Valentine’s day is around the corner and Sugar and Crumbs called on their band of bloggers to try their newest flavoured icing sugars and try to create something special to celebrate it. I received some sample bags to play with and as the flavours weren’t what the greeting card companies tell us are traditional (chocolate, strawberry, champagne) I had to get my thinking cap on. Whilst my favourite colour has to be pink and I am a hopeless girly, romantic sort of lass, I do realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea so I jumped first at the bag of blueberry flavoured icing sugar and these friands are the result.
If you have never made a friand before, perhaps because you don’t have the tin, then I urge you to run to your muffin tin and get baking! Yes, the oval shaped tins I have are elegant and classical for these French-Australian little bakes (it’s hard to be sure where they originated from) but honestly, just use a muffin pan or even mini loaf tins would work just great. The only thing to remember is to grease them very well as these little cakes aren’t baked in paper liners and you want to be able to realise them easily once baked. Friands are classically made with icing sugar rather than caster or granulated so using a flavoured icing sugar is a great way to get extra flavour into them.
The flavoured icing sugars Sugar and Crumbs have been pioneering over the last year or so are really very good. Using them in meringues, macarons and buttercream toppings is the obvious way forward and they work very well in those (I think a very romantic option for dessert on Valentine’s day would be blueberry meringues made into an Eton mess with fresh berries and whipped cream but I wanted to try and think a little outside the box for this post). The blueberry one is a subtle berry flavour, quite jammy rather than the essence of blueberry itself. I always think that blueberries are the actual taste of the colour blue, if such a thing could be true. This flavoured sugar helps enhance your bake and round out the flavour of the fruit. So why not share a batch of these sweet treats with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day? If you need to indulge your penchant for pink, you can always buy a heart shaped balloon to tie to a basket filled with these <3
- 250ml egg whites
- 250g blueberry flavoured icing sugar (or just plain icing sugar)
- 125g ground almonds
- 100g plain flour
- ½tsp lemon extract or zest of half a lemon
- 160g butter, melted
- 200g frozen or fresh blueberries (don’t thaw frozen ones)
- *= I use Two Chicks pasteurised egg whites for friands, as you need a lot and they are excellent quality. You can substitute 6 large egg whites if you wish. One carton will make two batches of these delicious friands.
- Grease your friand tin with soft butter and preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Whisk together the icing sugar, flour, lemon extract or zest and almonds in a big bowl.
- Whisk your egg whites until frothy – you don’t need soft peaks or anything like that.
- Fold the eggs into the dry ingredients.
- Fold in the melted butter and about ¾ of the berries – ensure the butter is just incorporated before spooning into your prepared tin.
- Stud the extra berries on top of your berries, two or three per cake.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen, browned and a skewer comes out clean from the centre of a friand, avoiding the berries.
- Cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then remove to sit on a rack to cool. They will be a little more fragile due to the soft fruits compared to other friand recipes on this blog. I use a small flexible plastic knife to ease them out of their moulds.
- Note – you may use a muffin pan instead of a friand tin but you’ll probably have more mixture than you need to make twelve.