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Lately, I have been making a lot of custard-based dishes. In an upcoming post you will see that I’ve had a second attempt at my failed crema catalanas and a top secret Daring Bakers’ challenge also involved a custard.

While this is all well and good, it means that – until yesterday – I had a large bowl containing 10 lonely egg whites in my fridge.

What to do? I would usually just make meringues, but you need to make A LOT of meringues to use up 10 egg whites. I had to think harder and google more. After a bit of searching, I found a page on  David Lebovitz’s fabulous blog with a long list of ideas.

After perusing this list, I decided to make financiers/friands. This seems to be a good way to use up a large batch of egg whites.

These are based on a recipe from Stephanie’s Cook’s Companion but I royally stuffed them up by getting the quantities for sugar and flour completely mixed up (and forgetting to buy plain flour). From there, I had to wing it so I feel I can claim this recipe as my own.

This recipe makes about 36 small friands (about 5cm wide by 3cm high). Use the smallest moulds you have. The key flavour in this recipe is the beurre noisette – the nut brown butter. The caremelised tones shine through and lift this into something quite special.

250g unsalted butter
1 cup spelt flour (or plain flour)
½ cup self raising flour
2 cups castor sugar
220g ground almonds
10 egg whites
100g frozen (or fresh) berries

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter moulds well.
  • Set up a bowl sitting in ice or cold water for the beurre noisette.
  • Cook the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low to medium heat until it becomes light brown. Stir constantly. This takes about 5 minutes and it will separate out and foam up and do all sorts of alarming things before it turns brown. As soon as the butter becomes brown, take it off the heat and pour it into the ice bath bowl to halt the cooking. It will have flecks of brown in it – that is normal.
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar and the almond meal. Make a well in the centre.
  • In a separate clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg whites into a froth. Pour into the well and gently stir to combine.
  • Add the nut brown butter and continue to stir gently to combine.
  • Spoon the mixture into the moulds. Place about three berries on each friand.
  • Put the friands in the oven for about 20 minutes until they have browned slightly on the top. Let them cool in the moulds a little before turning them out on a cake rack.
  • Sift over some icing sugar for decoration.
  • Best eaten warm!
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