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
What You'll Need
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.