There are cakes that are cute. There are those that you might call cosy. And there are most definitely cakes that are nothing other than indulgent. These Blueberry and Lemon Friands are what I call a grown-up cake. There's an elegance to them that's screaming to be paired with a rich, dark coffee or perhaps a glass of chilled champagne and at the very least, demanding a discreet corner at your next afternoon tea.
What is a friand?
A friand is a delicate almond-based cake, known as a financier in France and also very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Traditionally, they are made in oval moulds but let's keep that to ourselves, not least because we are all fairly unlikely to have such niche moulds in our kitchen cupboards!
These cakes use egg whites as their raising agent and the inclusion of ground almonds provides a delicious texture that's chewy and moist.
What do you need to make these Blueberry and Lemon Friands?
- Unsalted butter - this is melted and cooled (so it's best to get the melting done before anything else)
- Plain flour - just a little
- Icing sugar - for sweetness
- Ground almonds - this is the source of the delicious texture that's chewy and moist
- Lemon zest - the background lemon flavour next to the almonds is gorgeous
- Egg whites - these are whipped up and provide the friands with their lightness
- Blueberries - I used 3 berries per friand, so a small punnet is more than enough
- Flaked Almonds - for sprinkling on top of the cakes
You will also need one or two 12-hole cupcake or muffin trays, well greased. I find that using a silicone tray is best here and means that no greasing is required.
How do you make them?
- Preheat the oven
- Melt the butter and allow it to cool
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients and the lemon zest.
- Whisk the egg whites to the stiff peak stage and fold them into the dry ingredients.
- Next lightly stir the cooled, melted butter into the mixture.
- Spoon evenly into the prepared cupcake trays and press a few blueberries into each one.
- Scatter the flaked almonds over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden and a little firm to the touch.
- Allow the friands to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
What do you need to know about making friands?
- A silicone cupcake or muffin tray definitely works best here and avoids the cakes sticking.
- I used a silicone cupcake tray and this recipe quantity made 16 friands. If you have a muffin tray, you will perhaps produce a smaller number of slightly larger friands, which may take a little longer to cook.
- These elegant little cakes are also delicious made with other summer berries such as raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants or blackcurrants. Adjust the number of berries that you press into each friand depending on the size of the berry.
- The friands are delicious served warm from the oven but will also keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
- They look really pretty dusted with icing sugar just before serving, but be sure to do this at the last minute as the dusting disappears into the cake after a while.
The combination of lemon, blueberry and almond here is really special and I'm sure that you'll enjoy these Blueberry and Lemon Friands - an elegant cake to accompany your next afternoon cuppa ♡
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