Sweet! I want something sweet! And full of sunshine. I can no longer take the grey, grey sky that hangs so low over my head.
Friands remind me of Australia. Bright blue skys, rolling frothy seas, cliff walks, great breakfasts, and all of their wonderful cafés. We have many great Australian cafés in London now too, and the friands are popping up, but like everything, you really can’t beat making them at home. They are so simple and take a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare, and 12 – 15 minutes to bake. You will be stuffing your face with friands in no time, and your biggest problem will be trying not to eat them all.
I love a friand but I don’t need twenty of them squeaking at me from the kitchen - eat me! eat me! eat me! - 6 is too many but it is the least you can make so make sure that you can share them with someone, or some colleagues. Maybe you are not like me and have some self control, but I know that if there are 6 in the kitchen, then I can and will eat 6 of them. I will start with one, have a second, contemplate a guilty third, and from then on it is pure trauma as I try to battle their sirens call.
The recipe is simple. Based on the French financier, but using only egg white (which makes them so light), the friand is composed only of butter, sugar, egg white, flour and ground almonds with the fruit of your choice. I chose mango and lime today as there was the most gorgeous mangoes flirting with me from outside the window of my local Caribbean butcher. Divine. Lime gives it the perk it needs, and gives me that gentle hint of invisible sunshine, which I really need right now.
Friand tins can be hard to come by, use a muffin or fairy cake (cupcake) tin if you don’t have one. A financier tin will do nicely too.
Can’t eat dairy? Don’t worry! I tested a dairy free version too. It is super simple, just substitute the same amount of coconut oil for the butter, and the results are great. It would be very easy to make these gluten free too, as there is such a tiny amount of flour in there. Substitute the plain flour with the gluten free flour of your choice and off you go.
Recipe – Mango & Lime Friands
makes 5 large friands
3 large egg whites
25g plain flour
100g icing / confectioners sugar
75g ground almonds
100g butter (or 100g coconut oil for a dairy free version)
75g mango, peeled & chopped into small dice
zest of 1 lime, grated fine
extra icing sugar for dusting
butter or cocnut oil for greasing the tin
Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.
Prepare your friand (or muffin) tin by greasing with butter (or coconut oil if doing dairy free).
Sieve the flour & icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds and lime zest and stir through.
Whip the egg whites until fluffy but not stiff.
Melt the butter (or coconut oil) and add to the dry ingredients. Add the egg whites and stir through.
Fill your friand tin until just below the top. You want the friands to just pop over. Remember, there is no raising agent in this recipe so you can fill them up.
Divide your mango between the friands and pop them on the top, dipping them in, ever so slightly.
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. I find 12 minutes is perfect with my oven.
Allow to cool before removing very carefully with a palette knife or slim spatula.
Dust with a little icing sugar, and they are ready to go.