Spring seems to have been playing hide and seek this year. This past Saturday was a perfect day, which I spent at the Winery Markets, manning our stall and selling homemade preserves and granola. But looking at the weather forecast for the week ahead seems a downright depressing! The summer produce seems to be a bit slow too, this time last year we had cherries in abundance but I’ve yet to see any this spring. What we do have though is lots of great blueberries, so here’s another little something delicious to do with them while they’re in season.
These friands (or financiers as they’re also known) are individual brown butter cakes, a little more dense and sticky than a muffin or cupcake and totally delicious. They’re a staple in cafes and bakeries, often baked in oval shapes, however I only had a regular cupcake pan. Baking friands is also a fantastic way to use up all the egg whites you have lying around, if you’re anything like me with quite a stash accumulated in the freezer.
But what I like most is that you can get really creative with flavour combinations – fruit, chocolate, nuts, anything goes! This time I used buckwheat flour and blueberries, which worked perfectly. I loved the nuttiness of the almond meal and the buckwheat flour together, and the jammy pockets of blueberries that sunk into the cake as they baked. They would be the perfect sweet treat to take on a picnic, if the weather ever gets better!
Blueberry and Buckwheat Friands
Adapted from What Katie Ate
• 300g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
• 10 egg whites
• 175g almond meal
• 350g icing sugar
• 100g buckwheat flour, sifted
• 1 punnet blueberries
Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease a silicone friend or cupcake tray.
Place the cubed butter into a frypan or saucepan. Swirl gently until butter is browned and smells nutty. Cool for 5 minutes. Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for a few seconds, just to lightly combine. Add almond meal, icing sugar, buckwheat flour and brown butter. Beat lightly to combine and pour into the pre-greased tray.
Fill each until just over half full. Place 3 or 4 blueberries on top and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Serve warm dusted with icing sugar.