I love treating myself to pretty little morsels over coffee or after brunch, and most recently one of the traders at Altrincham Market – my favourite local brunch spot – has started selling pretty little friands.
Friands are French afternoon tea cakes made with a mixture of ground almonds and flour, to ensure the consistency is light and not too dry.
Topped with dustings of icing sugar, and decorated with lemon curd and blueberries, or raspberries and lemon zest, they are impossibly light and moist.
In recent years, this French patisserie classic has been adopted by major Australian cities, like Melbourne and Sydney, who’ve embraced them as a favourite cafe treat.
With the rain pouring down in Manchester pretty consistently the whole weekend, I decided to try my hand at making a raspberry and pistachio variety, using a recipe by Donna Hay from Australia’s News.com.au, which I converted for Imperial measurements and adapted a little following a test run.
Pistachio and Raspberry Friands
86g ground almonds
25g finely ground pistachios
A handful of chopped pistachios, to serve
233g icing sugar, sifted
105g plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
125g butter, melted
200g frozen or fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios, extra
Preheat oven to 180C – if recommend 160C for fan ovens, as I find mine is often hotter than gas. I did test it on 170C, but found it made the tops too crispy.
Place the ground almonds, ground pistachios, icing sugar, flour, baking powder, eggwhites and butter in a bowl and whisk until combined.
Fold through the raspberries – but try to avoid breaking them up as you do so, as I found it changed the colour of the mixture and gave the finished results a dark brown/blueish appearance.
At this point the original recipe recommend topping the friands with chopped pistachios, but I found they only sank into the cakes and I had to top them again once they were done to get the desired effect, so I’d recommend waiting (the same for the decorative raspberries, too.)
Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the friands are golden and cooked through. Be aware that the consistency may seem a little moist initially, until they are cool.
Using a palette knife, loosen the edges and remove the friands from the tins immediately.
Place on a wire rack, and once cooled, dust lightly with icing sugar and top with chopped pistachios and a single raspberry before serving.
The original recipe said it made 12 but I found it was more like 16 -18.