Cupcakes are over, cronuts are confusing, but the friand is pretty hot on the baking scene right now
What’s a friand and why should we care? Here’s the lowdown on these sweet eats.
So, what are they again?
Basically, they're posh muffins. Friands are rich, dinky little cakes, made with ground almonds and egg whites. They’re pretty much the same as financiers (another tasty little French sponge), only friands are typically oval, while financiers are rectangular (so called because they resemble bars of gold).
What’s so good about them?
They’re small and dainty (which means you can eat more than one), sweet and moist and, thanks to the ground almonds, a bit more substantial then your usual muffin.
Are they on trend?
They're very big with foodies in Australia so, like flat whites, cold press coffee and barbecues, we’re guessing it’s only a matter of time before everyone cottons on over here and we’re hit by a friand frenzy.
How do you make them?
Friand fanatics will say you need a special tin, but an ordinary muffin tin will also do. After that it’s plain baking – the batter is typically mixed in one bowl and the basic recipe only has five ingredients. Hurrah for that.
But you never have egg whites, right?
Aha. Whenever you're making egg yolk rich recipes (like custard, crème brûlée, cappuccino trifles or chocolate pots), save two or three whites in a bag for quick thawing when the friand mood takes you.
Traditionalists may not approve, but pfff... Use any ground nut you like (they are your friands after all) – ground pecan, walnut, pistachio, cashew; anything except macadamia nuts as they’re too oily. Browned butter (butter cooked until brown then cooled) is a nice twist too, and enhances those nutty flavours.
Fancy giving it a go?
Then cook one of our top five friand recipes below...
Like this? Then try these:
- Babka is the new black: why it's time you got acquainted with Jewish baking
- The best naked cakes ever made
- The Cronut creator is bringing a bakery to London
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