had a personal branding shoot by Rachel at Focus Personal Branding Photography and she took a heap of photos of me making these Friands and they are so good that I replaced all of my photos in this recipe with hers, …clever of me huh?! Seriously, she’s very talented and if you’d like to know how important personal branding is and how it can help you grow your business, check out her website. 🙂
250 g / 9 oz butter
8 medium-sized eggs (at room temperature and you’ll only be using the whites)
2 cups icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
1 1/3 cups ground almonds
2/3 cup rice flour
½ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries (approx)
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) to dust
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract or the seeds scraped from a 10 cm / 4′ vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- lemon curd & some mint or angelica sprigs
Makes 9 or 12
STEP BY STEP
For this recipe, you will need a 12 hole standard-sized muffin tin or a oval hole, Friand tin (it will make 9).
First, in a little saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter. Then leave it in the saucepan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F fan/convection oven or 175°C / 350°F conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated in the centre of the oven.
If you are using lemon zest, zest the lemon now and leave it aside.
Next, separate the eggs.
Place the whites into a medium-sized bowl and…
Then lightly whisk the egg whites until they are just frothy.
- What you are doing here is just breaking them up (this shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds). If you over whisk them, your Friands will end up with a chewy, meringue texture, spread outwards in the tin rather than up and they will be impossible to get out of the tin…..not trying to scare you, just want to spare you from making my mistakes. 🙂
After breaking up the whites, add the icing sugar, ground almonds and the rice flour (also, if using either, the lemon zest or vanilla) to the egg-whites….don’t mix it together just yet though!
Then start whisking it all together whilst pouring in the ‘still warm’ melted butter and…
…then continue whisking until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
Then liberally spray the tin with non-stick cooking spray (including the top) and…
…if you like (it’s a little less messy and quicker), pour the batter into a pouring jug and…
…then fill the tin, nearly to the tops.
Check that they all have the same amount of batter in them and if not, take some batter from the fuller ones and add it to the lesser ones.
- As you can see they are quite full but that’s okay, they tend to rise straight up and not so much outwards.
Working quickly (because they need to get into that oven) place the blueberries all over the tops and…
…sprinkle the sliced almonds over too.
Place them in the oven and …bake them for 30 minutes standard-size or 35 minutes, oval, Friand size or until they are golden brown and the centres spring back when you gently push them in. Also, a sharp knife or skewer inserted into the centres should come out clean and dry.
Leave them in the tin for 10 minutes (if they have overflowed a bit trim them with a knife).
Check that they haven’t stuck first (if so, loosen them with a knife) and then remove them and place them on a cooling rack or…
…if you are feeling brave, carefully flip the whole tin over onto a cooling rack and then turn them upright.
Make them look prettier with a good dusting of icing sugar.
I like piping or placing a small spoonful of lemon curd in the centres of mine and…
…then finishing them off with some little sprigs of angelica or mint.
These pretty little cakes are perfect for morning or afternoon tea, especially high tea as they are a tea cake after all!
They’re lovely served with a little bit of natural yoghurt or whipped cream. 🙂
Keepin’ em fresh – Keep in an airtight container in the pantry up to 4 days. After the first day, to freshen them up a little, warm each one in the microwave for 20 seconds.