When was the last time you made those moist little morsels called friands? Me, probably two (or three?) years ago when I bought an ice cream maker (which I think now resides in a cupboard at mum’s) and was using loads of egg yolks for the custard based. This of course meant lots of egg whites, so for every batch of nutella ice cream I churned out, I baked a tray of friands.
Hang on. Nutella ice cream. Why did I stop??
When I recently found two big packets of almond meal languishing, forgotten, I also uncovered a couple of containers holding 13 frozen egg whites. Thirteen! Something had to be done, and almond meal plus egg whites naturally equals friands.
I’d forgotten how east friands are to make. Yes, the beaters are involved, but you’re whisking up egg whites, not creaming sugar into butter, so there’s much less work involved.
The fruit for the friands also came from the depths of the freezer: thimble-sized raspberries and dark plums which I had had the foresight to stone and quarter before freezing them. I chopped these up into smaller chunks and pushed them into the stiffish cake batter.
Friands are nice when they get a little chewy and browned around the edges; the taste and texture is a nice contrast to the moist cake. Against this gentle, nutty sweetness was the surprising tartness of the plum chunks. I love contrasts like that.
Adapted from the excellent Women’s Weekly cookbook ‘More cakes and slices’.
- Preheat oven to 190 and pop paper cases into a 12-hole muffin tin (you can see in the first photo I thought I needed an extra silicone case).
- Whisk eggs whites until almost soft peaks.
- Fold in ½ cup plain flour, 1 cup almond meal, 1½ cups icing sugar (soft if lumpy like mine) then stir thru 185 gms butter that you’ve melted. Give it a good strong bash to make sure everything is incorporated and there are no lumps (you’re not trying to preserve any volume from the egg whites here).
- Spoon into the cases, then stud with chunks of fresh or frozen fruit such as berries, plum, apple, pear - whatever you fancy.
- Bake for 25 minutes. When done, cook in tins for a few minutes before popping onto a rack and cooling completely – or eating while still warm with a good cup of tea.