Friands – one of my favourite tea-time treats. These lovely little French almond cakes are also a firm favourite amongst New Zealand cafe-goers too, as they tend to be one of the few gluten-free cakes on offer.
The great thing about friand recipes is that they’re really quick to make – you don’t need any special equipment – just mix it all up in a bowl and pour into some pans to bake. While they’re traditionally made in friand pans, you can just as easily bake them in standard muffin pans or even mini-loaf pans.
Thanks to Food To Love.com.au for this great Chocolate & Orange Friands recipe. While the recipe does in fact use standard wheat flour, I substituted a gluten-free blend – so easy to do with friands. The cakes were beautifully soft and moist, with a delicious almond texture and flavour. Add to that the complementary match of dark chocolate and zesty orange and it was no surprise that every last one was hoovered up in no time at all. Enjoy!
CHOCOLATE & ORANGE FRIANDS
- 1 cup icing sugar plus extra, to dust
- 3/4 cup plain flour (I used a gluten-free flour blend)
- 1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
- 6 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 185 g butter, melted and cooled
- 100 g chocolate drops
- 1 medium orange
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a 12-hole friand tray.
- Sift icing sugar and flour into a large bowl. Stir in almond meal, then egg white and butter. Stir until combined and smooth.
- Fold in chocolate drops. Finely grate zest from orange, then stir into friand batter. Divide mixture among prepared holes.
- Peel orange and cut 5-6 (depending on how many friands you have) thin round slices from it, discarding seeds. Halve each slice, trim excess pith and lay the half slice on top of each friand.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted at centre comes out clean. Don’t worry if they crack a little; this is quite normal. Cool in tray for 5 minutes; turn onto a wire rack to cool.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Serve as is, or dusted with icing sugar.
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