I have been meaning to make Friands for about two years. As far as I can tell they are essentially the big cousins (on steroids) of those tiny, delicate morsels, French Financiers, invented all the way over in Australia.
I do love a Financier. The last time I was in Paris, the first thing I bought and scoffed was a clutch of them at the airport.
And I did invest in a beautiful Friand baking tin some time ago, and though I have used it for Little Pistachio Cakes (you can find the recipe in BBC Good Food Magazine) I have never used it for its original purpose. Until today.
The recipe for these, from Eat, Little Bird popped up on my Facebook feed a while ago and I saved it for when I had the time. I know that my friend, Jo, at Every Nook and Cranny is also a little obsessed by these little cakes, and I would very much to try one of her recipes in the near future.
Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, I baked a Gâteau à la crème from a recipe that I found by Raymond Blanc in delicious. magazine. The recipe required a lot of egg yolks and I was left with a number of egg whites. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out the Friands and to use up some of those egg whites.
It really is a super simple method and quick to make. I took some photographs of the stages of the recipe.
There was minimum preparation with washing and chopping the rhubarb, then measuring everything else out.
I whisked the egg whites until firm but not dry.
Once the egg whites, melted butter and mixture of flour, icing sugar and ground almonds were gently mixed together I loaded up the buttered Friand pan and gently pushed in the prepared rhubarb.
I baked mine for the full 25 minutes and was delighted when they come out of the oven, though I had expected a little more rise. Perhaps my tin size is slightly bigger than Eat, Little Bird’s.
They tasted fabulous: a great combination of sweet vanilla and tart and fruity rhubarb. They were more dense than I was expecting and a little chewy. I wondered if this was caused by adding the butter after the egg whites or maybe I had over worked the mixture, and Thanh from Eat, Little Bird and I had a good chat about it on Instagram.
Of course, this combination of me loving the taste of them and not being sure if I got the texture correct only means one thing: I shall be experimenting with Friands again, and probably very soon.