Monday, February 04, 2008

Mango Friands

Friands have a special place in Australian café culture - we may have ditched the daggy cupcakes for muffins but nowadays, you wouldn't want to be seen without this trendy little cake perched beside your skinny decaf soy latte.

The history of Friands is a little sketchy as they almost appear to have come from nowhere but they have won our hearts. They seem to be based on a French cake called Financier.

It's easy to understand their appeal - they are made from a mix that includes, butter, icing sugar, almond meal and egg whites which results in this moist and chewy bite that although light, still has substance to it.

Most recipes will include a little flour but for this recipe I've incorporated a flour I recently discovered - Coconut Flour. The best bit is that the friand, using this flour, is now Gluten Free!

coconut flour

When you first open the packet there is such an overpowering scent of coconut - it is delightful. It is slightly off white as you can see and much finer ground then almond meal. There is a coconut taste to the flour but I wouldn't recommend it be eaten raw.

The fruit I've chosen to add to these friands is mango - I think coconut and mango and flavours that really work well together and this would an excellent way to showcase that relationship.

mango friands

Mango Friands
[Makes 20 small Friands]

220 grams butter, melted and cooled
250 grams pure icing sugar, sifted
55 grams coconut flour, sifted
150 grams almond meal, sifted
6 egg whites
250 grams diced fresh mango


Whip the egg whites until fluffy but not not yet reaching soft peak stage - we aren't making a souffle - you want them aerated but still a bit sloppy.

Place the icing sugar, coconut flour and almond meal into a bowl and stir well to amalgamate. Pour in the cooled, melted butter and mix well and then tip in the egg whites and fold them through. It's not necessary to be too precious about this stage.

Finally sprinkle over the diced mango and fold through again.

Divide the mixture into your friand cases, if using or you could use a muffin tin. The friands I've made are a lot lower, probably half the height than the ones you see in the store - only because of the friand cases I used. I actually prefer this lower height as it makes them bite sized.

Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for about 15-25 minutes or until cooked through. Naturally larger friands will take longer.

mango friands

Let them cool in the tray.

Be warned, they are extremely addictive!

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17 comments:

  1. I'd never heard of these before but it sounds like it would be a great (and like you warn, addictive!) dessert. I'll have to give this a try, although I might be hard-pressed to find coconut flour. Just curious, did the final result have a distinguishable coconut taste to it?

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  2. I've never had friands before. Mango is my favorite. I go crazy excited at the thought of mangoes (and cilantro -- my favorite herb). Thanks for this recipe.

    Paz

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  3. I have never in my life heard of a friand - So it is exciting to learn of a new culinary term and concept. But even more exciting - it's gluten-free! yes! And contains several of my favorite flavors and ingredients. I love using coconut flour - I usually use it in small quantities with other gluten-free flours, but I have also created some recipes that use it alone or only compliment it with a little bit of another flour, and it can be delicious when done right. And SO high fiber! One of my favorites is Coconut Blueberry Muffins. There's a cookbook about cooking with coconut flour that I got a while ago online, some of the recipes are good (some are not). Anyway, thanks for this yummy recipe!

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  4. The friands look adorable, but I'm just as enamoured with your friand tin liners! Where on earth did you find those?

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  5. Dear Haalo, I haven't seen coconut flour anywhere yet (do the friands taste of coconut?), do you think it'd work if I grind dessicated coconut to a fine powder?

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  6. Thanks Mike - there isn't a lot of coconut flour in the recipe so it's only a subtle influence.

    Thanks Paz - mango are such an indulgent pleasure.

    Thanks BTB - Coconut flour certainly is very interesting I can't believe how much fibre it has. I am looking forward to adding it to other things.

    Thanks Ellie - I got these at the Essential Ingredient in Prahran

    Hi Heart - I'm not sure if desiccated coconut would work, I think it would be a bit too dry, the coconut flour has a more moist feel to it. I know there are places online that would be able to send it to you.

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  7. Coconut and mango do go well together. I have never had I friand before but they look and sound really good.

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  8. it seems as though we would all like another post about these friands, and maybe friands in general...beautiful cakes!

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  9. This sounds wonderful! and as always, your photo's are beautiful!!

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  10. Friands are the best thing in the world, as are mangoes - what a great idea, can't wait to make.

    PS. The You Make My Day award is waiting for you over at my blog!

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  11. Thanks Kevin - one bite of a Friand and you may well be hooked!

    Thanks Miss - I'm sure I'll be able to make some more in the near future!

    Thank you PIC!

    Spin Spin - thank you, that is so very sweet of you!

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  12. What a great idea. I've never used coconut flour before. What would you say the resulting friand texture was like? Any different to if you had used normal flour? Or is the amount too little to really say either way?

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  13. Thanks Y - coconut flour is really fibre rich so you only need to use about 30% of the amount compared to regular flour - you're not going to really notice the texture because of the almond meal but what you do get is just a subtle coconut hint through the friand. I probably could have even used a lot less coconut flour than I did in this recipe.

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  14. it sure is a unique dish. mango and coconut, cant wait to try it. thanx for the recipe.

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  15. Thanks CS - hope you enjoy them.

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  16. I just tried them out this morning and the were amazing (notice the past simple tense). however, it is impossible to find coconut flour in Croatia so I used shredded dessicated coconut and I think it worked just fine. Thanks for the recipe!

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  17. Thank you Ana - so happy to hear you enjoyed them. You'll have to make some more now ;)

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