(Originally published, Aug-2015, then updated by Tania, September-2018)
A long time ago I was baking at a Café whose owner was gluten-free, she asked me to bake Friands (which I had never heard of in my life) and now they’re one of my favourite things to bake and eat.
These pretty, fluffy little tea cakes are Lemon flavoured with raspberries on top and are made with rice flour, egg whites, icing sugar, melted butter and ground almonds, making them not only delicious but also gluten-free! You can make many different flavours too by adding nuts. fruit and even chocolate.
Friands originate from France where they are called ‘Financiers’. They were first created in the late nineteenth century by a pastry chef named Lasne, who had a shop on the rue Saint-Denis near the Bourse, the city’s stock exchange and he made them in the shape of gold bars/ingots (little rectangles). The Australian and New Zealand version are a bigger, oval-shaped adaption and we do not brown the butter in the recipe like the French do.
According to Wikipedia, Friand is the French word for ‘dainty‘ and ‘a gourmet who delights in delicate tastes’.
I’d love to get my hands on some financier moulds and make them in their proper shape and with browned butter also, will post when I do!
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 small or ½ medium-sized lemon)
250 g butter
8 medium-sized eggs (at room temperature & you will only need the whites)
2 cups / 300 g icing sugar (powdered/confectioner’s sugar)
1 1/3 cups / 140 g ground almonds
2/3 cup / 110 g rice flour
½ cup / 60 g fresh or frozen raspberries (approx)
Icing sugar (powdered/confectioner’s sugar) to dust
Makes 9 or 12
STEP BY STEP
For this recipe, you will need a 12-hole standard-sized muffin tin or an oval hole, Friand tin (it will make 9).
First, zest the lemon and leave it aside.
Then in a small saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter. Leave it in the saucepan and set it aside for now.
Preheat the oven to 150°C fan/convection oven or 170°C conventional oven, on bake, with a rack situated in the centre of the oven.
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 and when they are baking they will spread outwards in the tin rather than rise up and will be impossible to get out of the tin.
After breaking up the whites, add the lemon zest, icing sugar, ground almonds and rice flour to the egg-whites….don’t mix it together just yet though!
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).
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 around 5 – 7 raspberries over the tops,
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. 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, trim them with a knife).
Check the Friands haven’t stuck in the tin. If so, loosen them with a knife and then remove them and place them on a cooling rack.
If you’ve sprayed the tin well and are feeling brave, carefully flip the whole thing over and they should fall out onto a cooling rack and then turn them upright.
These pretty little cakes are perfect for morning or afternoon tea, especially high tea as they are a tea cake after all!
If you like you can make them look prettier with a dusting of icing sugar and they’re lovely served with lemon curd and/or with a small amount of natural yoghurt or whipped cream. 🙂
Keepin’ em fresh – Keep in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 4 days. After the first day, to freshen them up a little, warm each one in the microwave for 20 seconds.