Lemon and Blueberry Friand-Muffins

This post comes with big apologies for my silence for January and half of February – sudden and unexpected family things have kept me busy and my mind hasn’t been in the right place to blog. However, I have decided that the blog is definitely worth working on and so here’s my first tentative attempt to find my blogging enthusiasm again.

For a few days in a row, my stumbling through to the kitchen first thing in the morning did not yield the usual signs of J’s hastily eaten breakfast before he went off to work. When I eventually questioned him, it turned out he had discovered something in the work café that far surpassed the toast and honey that he would have at home for breakfast – friands. Friands are little, light cakes containing ground almonds. They are apparently they are very popular in Australia and New Zealand. I had been feeling a bit uninspired on the baking front and so decided to take up the challenge of making my own. I looked at a few recipes online but they all required measuring ingredients with a scale which is way too much hard work for me, so I set about trying to create my own. As I don’t have a friand tin, I made muffin shaped friands – I’m sure this would work with a proper friand tin although I am not sure how many cakes it would make. This recipe makes about six small muffins. As always, the cup measurements are based on a 250ml cup as equal to one cup. The lemon flavour is not strong in this recipe – add more lemon juice if you prefer a stronger lemon flavour! These little cakes didn’t keep well so are best eaten on the day they are made.

What you’ll need:

3 egg whites

1 1/2 cups ground almonds

1/2 cup self raising flour

Pinch salt

2/3 cup icing sugar

1/3 cup butter

3 dessertspoons of lemon juice

Handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

What to do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200º C and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

2. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

3. In a new bowl, mix together the ground almonds, flour, salt and icing sugar.

4. Melt the butter and add to the almond/flour/sugar mixture along with the lemon juice. Mix everything together thoroughly.

5. Fold about a third of the beaten egg white into the butter/almond/flour/sugar/lemon mixture to loosen it, and then gently fold in the remaining egg white.

6. Distribute the mixture equally across the lined cupcake case, filling each case to just below the top. If you have mixture left over, just add another case to the pan and fill it as far as it will go! Top the mixture in each case with a few blueberries (I used frozen blueberries and they turned out fine!)

7. Place the pan in the middle of the pre-heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and baked through.

8.  When baked, remove each friand from the pan and cool on a cooling rack, then eat when cool (if you can wait that long!).