I have long been fascinated with the way recipes change and adapt as they make their way around the globe, each country putting their unique spin on the original. The café and coffee culture, once dominated by Europe, has been whole-heartedly embraced Down Under, though everything has been switched up to suit the local tastes. From the invention of the ‘flat white’, a coffee whose origin is as hotly contested between New Zealand and Australia as the legendary pavlova, to the delicate cakes known as friands.
Friands began life as the French ‘financiers’ small, rich, gold-bar shaped cakes. As the story goes, a cook working in Australia wanted to make financiers, but didn’t have the properly shaped moulds – he or she used small oval aspic moulds, and the friand was born. While financiers are eaten plain, friands are always flavoured, usually with berries, as in today’s recipe: Raspberry and Almond Friands.
In Australia, buying a tin to make these in is as simple as popping out to your local Woolworths or Kmart, not the case when you live abroad. Luckily enough, you can use a standard-sized muffin tin instead, which gives perfectly acceptable results. I’ve made these friands with raspberries and almonds, but you can mix and match the flavours to suit what is in season. Blueberry and lemon, blackberry and hazelnut, or even chocolate chip all work beautifully.
Make sure to grease the muffin tin extra well, to ensure that the friands don’t stick. If you find they are stuck to the sides, don’t panic! Loosen them gently with a small, sharp knife. These delicious cakes will keep several days, well covered in a cool, dry place. The recipe makes 6, though you can double it or triple it to suit your needs.
Have you tried friands before? What’s your favourite flavour? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to give this recipe a star rating if you like it!
Take care out there, and happy baking. x J
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- 75g unsalted butter
- 125g powdered sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 75g ground almonds
- pinch of salt
- 3 egg whites (see notes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 12-16 raspberries
- 2 Tbsp flaked almonds
- 2 tsp pistachios, finely chopped
Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F /Gas 4. Melt the butter in s small saucepan, and generously brush a 6-hole standard muffin tin or friand tin (see notes) with a little of the butter. Place the tin in the freezer for 2 minutes, then brush again with butter. Place in the fridge while you continue the recipe.
Sift the sugar and flour together into a large mixing bowl, then stir through the almonds and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites just until they are light and fluffy, only a minute or two, it is not necessary to whip them to soft peaks. Stir the egg whites into the dry ingredients, then pour in the melted butter and vanilla, mixing gently, until combined.
Divide the mixture between the cups of the muffin tin, place 2-3 raspberries on each and a pinch of the flaked almonds. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out to a rack to cool completely. If you need to loosen the friands from the side of the tin at all, use a thin, sharp knife to loosen, then twist gently before turning out.
Friands can be eaten warm, but are much better served at room temperature, dusted lightly with powdered sugar. Will keep in a covered container for several days and they get better as they go on! If you have a larger muffin tin or friand tin, simply double the recipe.
Save the egg yolks! They are great for making mayonnaise, creme brulee or custard!
A ‘standard’ muffin tin holds 75ml of liquid in each cup - the sort you would use for small cupcakes. A friand tin is an Australian invention and combines the shape of the origin aspic mould with the ease of a muffin tin. Outside of Australia you can get them online at Amazon or Ebay.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 311Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a ‘standard’ muffin tin? What is a friand tin and where can I buy one?
A ‘standard’ muffin tin holds 75ml of liquid in each cup – the sort you would use for small cupcakes. A friand tin is an Australian invention and combines the shape of the origin aspic mould with the ease of a muffin tin. Outside of Australia, you can get them online at Amazon or eBay.
What can I do with my leftover egg yolks?
I’m glad you asked! It is a great shame to let egg yolks go to waste. I like to use them to whip up a batch of creme patisserie or custard. Or you can make delicious pasta, creme brûlée or sweet chilli mayonnaise! Don’t let them go to waste!
Can I make friands with other fruit?
Friands are a fantastic way to use up whatever soft fruit is in season. They are especially good with berries, stone fruit or figs.
Can I make friands gluten-free?
You sure can! Just replace the very small amount of flour with gluten-free flour.