This is my first friand recipe using autumnal flavours. The plums that are in season at the moment are delicious – sweet and winey. They are great just eaten on their own and the children love eating them, but they are lovely to cook with too.
These friands are made with ground pecans rather than the usual ground almonds. My eldest son says he doesn’t like pecans (what is wrong with him?) but he liked these very much. He did remove the pecan on the top though!
The flavour of the pecans is lovely and goes so well with the cinnamon and orange zest and the seasonal fresh plums are delicious. The maple glaze is optional really, but really works well with all the flavours.
The first batch of these turned out a little wet, so after I have chopped the plums, I place them on some kitchen paper to absorb a little of the moisture. You only have to do that if the plums are extra juicy though.
6 large egg whites/250ml Two Chicks pasteurised egg whites
250g icing sugar
130g pecans + 12 extra to top each cake
100g plain/all-purpose flour – sieved with 2tsp cinnamon
Zest of an un-waxed orange
160g melted butter + extra for greasing the tin
5 small ripe plums – chopped into small pieces and placed on some kitchen paper
½ cup sieved icing sugar
2-3tbs maple syrup – enough to thin
Preheat the oven to 180°C and brush the pan with the extra melted butter
Tip the pecans into the food processor, a coffee grinder, or I used the milling attachment on my Nutribullet and pulse the pecans until they are completely ground into crumbs. Make sure you keep agitating the nuts to keep them on the move, otherwise, as they are quite moist, you can end up with pecan butter.
Tip the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until broken down and frothy. Add the butter and zest and whip until fluffy.
On low speed, add the ground pecans, icing sugar, flour and cinnamon until just combined. Stir in the plums by hand.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. I use an ice cream scoop to do this as I make less mess.
Place a pecan nut on the top of each cake and bake for 30-35 minutes or until they have risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes before gently turning out onto a wire cooling rack. I actually left these until they were almost cool because they are quite delicate.
Leave to cool completely before making the glaze.
For the glaze, simply stir maple syrup into the icing sugar until you have a runny consistency and drizzle back and forth over the cooled cakes.
These are delicious served with coffee, but would be perfect for an autumn picnic too.