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Friand, originally uploaded by Lameen.

No ! that isn't misspelt, it is Friand and in short it's a popular Australian version of a cup cake. However, for Friand, egg whites and ground almonds are used instead, as opposed to just whole eggs and only flour.

So you need:

4 egg whites
100g of ground almonds
50g of plain flour
150g of melted unsalted butter
175g of caster sugar (if you want it lighter, use 200g of icing sugar)
Grated rind of one unwaxed lemon
One teaspoon of vanilla extract or lemon extract (if you can get it)
icing sugar for dusting
Greased 12 inch muffin tin but you'll only need 10 holes

Oven on 180C

First up, melt the butter and put aside and pour your 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in to infuse together with your grated rind of from 1 unwaxed lemon. Next, sift the flour and the ground almonds into a bowl with the caster sugar already in. Lightly beat the egg whites but don't let it turn into peaks – just use a fork until it bubbles up. Then pour your egg white mixture into the dry ingredients (flour, almonds and sugar). Finally, pour your melted butter and vanilla lemon infusion into the rest of the ingredients and mix well until properly combined. 

Next, pour into the muffin holes, using just 10 and not all the 12 muffin holes. Bake for about 8 minutes and then turn around the pan and bake for another 8 minutes until the friands begin to get brown and come of the sides of the muffin holes. I suggest that before they get a little dark around the edges like the ones above, you put a grease proof paper or oven foil on top to stop the friands from burning. Check to see if they are ready by poking a clean unused toothpick (hmm !) into the centre – you want it just done and not dry as the combination of almonds and lemon usually make this a moist heavenly experience. Once cool, dust with icing sugar and really enjoy this simple and wonderful culinary experiment.

Inspired by a recipe from Jill Dupleix in Delicious Magazine, February 2004