I remember way back circa 2010 when I, along with the rest of the baking world, was obsessed with cupcakes. Sweet fluffy sponge topped with an even sweeter buttercream before being embellished with everything from sprinkles to caramel to chunks of chocolate bars. Perfect individual treats, there was no escaping the over decorated cupcake . It’s been quite a while since I’ve made one and I now find myself drawn to more understated cakes that aren't sitting under inches of frosting.
That’s where friands come in. More specifically, these brown butter, blueberry and white chocolate friands. Super popular in Australia, but less well known over in the UK they have a crisp exterior and a light, moist interior. Friands have fast become a favourite of mine and a more sophisticated big sister to the cupcake. They are incredibly easy to make – a quick mix of ground almonds, flour icing sugar, egg whites and melted butter and they’re baked in minutes. I think the simplicity of them speaks volumes. In terms of decoration, here, less is definitely more. A light dusting of icing sugar is all that’s needed and I love that you still get those plump blueberries peeping through the surface.
I used a friand tin to give them that traditional oval shape which I think really adds to their charm but you could easily use a cupcake or muffin tin instead. Be sure to grease the holes well to avoid them sticking!
So, if like me, you're over cupcakes, give these a go and let me know how you find them.
R E C I P E
140g Unsalted Butter
100g Ground Almonds
50g Plain Flour
130g Icing Sugar
5 Egg Whites
80g White Chocolate, chopped
M E T H O D
Grease a friand or cupcake tin with butter and preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/160C Fan
Brown the butter by heating it in a saucepan over medium heat and cooking until the butter turns golden brown and it smells sweet and nutty. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside to cool.
Sift together the flour, almonds and icing sugar and set aside. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and pour into the flour mix. Fold until combined.
Stir in the cooled butter and add in the white chocolate and blueberries leaving a few behind to go on top. Mix to combine and spoon into the friand or cupcake tin. Top each friand with a couple of blueberries and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let them cool before removing from the tin and dusting with icing sugar.