Sunday, July 25, 2010

French Hazelnut Cakes, a.k.a. Friands

Ever since I started flipping through Nick Malgieri's book, "The Modern Baker", I have been avoiding his recipe for these small individual hazelnut cakes which are also known as financiers or friands. You see, I tried making these a few weeks ago, well, no, I actually did make these a few weeks ago from another recipe I found online..but they came out kind of gummy and not really like a little cake I had high hopes for!
Since I was not familiar with this cake, having never tasted it, much less tried baking it, I didn't really know how it was supposed to turn out. I only knew from reading the descriptions of the different recipes that it sounded like it should be light and moist.
And another thing, some recipes say to beat the egg whites before adding to the other ingredients and some don't mention beating them at all. How confusing! This particular recipe doesn't say to beat them so I just added them into the dry ingredients.
So in a weak moment yesterday, I tried the recipe in this book and, finally, I was very happy with the results! This little cake turned out to have all those previously mentioned qualities..moist, light and with the flavor of hazelnuts, it could do no wrong!
I did, as I usually do, halve the recipe and I used my 2" square muffin pan. Although the recipe says it makes about twenty four 2" to 2 1/2" cakes, try as I might, I could only get 6 cakes out of half the recipe. So just know that if you're using a standard sized muffin pan, you'll get a dozen. (He also says that it makes 24 mini muffin sized cakes...hmm, I wonder?)

Butter and flour your muffin pan or friand molds first and set aside.

Place the flour, ground hazelnuts and sugar into a large bowl.

Then stir in the egg whites, unbeaten, and then fold in the melted and cooled butter.

That's it..very easy!
Spoon the batter into the individual muffin pans or molds ( if you're extravagant enough to have friand molds!).
Again, mine didn't make it to 2/3 full capacity. More like half full.
Bake about 15 minutes.

Individual French Hazelnut Cakes ( from "The Modern Baker", by Mick Malgieri)

1 cup ( about 4 ozs.) hazelnuts, with skins, finely ground in the food processor
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup AP flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled
4 large egg whites
8 tbsp. ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Preheat oven to 375. Butter and flour your muffin pans or friand molds.
1. In medium bowl, combine finely ground hazelnuts, sugar and flour.
2. Using a large rubber spatula, stir in the egg whites.
3. Fold in the melted and cooled butter.
4. Spoon the batter into prepared pans, filling them about 2/3 full.
5. Bake the cakes until they're well risen, deep golden and firm when pressed, about 15 minutes.
6. Invert them to a wire rack to cool, then immediately turn them rightside up to cool completely.
Storage: Keep cakes loosely covered with plastic on the day they're made. Or for longer storage, refridgerate, in a tin or plastic lidded container. Bring to room temp. before serving.


  1. they look great! I have this book, and i am part of a Modern baker group..where we are baking recipes from this book. So far we are on ''Bread""..but can't wait to get to these yummies! Great job :)

  2. Last year I looked long and hard to find a square muffin pan and finally found one online. Now I see them everywhere!

    WOW! That Modern Baker group sounds so fun!
    I do really love this book. I want to try every recipe in it! Thanks!



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