Having enjoyed Friands when I have made them previously I thought I would attempt a variation today and see how they turned out. For the variation I thought of Mandarin oranges, or Satsumas as they may be known in some places. I love mandarins, the sweet, and sometimes slightly tart, very juicy citrus fruit. They are very popular here at Christmas, but are available all year round these days.
Friands are becoming popular in some places, but are best known in Australia and New Zealand and are related, or they should be, to Financiers from France. Made with ground almonds and egg whites, with melted butter they are very moist and delicious. They are also ideal for trying in different flavour combinations.
So my idea of putting Mandarin zest and juice in the friands and adding a segment of the mandarin on the top was not an entirely wild idea.
Happily they turned out very well indeed, so moist and flavoursome, with the added juicy segment and a nice iced top to them too. They are great with tea or coffee, and are very easy to make, taking almost no time at all.
For mine I used the juice from 4 mandarins which was just about 100ml, and one additional mandarin for the 12 segments I needed.
- 175g ground almonds
- 225g icing sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 185g melted butter
- 6 egg medium egg whites(would be large in USA
- Zest of 3 mandarins, finely grated
- 100ml mandarin juice (from 3 or four mandarins)
- 100g caster sugar
- 12 segments from one mandarin orange
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F
- Grease a friand pan, or a muffin pan.
- In a large bowl place the ground almonds and sift in the icing sugar and plain flour.
- Stir the bowl to mix all the dry ingredients.
- Add the mandarin zest and mix to spread evenly in the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy, but not soft peaks.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of mandarin juice and the egg whites.
- Stir in until combined into a thick batter.
- Add the cooled, melted butter and stir in until fully combined.
- The batter will now be of a runny consistency.
- Divide into the friand/muffin pan evenly.
- Gently place one segment of mandarin into the batter in each hole of the tin.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.
- Take the caster sugar and the remaining mandarin juice and place it is a saucepan and bring to the boil, dissolving the sugar.
- Simmer gently until the syrup begins to thicken slightly then remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
- Brush some of the thickened syrup onto each of the cooled friands and leave to set before serving(you could use a spoon to just trickle it on).