Ahhhh summer. I believe summer may have finally arrived here in London wahhooooo! I’ve got lots of exciting events and holidays lined up for summer – starting with a trip to San Sebastian in Spain….TOMORROW. San Sebastian is total foodie heaven and I cannot wait to feast on pinxtos and wine for 4 solid days. I’m sure i’ll have to find a space for a post all about the trip. But my first exciting event is tonight with the fabulous Band of Bakers! An East Dulwich baking club and a chance to indulge in cakes and bakes and chat to some amazing baking enthusiasts and bloggers – I’m just a teeny bit excited. More to come on that when i’m back from holiday. We were all given a theme for our bake that we are bringing along to the event and this time it was ‘Summer’. The first thought that came to my head was strawberries and the second thought was booze, naturally. So I toyed around with the idea of Pimms strawberry tarts but I decided they would be too fussy. So I did some browsing around and I came across these gorgeous little cakes called friands. They are the same as the french financiers but they’re a circle shape rather than square. Delicate little cakes made with egg whites, ground almonds, butter and icing sugar they are usually paired with equally delicate subtle flavourings. So I decided to make them alcoholic. BOOM. But it works, they taste really dam good. And I went for mojito flavour because mojitos just ARE summer, like on holiday summer, rather than Pimms which is like British summer right?
So i created a delicious lime and mint cake base which is absolutely divine just on it’s own and then i’ve whacked a nice big dollop of the most irresistible mojito buttercream icing on the top – the mojito friand is born.
If you haven’t tried or made a friand before you simply must. You don’t have to start with this crazy flavour but the friand cake itself is seriously good. I made some lemon and thyme ones as a tester for this recipe and they were equally as delicious (the lack of alcohol however obviously gave them a slight disadvantage over these). It’s not like a normal cake mixture as it’s basically made with just egg whites, almonds, butter and icing sugar but it turns into the most incredibly moist, delicate spongy cake i’ve ever had. Please try one! Also although mine have a small amount of flour in them these are SUPER easy to turn into gluten free cakes for all you gluten free’s out there – substitute the flour for pretty much any gluten free flour and they’ll still work perfectly.
Makes 15 cakes
Lime & Mint Friand
- 250g icing sugar
- 200g unsalted butter
- 170g ground almonds
- 6 medium egg whites
- 50g plain flour
- Zest of 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
Mojito Buttercream Icing
- 50g softened unsalted butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons white rum (I used Bacardi and actually just kept adding it until just before it curdled)
Crystallised Lime Zest and Mint Leaves
- Zest of 1 lime
- 15 medium mint leaves
- 75g caster sugar plus extra for coating
- Small amount of egg white
- For the friands preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (180 fan) and spray or grease a 12 hole muffin tin
- Melt the butter in the microwave and leave to cool
- Sieve together the flour, icing sugar and ground almonds in a large bowl
- Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until you have soft floppy peaks
- Add the egg whites, melted butter, lime zest and mint leaves to the flour mixture and slowly fold together until evenly combined
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin holes until they almost reach the top
- Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until just turning brown then remove and leave to cool completely (remove cakes from the tin after 5 minutes)
- For the mojito buttercream cream together the icing sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Slowly add the rum until you reach your desired taste (though preferably keep adding until just before you think the mixture might curdle – approx. 3 tablespoons).
- For the crystallised lime zest peel large sections of lime peel and then slice thinly into strips.
- Place 75g of caster sugar in a small saucepan with 75ml water and heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring until it reaches a simmer. Keeping the mixture on a low heat add the lime zest and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and drain the strips of zest and place on a sheet of baking paper and toss in caster sugar. Leave to cool.
- For the crystallised mint leaves very lightly coat each leaf in a small layer of egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Leave to dry on baking paper until crispy.
- Top each cake with a small (large) dollop of mojito buttercream, a strip of lime zest and a mint leaf
Hannah x x x