Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sour Cherry and Orange Friands

Friands are almond patisserie popular in Australia, which very closely resemble the french financiers. They are both small cakes made with ground almonds, slightly crisp outside and softly chewy in the centre. However, there are hundreds of variations on the friand recipe, fruit, chocolate and other nuts being added to make different flavours, whereas the financier usually remains plain. The other main difference is the shape; friands are small ovals, financiers are rectangular in order to resemble gold blocks, hence the name.

You don't need a special friand tin, these work well in small muffin tins too.

185g unsalted butter
6 medium egg whites
225g icing sugar
75g plain flour
125g ground almonds
Finely grated zest of one large orange
170g bottled sour cherries, drained.

Preheat the oven to 200C, putting in a baking sheet to warm. Melt the butter over a low heat. Using a pastry brush, generously brush a 12-bun muffin or friand tin with some of the butter. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are foamy. They don't have to form peaks, you just want them frothed up. Sieve over the icing sugar and plain flour and scatter over the almonds, orange zest and cherries. Fold them in with a spoon, then mix in the rest of the butter until it is completely combined into the batter. Divide equally into the tins, then place in the oven on top of the baking sheet. Cook for around 20 minutes until they are lightly browned on top. These are best eaten on the day they are made.

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