Here in New Zealand, we love our friands (pronounced ‘free-yon’) – a small oval shaped French cake made with ground almonds and egg whites.
They’re related to the financier, though friands are apparently larger and not made with brown butter. They’re popular in New Zealand cafes largely because they can be easily adapted to be gluten-free (as I’ve done here) and are often about the only sweet thing on offer for gluten-sensitive patrons.
But gluten-free or not, I love them simply because they taste good – the crisp, caramelized exterior and soft buttery almond interior is a sensational combination. I love this recipe for Blueberry & Lemon Friands from Coles in Australia – the blueberries and lemon zest is an unbeatable combination.
I’ve used the recipe a few times now and each time the friands have turned out really well. They’re easy to make and the perfect treat to whip up in a hurry. I’ve made no adaptations, other than to include the option of using gluten-free flour, as I’ve found that both regular and gluten-free flours work equally well. Enjoy!
- 1/2 (45g) cup plain or gluten-free flour
- 1-1/2 cup (198g) pure icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- 1 Tbsp lemon rind, finely grated
- 150g (5.2 oz) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 200g (7 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 150g (5.2 oz) blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 5 egg whites, lightly beaten with a fork
- Extra icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Lightly grease a 12-hole non-stick friand or medium sized muffin pan.
- Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl then add the rind and almond meal (ground almonds). Stir to combine evenly and make a well in the centre.
- Add the egg whites and butter to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined; do not over-beat.
- Gently fold through blueberries (don't over-mix or the batter will turn blue!).
- Spoon mixture into the prepared pans (fill to about 3/4's full as they rise) and bake for 25-30 mins (with deeper pans, mine took 40 minutes) until well risen and golden brown (it's important to get a good colour on them, as you want them to be crisp on the outside) and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave the friands in the pans for 5 mins then carefully lift out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve friands dusted with icing sugar.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting