With a household of two people it really is difficult to make a full-sized cake and consume all of it while it’s still fresh. The other quirky option is to make half a cake, of course. But under more usual circumstances things which freeze and defrost well are most welcome in order to avoid wastage, as are individual portions which easily allow some to be shared amongst friends or colleagues at work.
Having said that, and with my track record with these recipe cards, you probably already know that I didn’t make this strawberry cake, right? I mean, look at it in all its layered and sandwiched glory – that’s two whole cakes we’re talking about there!
So instead I shall be sharing with you a recipe for petite and dainty mini-friands. A recipe which I’ve had kicking about in my repertoire for quite a few years, which has been tried and tested and shared with others, and which never fails to impress. The small bites of cake are slightly chewy and perfect for popping into your mouth whole, as well as being great with a cup of tea.
The friands are entirely open for variation. I’ve made them plain, with jam, with fresh berries, and with frozen berries most recently for Christmas. Citrus zest can be added to the batter, as can poppyseeds, or citrus curd can be dolloped on top prior to baking. Substitute pistachio or hazelnut meal for the almond meal if you like.
But the best part is that these mini-friands are low on effort and high on impact. Perfect for the novice baker, they can be made by hand, in one bowl, require only a few ingredients, and hardly take any time to mix and bake at all.
You can have your cake and eat it too, faster and easier than you would expect.
Mini-Friands (makes 24 in a mini-muffin pan)
(can’t recall the origins of this recipe exactly, though I do remember it being a magazine from some years ago…)
· 1/3 cup plain flour
· 1 cup icing sugar mixture
· 1 cup almond meal
· 4 eggwhites, lightly beaten with a fork
· 120g unsalted butter, melted
· jam, fresh/frozen berries, citrus curd (optional)
- Sift together flour and icing sugar mixture into a large bowl. Stir in almond meal then add eggwhites and butter. Mix until well combined – the batter will be slightly sticky.
- Preheat oven to 210°C and lightly grease a 24-hole mini-muffin pan.
- Divide batter evenly across the mini-muffin pan, approximately 1 tbs batter per cavity. (If you are using any jam, berries or curd, place a small amount on top of the cake batter portions.) Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes before reducing the temperature to 200°C and baking a further 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing the friands to cool on a wire rack. A toothpick or thin skewer is helpful in levering the friands from the pan. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if desired.