Apple Crumble Christmas Friands

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These little cakes would make a delicious and light alternative Christmas dessert, for those of you who are not into fruitcake or steamed pudding. A lightly spiced cake, with little chunks of soft juicy apple throughout, what makes these special is the sweet, crisp and crunchy crumble topping. The light dusting of icing sugar gives the crumble a dramatic and defined appearance, which makes them look quite impressive.

A friand is a small oval cake originally from France. The texture is quite different to a muffin or a cupcake. They are a small dense cake with a crisp, slightly chewy texture on the outside and the almond flour/meal creates a dense, rich and moist texture on the inside.

Friands are best eaten fresh on the day of baking, as on the second day they loose their crispness on the outside, but they are still very enjoyable. If you don’t have a friand tin, you can use a muffin tin instead.

When recipes only require egg yolks, I freeze the egg whites in zip lock bags. I label each bag with the date and how many I’ve put into each bag and whether they were large or extra large eggs.

For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and the icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.

Recipe Update: I’ve realised that an ⅛ teaspoon of xanthan gum was accidentally left out of the crumble topping ingredients. I do sincerely apologise if you have made this recipe and the crumble topping was too delicate.

Makes 12 Friands

Ingredients
Crumble Topping
Dry

36g (1.3 ounces or 4 tablespoons) superfine brown rice flour
32g (1.1 ounces or 4 tablespoons) superfine white rice flour
33g (1.2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) potato starch
28g (1.0 ounces or 4 tablespoons) cornstarch
33g (1.2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) light muscovado sugar
36g (1.3 ounces or 3 tablespoons) vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) baking powder
A large pinch of ground nutmeg
A large pinch of ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) xanthan gum
Wet
84g (3.0 ounces or 6 tablespoons) gluten and dairy free butter
Friands
Dry
112g (4.0 ounces or 1 cup) almond flour/meal
180g (6.3 ounces or 1¼ cups) pure icing sugar
44g (4.6 ounces or ⅓ cup) superfine white rice flour
24g (0.8 ounces or 3 tablespoons) tapioca starch
21g (0.7 ounces or 3 tablespoons) corn starch
2 teaspoons (10ml) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
A large pinch of ground cloves
A large pinch of ground nutmeg
Wet
168g (5.9 ounces or ¾ cup) gluten and dairy free butter
5 large eggs whites, at room temperature
Stir Through
1 red eating apple, finely chopped I used the Pink Lady variety
Other
Pure icing sugar to dust over the friands

To make the crumble topping, sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like rough breadcrumbs, refrigerate until needed.

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Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a 12-hole friand tin with melted butter. It’s very important that you grease the tin well otherwise they’ll stick!

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and then set aside to cool.

Sift all the dry ingredients together 3 times and set aside. The extra sifting will result in a lighter cake.

Add the eggwhites to a bowl, and then, using a handheld mixer, beat until they’re light and frothy.

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Pour in the cooled butter 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, followed by the chopped apple.

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My bowl has a spout, so I can easily pour the batter into the prepared tin. If your bowl doesn’t have a spout, then spoon the batter into the tin. Pour in enough batter to approximately fill each hole to just under ¾ full.

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Remove the crumble topping from the refrigerator and generously sprinkle evenly over each cake.

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Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for approximately 23-25 minutes, until they are lightly golden in colour.

Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes. Use a small palette knife to carefully loosen the cakes from the sides of the tin. Then place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

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Once cool, use a fine mesh sieve to lightly dust the icing sugar over the friands.

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

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