Plum and macadamia friands

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  • Friands are delicate French cakes, leavened with whipped egg. You can buy flexible silicone friand moulds online, but a non-stick muffin mould works just as well. Friands are best eaten on the day of making, but they freeze well for up to three months

    Makes 8

    75g butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus extra melted butter to grease the moulds if they are not silicone 100g macadamias 140g icing sugar, sifted 60g plain flour, sifted 3 large egg whites Pinch salt 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract 2 plums, cheeks cut off and finely sliced, the remaining flesh around the stone diced
    2 tbsp plum or apricot jam, to glaze

    Step 1) Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Unless your friand or muffin moulds are silicone, brush them lightly with melted butter. Roughly chop 25g of the macadamia nuts and set aside. Put the remaining 75g macadamia nuts in the small bowl of a food processor with 2 tbsp of the icing sugar (this helps to prevent the nuts turning oily) and pulse until finely ground. Tip into a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining icing sugar and the flour.

    Step 2) In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt together until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the macadamia mixture using a large, metal spoon, with the vanilla extract, diced plums and melted butter. Don’t over-fold; keep the batter light and airy. Divide the batter between the friand or muffin moulds and top with a few slices of plum and a sprinkle of the reserved macadamia nuts. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen.

    Step 3) Cool in the moulds for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack. Warm the jam in a small pan to melt it slightly. Brush the tops of the warm cakes with the jam and leave to cool completely.

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