I recently started supplying one of our local coffee shops – Love in a Cup, 15 Osborn Street, E1 – with cakes. Kash, the owner, is a lovely Australian guy who makes a seriously good cup of coffee, and in his Sydney past developed a bit of a taste for friands. Which meant one of his first questions for me was whether I could make them.
Having not tried them, it was not a given, not least because the only friend who’d ever mentioned them beforehand had me utterly confused by describing them as a kind of Aussie macaroon. And since I’d never seen them in London and probably wouldn’t be able to find one that was gluten-free to taste if I did, I was going to have to start from first principles and trust to the recipe.
So I decided to give it a go. And today, my new silicone friand moulds arrived, which is always a good excuse to do some baking. There’s not that much flour in the recipe, so making them gluten-free should be fairly straightforward, and then it’s just a question of combining things the right way to get the texture to where it should be. Not that I had a reference point, but I do have a client round the corner who can advise me on whether I’ve got it right.
The results were pretty good: crispy and crunchy on the outside, slightly chewy towards the edges and soft, light and very moist inside. Kash came round to taste them a little later and gave them his seal of approval, noting that the chewiness was not usual but that he liked it. Having since given them 3-4 hours to cool, it’s noticeable that the chewiness has largely gone, so it’s clearly the penalty for eating them more or less fresh from the oven!
In terms of the recipe above, I don’t think it’s quite lemony enough, so if you fancy a go at making it, squeeze in the juice of the lemon as well as using the zest, and compensate with a little extra flour and sugar to stop the batter becoming too liquid.
Still, I can see how they became so popular. Time to have a play with more flavours, I think, but for now, here’s the finished product: