Sunday, 22 January 2012

Baking Sunday: Orange and Poppyseed Friands

                                      
As I've mentioned, I'm going through a mild mini-cakes obsession at the moment and one of my favourites to make is friands.  I've written about friands before with some different flavour combinations but I didn't mention their texture.  They have a firm texture whilst still retaining a tender crumb and as they're made with ground almonds they have a slight grainy bite to them.  It's quite fun to come up with new flavour and texture combinations and these orange and poppyseed friands are a classic combination. The orange syrup cuts through any richness in the cake and the poppyseeds and a satisfying crunch - they're delectable!  I also have a super tasty fig and walnut version, which is written after the main recipe.  

Another great thing about their texture is that they hold a shape well.  The ones pictured above were made in a rose silicon mould which I'd nearly written off as they destroyed nearly everything I'd made in them, with half of the mix still clinging onto the rose petals - I nearly jumped for joy when the whole batch of friands came out perfectly from the pan!  These buttery teacakes seem to be gaining popularity here in the UK so I'm hoping to see more of them in future.


Orange and Poppyseed Friands
(makes 10)


Ingredients:
180g of butter plus extra for greasing tins
75g plain flour, sifted
185g icing sugar
Zest from 3 oranges
150g ground almonds
3 tbsp of poppy seeds
5 egg whites
For the Syrup:
Juice from the 3 oranges
110g caster sugar
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.

2. Lightly butter 10 friand tins. Set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes until golden brown, taking care not to burn it. Cool slightly.
4. Whisk the flour, icing sugar, orange zest, almond meal and poppy seeds together in a mixing bowl.
5. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add whites to the dry ingredients along with the butter. Whisk gently until just combined.
6. Spoon batter into the tins. Bake until golden brown. Depending on the side of the tins, this may take from 10-15 minutes so keep an eye on the oven.
7. Allow to cool in the tin 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool further.
8. Whilst they are in the oven, make the syrup.  Combine the caster sugar and orange juice (up to 185ml) in a small saucepan.  Stir over a low heat until dissolved.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for ten minutes or until syrupy. 
9. Drizzle friands with syrup and allow to cool before eating. 

Friands without the syrup will keep in an airtight container for up to four days. 

Variation: Fig & Walnut Friands
Omit the zest and poppyseeds from the recipe, instead add 4 dried figs (sliced finely), 125g chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon of orange juice and 2 teaspoons of orange zest in Step 4.  Top each friand with a thin slice of fig before baking.  Instead of drizzling with syrup, lightly dust with icing sugar. 

6 comments:

Ed Kidder said...

I'm gonna have to step in and politely ask that you refrain from calling such teacakes by the dreadful name 'friand'. The day we defer to our colonial cousins in matters pastry is one I shall rue. It's bad enough having to acknowledge the bloody Gauls, but that's the hand we've been dealt. These almond/sugar/egg white confections are more properly referred to by their French sobriquet 'financier'. Putting a cow in a stable does not make it a horse; similarly a financier in an oval mould. Zut alors!

Victoria said...

Whatever you call them I'm drooling with anticipation! Liking the new blog look too!

Katey said...

Surely a financier by any other name would taste as sweet? Non? Ed, as I am one of those colonial cousins I've been calling them friands my whole life. I do agree though, financier is a much more appealing name. Strangely I have noticed that friand seems to be a more popular name with UK bloggers and cake makers - perhaps due to an influx of antipodean coffee shops/staff? We clearly need more people out there correcting us! ;-)

Katey said...

Thanks Victoria! I'm still working on blog design - wish it was easy to have what it is in my head to appear onscreen!

Lorna said...

I thought the word 'friand' made them sound very tempting. As for financiers, well, I can't help thinking about pinstripe suits, which, while appealing in some ways, isn't quite the same is it?

Katey said...

Lorna - I couldn't agree more! It kindof sounds like friends as well :-)

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