I have only made friands once before and I was disappointed with how they turned out, because I left them in the oven for only a few minutes too long and some were scorched.
So I decided to have another go. This time they were perfect !!
I also decided to buy a friand tin, which makes the nice little oval cakes. I used a muffin tin last time which was perfectly fine but I fancied doing the job properly. In any case, a girl can never have too many cake tins (or shoes).
This proved to be a challenge. I looked in all the cookware shops locally and nobody had any or had even heard of them. So I Googled it and sure enough the first names to come up were Amazon and Lakeland.
They didn’t have any either. So I did a bit more digging and found one at siliconemoulds.com. This company supplies silicone moulds in all shapes and sizes and Sarah-Jane, the manager, also writes a great baking blog, which you can check out here.
Friands are made with ground almonds and icing sugar and hardly any flour. You make a froth of egg white, stir it into the dry ingredients, pour into the greased moulds and sprinkle the fruit on top.
They are incredibly quick and easy to make.
I had never used a silicone baking “tin” before. I always had the feeling that putting anything that thin and floppy in a hot oven just didn’t seem right, never mind entrusting your precious cake mixture to it.
In the recipe it said use a “generously buttered” tin so to make absolutely certain my friands were not going to stick, I melted some butter and brushed it into the moulds, giving a good coating.
The recipe also said it would make six cakes but the mould had eight holes so I buttered all of them, just in case. I used my ice-cream scoop to fill the holes evenly and the mixture made seven exactly. As the mould was floppy, my instinct told me to place it on a baking tray in the oven.
When they were in the oven I watched them like a hawk – I was determined not to burn them this time. They turned out beautifully – in all ways. They looked great, tasted delicious and I was most impressed with the silicone mould. They all came out clean as a whistle.
Next time I need a new baking tin (there must be some shapes and sizes I haven’t got already) I will definitely consider a silicone one.
BLUEBERRY AND LEMON FRIANDS
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
125g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
25g plain flour
85g ground almonds
3 medium egg whites
1 unwaxed lemon, grated rind only
Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 180ºfan. Generously butter a six-hole friand or muffin tin.
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the almonds and, using your fingers, mix everything together.
Whisk the egg whites until they make a light, floppy foam. Make a well in the dry ingredients, tip in the egg whites and lemon rind. Add the melted butter and lightly stir to make a soft batter.
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and sprinkle the blueberries on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown and firm to the touch.
Cool in the tins for 5 minutes. Then turn out and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.