These heavenly little pillows of sweetness have been present at many an afternoon tea, bridal shower, baby shower and birthday celebration. I’ve made them countless times! They are perfect for that small, sweet hit in the afternoon with a cup of tea or if you aren’t much of a sweet tooth and avoid the big, flashy, creamy numbers in a celebratory dessert spread.
They are also a little like Pringles – if you’re not careful, you could easily find yourself downing these in a couple of sittings. If you’re a Buddhist, you might believe that an object of temptation such as this would lose its appeal after the first bite. I like the Mary Poppins philosophy: A thing of beauty is a joy forever!
5 egg whites
150 g butter, melted
1 cup (110 g) almond meal
1/3 cup plain flour
1 ¼ cups (200 g) icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
150 g fresh or frozen blueberries
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 180°C (with mine at 160°C, see ‘Crumbly Pear Teacake’). Grease a 24-hole mini-muffin pan or 12-hole friand pan. I have two mini-muffin pans and find that I use roughly 32 holes with this recipe. Be sure to grease the holes well as the cooked friands can be a nightmare to pry from their little homes.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until well combined and a foam has formed at the top. Add the melted butter, as well as the almond meal, sifted sugar and flour, and lemon zest. Whisk the ingredients together until just combined. Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared holes then place two or three blueberries on top of the batter in each hole. Friands are also delicious with raspberries or strawberries instead of blueberries and lemon.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven then leave the cooked friands in the pan for a few minutes. I then run the handle of a teaspoon around the edges of each friand to gently wriggle them out. Place them on a wire rack to cool then serve with a little icing sugar dusted over the top. I dare you to eat only one!