Friands for friends

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One of my favourite episodes of Friends is the one when Phoebe and Rachel go running in Central Park. Phoebe has a unique running style that embarrasses Rachel. Phoebe runs like a child – arms and legs everywhere and without a care. It’s hilarious to watch and of course, makes you think about all the fun things you could get away with as a kid, like pirouettes or cartwheels in the middle of the street, or skipping through Autumn leaves.

These friands are definitely all grown up and perfect for sharing with friends, but as I discovered, are also very kid-friendly. They are a soft and moist, but densely crumbed almond cake, with an almost creamy texture. Friands are a delicious alternative to muffins and cupcakes and to boot, are a perfect way to use up egg whites if you don’t have the time to make macarons and don’t feel like pavlova. They freeze well too.

The recipe was modified from one I found on the excellent Exclusively Food web site and called for blueberries. I also had some cherries, which I removed the stones from and quartered and made half the friands with cherries instead.

Here comes the recipe!

Friands - blueberry and cherry

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Makes 10

Ingredients:

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • Whites from 4 eggs
  • 85 g almond meal
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 45 g plain flour
  • 25 blueberries (5 per friand) and 5 cherries (stoned and quartered)
  • Icing sugar, extra to dust

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced).
  • Set out 10 medium-sized paper cupcake holders on a baking tray, or lightly grease a friand tray.
  • Melt the butter and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
  • Sift the almond meal, icing sugar and plain flour into a bowl.
  • Lightly whisk the egg whites until they are frothy (but don’t let them thicken).
  • Add the flour, almond and sugar mixture to the egg whites and gently fold.
  • Add the melted butter and stir until just combined.
  • Spoon evenly into prepared paper cases, or into the holes of the friand tray. Place five blueberries per case on top of mixture (or one cherry that has been cut into quarters).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Dust liberally with icing sugar and serve.

Hints:

  • Store in an air-tight container in the fridge (can be frozen once cooled).
  • Serve at room temperature or warmed up in microwave.
  • Try not to have the theme song for Friends in your head while you eat them.

friands2

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