Friands are almond mini cakes, a version of the classic Financier mini cakes. Both types are made with butter, egg whites, almond meal, powdered sugar and a small amount of flour. The major difference between the two types is in the butter: while in the Friands melted butter is used, the Financier is made with brown butter.
Another difference lies in their shape: the Friands can be baked in any mold, while the classic Financiers are traditionally baked in rectangular molds. The story is that the resemblance of the rectangular golden cakes to a gold bar, is what gave them their name.
The term Friand in French is not used solely to describe these cakes, but also to describe a gourmet (person), and a meat pie! However, for our purposes, it is suffice to know that Friands are very tasty and very easy to make.
Pairing the tiny cakes with Lemon curd is only a serving suggestion, though a very tasty one. It is also quite practical, as it puts the remaining egg yolks into good use, so it’s a win-win situation! Try it and enjoy.
* In the recipe here, I’ve decided to bake the cakes in a mini Bundt pan. If you don’t have one, you can use a mini muffin pan instead.
* I’ve also decided to add Cardamom powder to the batter, as I find it works very well with almonds. However, if you’re not a fan of cardamom, you can omit it, or use any other warm spice, such as ginger or cinnamon, instead.
Makes: 12 mini Bundt cakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 12 minutes
1 stick (115 grams) butter
3 L egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup flour
1 tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Melt the butter and keep in a warm place. Use a bit of the butter to brush the pan and sprinkle it with a bit of flour. Turn upside down and tap on the pan, to get rid of excess flour. Place the pan in the fridge until using.
2. Mix the egg whites and vanilla in a large bowl, and whisk for about one minute, until large bubbles appear. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until frothy, about 1 minute.
3. Add the rest of ingredients and mix briefly to a fairly liquid batter. Use a measuring cup to divide the batter evenly between the baking cups.
4. Bake for 12 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave in the pan for a minute. Place a large tray on top of the baking pan and turn it upside down, to release the cakes. Place on a rack and let cool to room temperature before serving. Serve as is, or with Lemon Curd and fresh berries.
* This Lemon Curd is not as thick as most curds, which is exactly what makes it prefect for serving as a sauce with the Friands. If you’re looking for a thick spread type of lemon curd, double the amount of butter.
Makes: 1 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 large lemon
3 L egg yolks, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2½ oz (70 grams) butter, soft (see notes)
1. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Fill a medium pot halfway with water, bring to the boil and lower the heat to medium.
2. Zest the lemon and measure 1 Tbs. Juice the lemon and measure ¼ cup.
3. In a medium heatproof bowl (that can sit comfortably on top of the pot), mix the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Place over the pot and whisk for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture warms up. Add the butter, a bit at a time, and whisk until it melts and the mixture is warm and glossy.
4. Add the lemon zest and mix. Place the bowl in the one with the ice water. Whisk occasionally, until the curd cools down and thickens a bit. The curd can keep, in a jar in the fridge, for about 2 weeks.