I’ve been a bit of a cake-baking machine recently to the point that I am almost over anything sweet (almost).
In one weekend of two birthdays, I managed to produce one birthday dinner, three birthday cakes (for two different occasions) and a warm lemon tart. I’m exhausted just thinking about it again.
It was all a bit stressful but everything turned out well in the end - even after a slight hitch where the top of one of the cakes resembled the gradient of a skate park. After levelling it off and covering it with chocolate frosting it looked fine.
All that activity pretty much explains the gap between the last post and this one. However at some stage in the last few weeks I was watching Masterchef Australia (how sad is it that my life was on hold between 4.30 and 5.30pm for two months during this time?) and there was a Masterclass on how to make the perfect friand. Remembering I’d bought a friand tin which had not been christened by actual friands, I decided to give it a go.
On a side note, I’m thinking there should be a cook along with Masterchef so it becomes more interactive and I don’t feel like a sloth on the couch who, as the credits roll, can’t be bothered thinking what to cook for dinner. What do you think?
As for the friands, well I don’t normally eat a lot of friands (auto-type keeps trying to correct it to “friends” and I have to say I don’t eat a lot of friends either!) but I can’t help thinking that these definitely tasted more “eggy” in a good way (no surprised there considering the amount of egg whites). It made me wonder if those I’ve had outside were really muffins in disguise, or maybe they used less eggs?
Apparently, according to Masterchef, friand is French for delicate. In my French dictionary it’s dainty and that’s how I see them – perfect to have with a cup of tea.
They are quick and easy to produce and I would probably make them more often if I didn’t have to plan what I was going to do with 8 egg yolks.
The original recipe is on the Masterchef website. I didn’t go down the whole route with the sticky raisin topping so the recipe below is slightly altered.
If you’re really pushed for time, just sprinkle unadulterated raisins (or even sliced, toasted almonds or lemon rind) on top.
Lemon & Raisin Friands
8 egg whites
120g ground almonds
120g standard flour, sifted
250g icing sugar, sifted
a pinch of salt
200g butter, melted
½ cup raisins
1 fruity flavoured tea bag
a splash of Limoncello
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease or spray a friand tin (use a muffin tin if you do not have a friand tin),
Lightly whisk the egg whites until frothy.
In another bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, icing sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg whites. Fold until well combined and the batter is smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Put raisins, tea bag and a splash of Limoncello in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes until raisins are plump. Remove from the heat and allow flavours to infuse for 15 minutes then drain the raisins.
Spoon the batter into the friand tin until three quarters full. Add a teaspoon or two of the raisins on top of each friand.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cold, dust with icing sugar.