I've never been much of a baker, nor really had a sweet tooth so I was slightly taken aback after I'd pressed the 'confirm' button on Ebay, having bought a silicone friand mould. Australian in origin, I've had them before at the excellent Kaffeine, and the fancy just took me.
Light and airy with the background flavour of almond, these are perhaps one of the easiest cakes I've made and the most tricky thing is buying the mould itself. With this as a base recipe, I'm looking forward to trying out variations of flavours. Most commonly, these seem to be topped with an icing of some sort or studded with summer berries but being rather out of season at the moment, I opted instead for a simple lemon and Earl Grey flavouring; the bergamot of the tea complemented the lemon well. They're pretty much the perfect size to snack on with a cup of coffee, while a dollop of creme fraiche, mascarpone or served warm with vanilla ice cream turns them into a more substantial dessert.
Lemon & Earl Grey Friands
3 Earl Grey teabags - I like Bellevue Tea most.
4 tbsp boiling water
Zest of 1 lemon
25gr plain flour
100gr ground almonds
100gr icing sugar, plus enough to dust
3 egg whites
Zest of 1 lemon
100gr melted butter, plus enough to grease your moulds
Soak the teabags in the water for 30 minutes, and then squeeze out, reserving the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease your moulds with butter and dust lightly with flour.
Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds and mix together. Make a well and then add the lemon zest, Earl Grey liquid and the butter. Mix briefly. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and floppy - not stiff. Fold the egg whites in, and then spoon the cake mix into the friand moulds. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes - a skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar when they have cooled.