This is one of those recipes that I had forgotten about. I went through a phase of making friands (or financiers, they’re really the same thing) regularly until a couple of years ago then for some reason forgot all about them. Which is a pity because they’re dead easy to make, take hardly any time from mixing bowl to serving dish, are very versatile and perfectly delicious.
They’re a kind of frangipane style of little bun, made traditionally in the oval mould for friands or oblong moulds for financiers. They also work perfectly well made in a muffin tin, as long as you don’t overfill the holes so that they remain fairly shallow.
I was looking at a few slightly tired strawberries in the fridge and a lonely orange in the fruit bowl and thinking about what I could do with them so as not to waste them and friands sprung to mind. Very odd.
They’re a nice little mouthful or two – much like a modest slice of cake and less filling than a muffin – and they always go down well with visitors. That might be because many people have never heard of them before and they’re curious to try them. Once tasted, few people can resist the combination of almonds and fruit.
Of course, having used up the strawberries and the orange I was then left with three unused egg yolks so now I have to think of a way not to waste them! Oh well, there’s always Lulu – she has cheesy egg most days for her breakfast!
100g unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
25g plain flour
85g ground almonds
3 medium egg whites
grated rind of one orange
4-5 strawberries, thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180° fan. Butter an 8-hole friand or financier tin, or a muffin tin.
Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Stir in the ground almonds.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until you have a light, floppy foam.
Make a well in the flour mixture. Add the egg whites, orange rind and melted butter and mix gently until well combined.
Divide evenly between the holes of the prepared tin or mould. Drop a pair of strawberry slices on top of each one.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown and firm to the touch.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Makes 8 friands.