Berry Friands, A Sweet Wall of Bricks & Mortar

What sets the friand apart from your standard cake or muffin? Almond flour is the biggest difference, and they often have a berry or nut tucked inside. I discovered the friand in Australia, where they’re hugely popular. But yowza, I can tell you these Berry Friands are just as popular in good ol’ Los Angeles at the Rodriguez household. In my book, there are two special ingredients that make these Berry Friands magical and they are — ta dah! — fresh berries and glorious brown butter. I ended up stuffing these friands with berries, and then topped them off with a fresh berry glaze.

THE BERRY FRIANDS

A ginormous shout out to Organic Valley Butter – man, oh man (!) is this butter the real deal.

Melt that baby on the stovetop and enjoy the scent of toasted nuts and caramel in your kitchen. Strain and set aside to cool.

While the butter cools, mix up the almond flour and dries, then add the egg whites and finally the cooled browned butter.

I sliced up blackberries and raspberries and placed about 3-5 per muffin mold, cut side down, and baked for 10 minutes. The berries from Driscoll’s are outrageous right now! I mean they are plump, fragrant and sweet, sweet, sweet!

THE BERRY GLAZE

My inspiration came from Yotam Ottolanghi’s cookbook, Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolanghi. What I love about this glaze is it’s 100% natural, not from a dye but from the berry juice.

Mash the berries – your choice – I used blackberries and raspberries but blues and strawberries would work too. Add water and lemon, mash and strain out the juice. Add icing sugar and whisk until the consistency turns to a slightly thick glaze.

Drizzle on top of the friands, and sprinkle any topping that suits your fancy.

Just for fun I stacked the Berry Friands, and they ended up looking like bricks with pink mortar. Throw a cake topper on there and you’ve got a party. A sort of berry-licious wall that you can eat your way through.

OUR FAVES 

Kid Approved! Berry Friands

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Berry Friands

By TheSweetNerd  

June 20, 2018

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins

Ingredients

Friand Cakelets

6.3 ounces (180g) unsalted butter, plus an extra teaspoon, melted, for brushing butter along the sides of the mold pan

2.1 ounces (60g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

7 ounces (200g) icing sugar

4.2 ounces (120g) almond flour

pinch of salt

5.3 ounces (150 grams) egg whites (approximately 4 large eggs)

18 whole blackberries cut in half lengthways

Icing

8-10 whole blackberries

¾ tablespoon water

1 tsp lemon juice

165g icing sugar

Confetti sprinkles for decorating

mini bread, cake pan, or friand pan

Directions

Friand Cakelets (modified from Sweet, Yotto Ottolenghi)

1Preheat the oven to 350F and line the bottom of each mini loaf section with parchment (cut to size).

2Spray the mini loaf pan with nonstick on all sides.

3To brown the butter, place in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until melted. Continue to cook until the butter is foaming, gently swirling the pan from time to time, to allow the solids to brown more evenly. You will see dark-brown sediments begin to form on the sides and bottom of the pan. Continue to allow the butter to bubble away until it turns a rich golden brown and smells of toasted nuts and caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, to allow the burnt solids to collect at the bottom of the pan. Strain through a fine-mesh (or muslin-lined) sieve, discarding the solids. Allow the browned butter to cool slightly before using. It should still be warm when folding into the mix later: if it is too hot it will start to cook the egg whites; if it is too cool it will be difficult to incorporate into the mix.

4While the butter is cooling, sift the flour, icing sugar, almond flour, and salt into a bowl. Put the egg whites in a small bowl and use a whisk or fork to froth them up for a few seconds – you do not need to whisk them completely. Pour the egg whites into the sifted dry ingredients and stir until they are incorporated. Add the browned butter and mix until the batter is smooth.

5Fill the mini-molds just over two-thirds of the way up the sides. Place three halved blackberries on top, cut side down, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 300F – starting with a high oven temperature and then bringing it down which is the way to achieve the lovely brown crust you want – turn the tray around in the oven for even cooking, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the edges of the friands are golden brown and the centers have a slight peak and spring back when gently prodded. Set aside to cool before removing them from their molds; you might need to use a small knife to help you release the sides of the mini cakes.

6If you are icing the cakes, put 60g of blackberries in a small bowl with the water and lemon juice. Use a fork to mash them together, then pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to extract as much fruit juice as possible: you should get about 60ml. Sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl, pour in the blackberry juice and combine to make a light-purple runny icing: it should just be thick enough to form a thin glaze on the tops of the cakes.

7Spoon the icing over the cakes, spreading it to the edges so that it runs down the sides. Do this on a rack, if you can, as icing them on a plate or sheet of paper means that the icing will pool at the bottom. Sprinkle confetti on each friand, set aside for 20 or 30 minutes to set, then serve. They are best served that day.

8Makes 12 mini-loafs or cakelets.

Adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

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14 Comments

  • Tessa
    3 months ago

    I love that the color comes not from a dye but from the natural berry juices. These look so good!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      The Driscoll berries are so perfectly juicy. I heart berry season.

  • Kendall
    3 months ago

    I love love love the beautiful pink icing and the adorable cake topper. This recipe looks so yummy!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Thanks Kendall!

  • Sondria
    3 months ago

    These sound delicious! And I’m also a big fan of Ottolenghi so I know these got to be good.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      I’m with ya, Sondria.

  • Tisha
    3 months ago

    That icing is sooooo gorgeous!!! And the cakes look amazing as well! A must try!!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Thanks! And I love that the color comes from the berries. So natural.

  • 3 months ago

    That glaze is such a gorgeous color! I love berry desserts.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Me too, berry season is the best.

  • 3 months ago

    Wow, these are so cute!! Perfect for a party!! So festive and pretty!!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Thanks – I totally agree!

  • 3 months ago

    These look so much fun and delicious too! I love that you’ve used fresh fruit for the icing too! We have a lot of blackberry bushes in the countryside around our house. Going to bookmark this recipe for when I pick the next lot of blackberries !

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      3 months ago

      Oh perfect, I can’t say I’m not jealous that you have blackberries in pickin’ distance. If you do end up making the recipe please tag me!

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