Pack these for a picnic, serve them for afternoon tea or enjoy them for dessert.
Words: Extract from Nadia: A Seasonal Journal Photo: Rachael McKenna
Friands, small almond cakes often flavoured with fruit, have become a Kiwi café classic. Pack these for a picnic, serve them for afternoon tea or enjoy them for dessert with a spoonful of cream or Greek-style yoghurt on the side.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
⅓ cup caster sugar + extra to coat the moulds
1½ cups ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon
1½ teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)
5 medium free-range egg whites (or 4 large)
icing sugar to dust, optional
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Lightly grease 8 friand moulds with a little butter. If you don’t have friand moulds, use a medium-sized muffin tray. Add 1-2 tablespoons of caster sugar to one of the moulds and move it around so that the sugar sticks to the butter. Tip the remaining sugar into the bowl, then into the next mould, and continue until they are all done. The sugar coating helps the friand batter ‘climb’ up the sides for a higher, lighter friand.
In a small bowl or in the microwave, melt the butter and sugar together, stir until well combined, and then leave to cool on the bench.
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground almonds, lemon zest and poppy seeds if using, ensuring the ground almonds have broken up. Whisk egg whites with an electric beater in a separate glass or metal mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Save the egg yolks to make something else (e.g. carbonara, crème brûleé, custard etc).
Add the cooled, melted butter mixture and 1/3 of the egg whites to the ground almonds, using a large metal spoon to fold all the ingredients together. Add the remaining egg whites and continue folding until you have a uniform batter – it should be very light and foamy; don’t over-mix as you want as much air inside as possible.
Spoon into prepared friand tins, dividing the mixture equally and only filling 2/3 to 3/4 up the sides (as they will rise to the top when cooked). Top each one with 1-2 raspberries and lightly push them into the batter. Bake for 18-22 minutes until risen, light golden on top and just cooked through in the centre.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing with a blunt knife – they should pop out easily. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and dust with icing sugar if desired.
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