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Author Notes: Friands are a popular cake in Australia and which uses the same recipe as that for a "financier" in France. But instead of being baked in traditional bars, friands are baked in metal aspic moulds to give them a lovely oval shape with a flower embossed at the bottom of the cake. This recipe uses the forced rhubarb which has a very short season, so I like to use it as much as I can when it is available. —Thanh Berthou
Makes 12 cakes
grams plain flour
grams icing sugar
grams ground almonds
teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F).
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it turns a pale golden colour, but be careful not to let it burn.
- Use some of the butter to lightly grease the friand moulds.
- Let the butter cool slightly to use later in the recipe.
- Sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl and stir through the ground almonds.
- Place the eggwhites into another large bowl and whisk until they are white and frothy.
- Gently mix the frothy eggwhites into the flour mixture.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla extract, and stir everything together.
- Fill the friand tin until each mould is ⅔ full. Using an ice-cream scoop will help you to divide the batter evenly and to make even-sized friands.
- Slice the rhubarb on a diagonal with about 1 cm width. Arrange 3 slices of rhubarb on top of each mould, pushing them lightly into the batter.
- Bake the friands in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let the friands cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve the friands warm or cold with a dusting of icing sugar.