A ‘friand’ is a small almond cake flavored with fruit, nuts, citrus, seeds or anything that takes your fancy. Friands – pronounced ‘free-onds’, are popular in Australia, often seen in cafes & bistros. Why they’ve never gained popularity in the US is beyond me. I think people just don’t know about them here. Friands are mind-numbingly easy to make with ingredients you’re likely to have on-hand – butter, ground almonds, egg whites, a little flour & flavorings – & they’re absolutely delicious.Jump to Recipe
Friands are so good in fact, they really don’t need the adornment of Halloween-esque icing – a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, for the somewhat less enthused, & they’re done. Regardless of whether you ice these or not, they’re perfection – from the slightly chewy crusty outside to their moist interior. Sans icing, they’ll store better, if, dare I say, you happen to have any leftover. Currently there is a tray of them sitting on the kitchen counter. If they weren’t iced, they’d be wrapped & frozen, away from greedy eyes – ie: me!
A friand pan gives these little cakes they’re signature oval shape & some friand pans even have a pretty flower pattern on the bottom. If you’re living in the US, you can buy the pans online here. A regular muffin pan will work in a pinch, the recipe has been tested using both – take note the friands won’t be as thick & will take a little less time to cook if you’re using a muffin pan so set the timer for 5 to 7 minutes less. Cheers, Lovoni
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous – try this Lemon Curd Coconut Cake.
blueberry almond friands
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (6oz/170g/3/4 cup)
- 6 egg whites
- 1 2/3 cups confectioner’s sugar (icing)
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (plain)
- 1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 stick butter (2 oz/60g/1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (icing)
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk
- toasted sliced almonds for decoration optional
- Heat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 12-hole friand pan or 12-cup muffin pan (1/3 cup capacity).
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it’s melted, let it simmer for 5 minutes or until the butter is a nutty brown color (you can smell it as it’s reaching this stage). Remove from the heat & let cool slightly.
- Beat egg whites until frothy in a large bowl until they’re turning white & form medium-large bubbles. Add sugar, flour, ground almonds, blueberries, sliced almonds, extract & butter & fold to combine. Spoon mixture evenly between friand holes – about 2 dessert spoonfuls. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until the sides are golden-brown and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Let them stand in the pan for a few minutes while you make the icing.
To make the icing:
- Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the berries & let simmer, pressing on the berries with a spoon until they release their juices.
- Put the sugar into small bowl. Strain the butter mixture into the sugar using a fine metal sieve & press on the berries to release more juice; discard the berries. Add the cream & whisk until smooth & runny.
- Turn the friands onto a wire rack. Drizzle warm icing over warm friends & sprinkle with a few sliced almonds. Let stand until icing is set. Makes 12.