I thoroughly enjoy these sweet and moist little cakes. A friand is a small oval cake originally from France, with a moist delicate texture and flavour. These cakes are sold in many cafes here in Australia, although not all of them are gluten free.
They are made from whipped eggwhites and almond meal/flour, but I have chosen pecan meal to make these ones. You need very little flour to make them and you can flavour them with fresh blueberries, raspberries, citrus flavours, chocolate and nuts.
When a recipe calls for only egg yolks, I freeze the leftover eggwhites in zip lock bags, carefully labelling them with the date, how many I’ve put into a bag and whether the eggs were large or extra large.
The very first time I made them, I used a little too much butter and they were just a little oily for my taste. So the next couple of times I kept reducing the butter content until I was happy. Another handy tip is to use a bowl with a spout, this make it much easier to pour into the moulds in the tin.
Friand tins come in either 6 or 12-holes. The first time I made these I cooked them in my 6-hole tin, which is quite a lot cheaper and also thinner than my more expensive Raco 12-hole tin. By using the different tins, it did affect how the friands browned. However, you don’t need to specifically use a friend tin to make them, you can use a muffin tin or a mini loaf tin.
Update: This recipe now includes ounce and cup measurements. To make the conversions easier I have increased the pecan nuts by 5 grams, the icing sugar, potato starch and tapioca starch by 1 gram and I have reduced the butter by 3 grams. For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
90g (3.2 ounces or 1 cup) pecan nuts
126g (4.4 ounces or ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons) pure icing sugar (I use this brand)
32g (1.1 ounce or 4 tablespoons) superfine rice flour
16g (0.6 ounce or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) potato starch
16g (0.6 ounce or 2 tablespoons) tapioca starch
72g (2.5 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 2 teaspoons) gluten and dairy free butter
30ml (2 tablespoons) pure maple syrup
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) pure vanilla extract
9 pecan nuts
Preheat the oven to 160C and grease 9 out of the 12 friand holes.
Over a low heat, melt the butter and, once melted, stir through the maple syrup. Now set aside to cool.
In a small food processor, add the pecan nuts and blitz until quite finely ground, but don’t over process them otherwise you’ll end up with pecan butter.
Sift all the dry ingredients together 3 times and set aside. The extra sifting will result in a lighter cake.
In another bowl add the eggwhites and beat with an electric mixer until light and foamy.
Pour in the cooled butter, vanilla extract and add about half of the flour, gently folding through the eggwhites. When it is almost incorporated, you can then gently fold through the rest of the flour.
Pour the batter into the friend tin to about ¾ full
and then place a pecan on top in the centre. Half fill the empty holes with water, as this will ensure even cooking, and bake for 20 minutes.
Allow the friands to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before loosening them with a small palette knife and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8