Friday, September 10, 2010

Food - Friands

As we are currently seeking a healthier diet we aren’t eating as many sweet things as we have in the past. I am a big fan of nuts and when we go out I will often have a friand. My favourite bakery on Glen Osmond Road – Jenny’s, does lovely friands.
I have been thinking for a while I should make some of those and this morning I dropped into the kitchen ware shop to see if they have received the crepe pan I ordered and also looking at cookie cutters because you can never have enough cookie cutters.

As I wandered the shop (HillBilly’s at Mt Barker), a bit like a junky looking for a fix there, on the shelf was a friand pan. Right next to that was a packet of paper linings for them. Well what could I do I had to have them. Then home again for a sleep (I am on midnight to eights this week). After my sleep I had to find a recipe for friands (In French Financiers) so I did what any modern girl would do and turned on the computer and cruised the net. I found a great recipe on for Lemon Curd Friands with Blueberries

These are made with just the egg whites and I hate to waste anything so I wanted to use the whole egg.

Joy of said Financiers (pronounced fee-nahng-syehr) are lovely French tea cakes that also go by the name Friands, which aptly means "dainty" or "tasty". Take a bite and you will be rewarded with the delicious flavor of caramelized butter and toasted almonds. Dorie Greenspan in her book Paris Sweets tells us that Financiers were first made in the late 19th century by a pastry chef whose shop was close to the Paris Stock Exchange. The location of his shop must have been influenced him as originally Financiers were baked in rectangular molds that were said to resemble bars of gold. Today you will find them baked in many shapes, including boat shaped tart molds, or even in small muffin tins.

There were a lot of other recipes from simple to complex and I really like easy so I came up with a mixture and did a taste test and here we are.

150grams butter or (weighed 150 g oil sunflower, macadamia, walnut)
50 grams gluten-free or ordinary plain flour
5 grams baking powder
5 tablespoons stevia or xylitol or 3/4 cup sugar (white or brown) or 1/4 cup maple syrup, honey or golden syrup
185g almond meal or any nut meal
3 eggs
Flavour options - see the notes I have given a range of options below remember though the possibilities are unlimited.

I made almond meal, blueberies,vanilla and cinnamon.

- You’ll need a 12 hole Friand or ½ cup muffin tray, lightly greased or lined with papers.

- Mix appropriate nut meal, sweetener or sugar, flour and flavouring (see notes at the end)

- In a bowl, beat the eggs until very frothy. I find the more you whisk, the lighter the end result. You can mix it until it looks like yellow meringue if you want too.

- Add to the flour mixture and fold in to combine. Stir in melted butter and flavour options

- Spoon the mix into the trays.

- Bake until golden. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes in a fan forced oven to 40 in a not so great oven. Touch the top gently when you think they are cooked and if you get a sticky bit then they aren't quite done just stick them back in the oven for another minute or two.
- Cool in the trays 10 minutes then take them out of the tins and place on cooling rack.
If you use honey or golden syrup instead of sugar melt it with the butter.
An ice cream scoop is handy to make each one even.
I like the consistency to be like a cake batter. I scoop up a big spoonful and hold it sideways over the bowl and if it holds for a second and then falls back into the bowl with some of it still on the spoon that is good. If the mixture looks is too wet to do this add a bit more nut meal or flour. Too dry add a tablespoon of water at a time and mix it through.

Flavour Variations
Oh the variety you can find on the net.

One of the traditional ways to make Friands/Financiers is with Buerre Noisette or brown butter Put 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted let it come to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally. As it boils you will notice that a foam will appear on the butter's surface. Continue to cook the butter until it looks clear and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of the pan and have turned deep brown. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. I don’t worry about straining out the little brown bits I think they add to the flavour. Make sure you don’t burn them black they should just be dark brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Chocolate - 1 heaped tablespoon of good cocoa reduce the flour by an equal amount.
½ Grated chocolate or substitute half the butter for melted chocolate. If you add melted chocolate add it with the butter. Hazelnut meal substituted for the almond is really great. You can drop a smidge of nutella (chocolate/hazelnut spread) and a whole hazelnut on top for real decadence.

Peanut butter – Substitute ½ cup crunchy peanut butter for ½ cup butter. Sprinkle peanuts on the top. You might need to cover with some foil if the peanuts look like they are going to burn.

Citrus - Grated Zest of 1 citrus – lemon, lime or orange. Lemon and currants is a particularly good flavour combination. I like to soak the currants in a little hot water for a while but it isn’t a necessity.

Spice options - ½ - 1 teaspoon depending on the spice. You will probably need only ½ teaspoon of Ground cloves.

Fruit – 100 grams berries or fruit of choice. Fruit should be chopped to about the size of a blueberry. You can use any fruit,cooked or uncooked, glace dried or fresh. Pear and ginger is a winner. If you use dried fruit they can be soaked in hot water, a liquer or fruit juice.

Jam - add ¼ - ½ teaspoon on top of each friand prior to cooking. Marmalade, lemon curd or any type of jam is fine. In the cafes it is always a smooth jam but there’s no reason not to use one with chunks of fruit. After filling the tins just spoon a little jam onto the top.

I hope you enjoy the friands as much as I do. Let me know if you make them I’d love to see your results.

1 comment:

Jules said...

Just catching up with all your posts, your blue project looks intriguing, I love the feather. The friands sound amazing, I have to try them, they are another new idea to me.