Sunday, March 13, 2011

Recipe for Friands

Imagine traveling to a new city, one you've never been to before.  You go downtown, and you walk into a random coffee shop.  There are loads of pastries in the case, but nothing looks likely to be something you can eat.  You ask anyway, out of habit.  The woman behind the register blandly replies, "We have several things that are gluten-free.  There's a chocolate muffin that's gluten-free, and we have several kinds of friands that are all gluten-free."

That is what happened on my first day in Melbourne, Australia.  And it happened almost every day after that.  My mom and I were amazed at how many gluten-free things there are to eat in Australia.  I even found gluten-free treats in several airports, an occurrence that has never happened in the US.  Here is proof that I bought a GF pastry in the airport in Hobart, Tasmania:

In honor of the great gluten-free trip I had, I bring you a taste of Australia.  Friands aren't something you find here in the US all that often, so to try them out you will have to bake some of your own.  I simplified the recipe quite a bit from its traditional form, but I think the result is close to what I tried out in practically every Australian bakery I came across.  As a bonus, this dense, moist cake is incredibly fast and easy to make with my version of the recipe.

Recipe for Friands

This recipe makes 4 small cakes, but is easily doubled.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Butter 4 muffin tins or oval friand molds.  In a medium bowl, mix together:

75 g (about 1/2 c + 1 Tbsp) almond flour
25 g (2+ Tbsp) baker's sugar
9 g (about 1 Tablespoon) white rice flour

In a small bowl, whisk thoroughly:

1 egg

In another small bowl or pan, melt:

45 g (3 Tbsp) salted butter

Add the melted butter and the whisked egg to the dry ingredients and mix together until thoroughly blended.  The batter should be almost runny.  Fill the four greased muffin cups with an equal amount of batter.  Top with:

1-3 raspberries each

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops start turning golden-brown.  Let cool slightly before eating.

If you would like to get the classic oval shape of the friands they sell at cafes everywhere in Australia, try buying oval molds like this one from Sur La Table:

Or this silicone oval-shaped mold from World Cuisine.





20 comments:

Rebecca said...

Have you tried making gluten-free friands in a larger pan and slicing it like a cake? Or is that not a proper friand?

Gina said...

Rebecca, I've thought of doing a sheet of friands, and I've seen them served that way. I think it's legit, and I've also seen friand (or financier) pans in rectangle form. Once version of the financier legend is that the chef who created them made the cake to look like bars of gold, serving them to rich bankers in the financial district of Paris. On a practical level, I think it could be done with an adjustment of cooking time.

pilgrimscottage said...

Oh dear, I'm feeling some envy. If only every country would get it. I'm glad you get to enjoy such treats at an airport. The friands recipe looks great, and easy!

Gina said...

Pilgrimscottage, the friand recipe is very easy, and it's fast too! Thanks for reading!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

hi gina and welcome to australia...i love friands as well, and i am so pleased you are able to find so much gluten free food here...enjoy and happy travelling...dzintra

My Dolce Vita said...

sorry gina i meant to comment through my food blog...dzintra

Mary Garrard said...

I just commented on your King Arthur's post, and now I see this one! I'm going to Australia in October 2011 for a month. If you have time I would love to hear your tips. I've already started doing some research. At least there's not (too much of a) language barrier in Oz, like when I went to China last year! My email is marygarrard at yahoo dot com if you have the inclination to write.

Gina said...

Mary - I've been thinking about doing a post on GF food in Australia. Stay tuned!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Gina, I was just checking out some of my links to make sure they are still valid and came across this post. You look so cute in this photo! And those little treats look pretty adorable, too. Yum!

Hope all is well! Well, I know it was when you were in Australia. ;-) On my "to visit" list ... hubby and I are so jealous our son went when he was 19! Hugs,
Shirley

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! I have made it five times a week for the last two months for my daughter and I at tea time. We are both dairy intolerant, so I use olive oil in place of the butter, and I use blueberries in place of the raspberries. This has to be my favorite gluten free tea time recipe. I can't thank you enough!

Gina said...

Hey, I'm really glad you like the friands! I was making it every day too for a while. It's so fast and easy! I'm so happy someone else is enjoying it!

Anonymous said...

The Australian Womens Weekly is Australia's definitive cookbook. If you are looking to duplicate products eaten in cafes there is a good chance that the recipe originated in one of these books!

Gina said...

Thanks for the cookbook tip!

hadley said...

I live in New Zealand and we also have a healthy regard for Gluten Free foods. It makes it so much easier to be out and about with a GF kid.

dim said...

hi, i stumbled across your post looking for a memory kicker for the gf friands. i used to make them in a cafe a couple of years ago (im an aussie, in an aussie coastal town in nsw) and reading over your receipe, its very different to what im used to, but your method was intersting. i got taught in my cafe to use just egg whites, icing sugar, almond meal, rice flour and melted butter and thats it, top it however you like. anyway was funny to hear that the us cafes dont really cater for gf people and abit sad, what a loss of business, what would you eat with your morning tea coffee?! thanks dim
http://but-it-looks-so-good.blogspot.com.au/

Gina said...

Dim -

I looked at a few recipes from Australian food blogs, and they all had a little bit different methods and recipes. Not knowing what was correct or authentic, I essentially just made this recipe up. It's true that most friand recipes call for just egg white. This is to bring out the almond flavor, as the yolk can compete for flavor with the almond. I tried that and decided I prefer using the whole egg because I like the depth in flavor the egg adds and because I don't like wasting egg yolks.

You'll be happy to know that US coffee shops are starting to cater more towards us gluten-free folk. It'll come slowly. Thanks for your comments!

Dorothy Mary said...

I too went to Melbourne from New Zealand. Quite worried only been gluten free a couple of weeks. It was marvellouos. Restaurants all have GF and Veg marked so clearly and lots to eat. We had - Italian, Mexican, Chinese and my daughter in laws home cooked.
Have just made your friands (no baking pdr) would love a savoury recipe for similar type of thing.

Gina said...

Dorothy - I haven't seen any savory friands, but I think that's a great idea! I am thinking something with goat cheese would be excellent. Thanks for the thought. I'm glad you had a good time in Melbourne!

Michele said...

I wanted to make a grain-free version of this recipe so I substituted arrowroot powder for the white rice flour per your suggestion. It turned out great! I made the original recipe at the same time so I could compare the two. They looked identical and the taste was so similar I wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

Gina Kelley said...

Michele, Thanks for the testing out my recipe! Surprisingly, I have never used arrowroot starch, but lots of gf people highly recommend it. I'm glad it worked for you as a grain-free version of this friand recipe.