Friands are an almond based cake, usually baked in a special pan, but that can also be made in a muffin pan too.
They are a very popular in Australia and New Zealand, and are becoming increasing popular elsewhere.
They are a soft, moist cake and are very similar in texture to Financiers, though they are easier to make as the butter doesn’t have to be browned as is the case for Financiers.
In fact Friands are very easy to make and don’t take very long. They are also very adaptable, being able to take on any flavour combinations that you might wish to try. I have made several different versions in the past and they were all very good.
Although ground almonds is the usual base for Friands they can be made with ground hazelnuts too, which imparts an entirely different flavour.
The use of lemon zest in the cake batter and and addition of sultanas each provide a lovely flavour. In the case of the sultanas they also provide another texture too.
The usual shape of friands is oval, made using a special pan. However those pans are not so readily available and many people will not have one. That doesn’t really matter, though, since a slightly smaller version can be made in a muffin pan.
Often some fruit, such as blueberries or raspberries are dropped onto the top of the batter once the pans are filled. But for this recipe I wanted to mix the sultanas into the batter as well. So, unusually for friands, I decided to rest the batter in the fridge for an hour to allow the liquids to be absorbed more and the batter to thicken.
Then, after tossing some of the sultanas into a little flour I stirred them into the batter and they suspended quite well.
Of course, it is not necessary to chill the batter for an hour, it can be used immediately if desired.
I baked my friands for 22 minutes, for those in the muffin pan and for 25 minutes for those in the friand pan. The results were very good indeed, with the top and sides caramelising somewhat as expected. The inside of the friands remained moist, just as they should be.
Although the friands have a slight crust on them, after baking, that crust softens when they are stored in an airtight container. They are very tasty indeed eaten as soon as they are cooled, but I really prefer to eat them on the second day, when they have softened and begin to be, very slightly, sticky.
My friands turned out very well indeed and I have to say they didn’t last very long at all. I baked the muffin pan version for 22 minutes and the larger friand pan version for 25 minutes.
For another recipe you might like to try my Chocolate & Raspberry Friands which are also very good indeed.
This recipe, for Raspberry Financiers is good too, made in a muffin pan rather than a special mould.
Lemon & Sultana FriandsCourse: CakesDifficulty: Easy
150g(1 1/2 cups) ground almonds
225g(2 cups minus 1 tbps) icing sugar
50g(1/3 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
6 medium egg whites(large in USA)
185f(13 tbsp + 1 tsp) unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool
zest from 3 lemons
5 ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract
50g(1/3 cup) sultanas, with 1/4 of them retained to place on top.
1 -2 tbsp extra flour to toss the sultanas in.
- Thoroughly butter the base and sides of a muffin pan or a friand pan.
- Soak the sultanas for 10 minutes in very hot water. Then drain and pat dry with paper towel.
- Place the flour, almonds, icing sugar and zest into a large bowl and stir around to thoroughly combine.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are nice and frothy.
- Pour the egg whites into the dry mixture and fold in until a thick batter is formed.
- Add the melted butter and fold in until fully combined, this will take a few minutes.
- Cover the batter with plastic wrap and chill for one hour(if you don’t wish to wait you can preheat the oven and bake right away).
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/390F.
- Toss 3/4 of the sultanas in a little flour and then stir them into the batter.
- Spoon the mixture into the thoroughly greased muffin pan or friand pan, until the mixture is about 1/2 below the rim.
- Place the remaining sultanas onto the top of the batter.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cakes are risen and are springy to the touch. A skewer poked into the centre should come out clean.
- Remove the friands from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.