It may have been more than a month since my last recipe post, but this one is quite worth the wait. Introducing the Friand, a dainty little cake that's as synonymous with Australian cafe culture as the latte and yo-yo (see previous post). In fact, they're so common here that the swanky hipster cafes don't even stock them. For those who are unfamiliar, what makes these little cakes unique is their large almond-meal to flour ratio.
Friands originated from french cuisine and are also known as financier. These tiny cakes are light, moist and beautiful in their simplicity. I also like to think that they are moderately healthy given their composition of almond-meal and egg whites (although the addition of butter and sugar will inevitably cancel out that last statement). They are typically found in a assortment of berry and citrus flavours or sometimes simply plain.
I've had this idea of cutting love hearts out of strawberries ever since I was forced to get creative with feeding my toddler (oh, the joys of motherhood). Since friands also happen to be my mum's favourite treat, I thought, what better way to show love and appreciation than to embed little love hearts in them for her.
Strawberry Love Heart Friand
150g icing sugar
60g plain flour
120g almond meal
5 egg whites
Zest of one lemon
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease pan and lightly dust with flour.
2. Separate egg yolks and whites. Lightly froth egg whites
3. Heat butter on stove top over medium heat, let it bubble away till golden brown. Remove and keep warm.
4. While butter is bubbling away, zest one lemon and add to egg white.
5. Sift icing sugar and flour into a bowl then add in almond meal.
6. Make a well, gradually stir in the egg whites and heated butter. Combine till smooth.
7. Fill each friand till two thirds full. Insert strawberry halves or fruit of choice. Another alternative is to puree fruit and mix into batter.
8. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Insert skewer to check if it comes out clean.
9. Cool on a wire rack, dust with icing before serving.
*Recipe yields 12
*Any bar or loaf type pans can be used. Traditionally friands were known as little gold bars, but nowadays they come in all shapes and sizes. Best to stay away from any mould larger than a cupcake.
*Passionfruit, blueberry and nuts are all popular additions.
Don't forget my Madamoiselle Felee giveaway is still going on. It's open to international readers and ends Monday 24th September. Click here for more details.