I love these little dense and moist cakes - which are derived from the French 'Financier'. In the summer I like to make ice-cream, and other desserts like fruit curd or custard - so I often have egg whites left over that I need to use up. I also have a lot of summer fruits at the moment from my CSA, but these cakes could be made with all kinds of toppings. I also like the quick and easy method to make these little cakes.
Financiers are traditionally baked in small rectangular pans, similar in shape to a gold bar (perhaps how they go their name), but Friands are generally baked in oval shaped pans - but you could also use muffin pans. I like to use the pans without paper liners, because I find the cakes brown up more, and get a nice golden crust. Typically there is a small amount of flour used in the cakes, but I've substituted Brown Rice Flour to make these Gluten Free. Of course, you could use All Purpose Flour if you like.
Another variation is to substitute the lemon juice and zest for spices (I used 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg), and then substitute the blueberries for plum wedges to make Plum spice friands.
I adapted this recipe from some of my favorites from the Australian Women's Weekly Cafe Cakes. —aussiefoodie
Sticks of butter, melted
ground almonds (blanched if you want yellow looking cakes)
Grease 12 holes of a muffin pan, or friand pan. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Beat the egg whites in a bowl until frothy and thick.
Mix together the ground almonds, brown rice flour and icing sugar. Stir in the melted butter and finely grated zest and juice of the lemon. Mix until combined. Fold in the egg whites until just combined. Divide evenly between 12 muffin pan holes. I like to fill each pan about 2/3 full as it will puff up a little, but won't rise too much. Top each friand with about 6 blueberries.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden, puffed up and set and slightly crispy on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.