Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cherry Friands

The advantage a local, family-owned small shop has over the supermarkets is the  personal relationship it builds with its customers. They know exactly what you want, how you want it and won't waste your time introducing products they know you couldn't be bothered with.

Like the guy at the fruit shop. I am just one of the many who frequents his shop but he knows I am only interested in the fruit of the season. So no persuading me about mangoes in February and watermelons in October. He's also figured out that I am particular about where my fruit originates from. He does not know why but he knows better than to sell me Washington State apples and South African pears. All he knows is that the fruit I buy has to be 'desi'. And if you are wondering why, its because I am firm believer in eating local produce. The more miles your fruit travels, the less beneficial it is for you with all those chemicals pumped into it!

So, its strawberries from Mahabaleshwar, lychees from Dehradun, mangoes from Ratnagiri and these plump, red, juicy cherries from Himachal Pradesh. A whole box full of them were whipped out and as my eyes lit up, ever the salesman, he said, 'these are the best cherries that have come into the market in the past 5 years!!' I needed no convincing and every day, I have enjoyed a bowl full of them, all by themselves, with no frills.

But, I couldn't let the season go by and not do a post with them. I first thought of a cherry clafoutis but yours truly, has STILL not bought a cherry pitter. So, instead I turned my attention to these friands, a very popular recipe from the book, 'What Katie Ate'. I know the uber talented Katie Quinn Davies and her fabulous blog, after which her book is named, need no introduction. But, if you are one of those rare people who haven't yet seen her work, head over to her fantastic blog. Words don't do it justice! Katie makes them with raspberries and I thought they would adapt perfectly to the cherries in question.

Friands are little French cakes, made from egg whites and almond meal. I could have called them frangipane muffins but it is so much more dainty and pretty to call them friands instead. Traditionally, they are baked in a special friand tin which is essentially a muffin pan where the moulds are oval rather than round. Needless to say, I made do with a simple, muffin pan!!

Once your mise-en-place is done, the batter gets done in a matter of minutes. Then, all you have to do is pour the batter into the moulds, sprinkle the cherries and bake. And you will be rewarded on the other side with these beautiful, light, golden brown cakes, perfect for tea time.

The almond meal makes them special although the opinion was divided on their sweetness. I found them a tad too sweet but the rest had no problem with the level of sugar. That's why for me the cherries made all the difference. Their freshness that had a slight edge of tartness was the perfect foil for all the sugar action. And the portion size is just enough for one person!!

These friands are a charming tea time treat that can be rustled up in no time. Try them and tell me what you think of them.  I think you'll like them!! And anybody else want to tell me why the rains are being such a tease??

Cherry Friands

Recipe, adapted from 'What Katie Ate'

makes 6 regular sized medium friands

  • 100 gms unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 125 gms (1 cup) icing sugar (make icing sugar at home with this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds/almond meal
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, grated rind only
  • approx. 85 gms cherries, pitted (No cherry pitter, use this tip)
Cooking Directions
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C. Generously butter your friand/muffin tin or it will be an issue to remove them. Dust the moulds with flour.
  • Sift the icing sugar and flour into a bowl. Add the almond meal and mix everything between your fingers.
  • Whisk the egg whites in another bowl until they form a light, floppy foam. There is no need to whip them into peaks.
  • Tip in the egg whites and lemon rind into the dry ingredients. Then lightly stir in the butter and combine well to form a soft batter.
  • Pour the prepared mixture into the friand tin. Do take care that you only fill the moulds until they are 2/3rd full (approximately 2 tablespoons)  and no more or else they will spill over when they rise and be a mess to take out.
  • Sprinkle 2-3 cherries over each friand and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into a center comes out clean.
  • When cool, turn them out and to serve, dust them lightly with icing sugar.


  1. A delicious bake. Loved your styling in this post!! The tea cups are to die for :)

    1. Thank you so much Nandita!! The heat has come down a bit.. so the oven's been started again!! :)

  2. they look delicious! i like to buy local for the personal connection too.

    1. Thanks Dina!! Its just so much more reassuring in a way.. the personal connection makes all the difference!


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