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Like a lot of Australian cuisine, friands are not an indigenous invention. Originally from France, they are now stacked high on the counters of beachside cafés all over the country. The perfect snack with a cup of coffee after a morning spent in the surf, friands are closely related to financiers: small rectangular loaves said to resemble bars of gold. Some recipes call for the nuts to be toasted and the butter to be clarified, but the Australians usually skip this stage and the result is still wonderful. Using icing sugar, egg whites instead of whole eggs and very little flour makes them dreamily light, while the ground almonds keep them beautifully chewy and moist. Traditionally baked as small oval shapes in a specially designed friand pan, they also work perfectly when baked in a muffin tin.
12-hole muffin tin or friand pan
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in Sat Jul 01 01:00:00 BST 2006.