When I purchased the black cherry flavoured icing sugar from The Vanilla Valley recently, I couldn’t resist adding some gin and tonic flavoured icing sugar to my order. The obvious recipe of choice for me was friands as icing sugar is one of the main ingredients.
These are alcohol free, so would be good to take to work for a bake sale, but I did try adding real gin to the glaze with great results.
In reality, these friands are lemon friands and would be just as good with ordinary icing sugar. The tart lemon curd in the middle cuts through the sweetness and I couldn’t resist topping with a little candied lemon slice for a bit of kitsch.
I think it’s important to use a decent quality lemon curd here too, some of the very cheap versions taste like washing up liquid. I chose Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference which wasn’t the most expensive one, but I did avoid the cheapest. Of course home made is always best if you can get hold of some.
250ml egg whites – I use Two Chicks pasteurised egg whites
250g Sugar and Crumbs Gin and Tonic flavoured icing sugar
130g ground almonds
100g plain/all-purpose flour
Zest of one small lemon
165g butter – melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing the tin
1/2 jar of good quality lemon curd
1 cup of gin and tonic flavoured icing sugar, sieved
Water (or gin!)
Candied lemon slices
Pre heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and brush the friand pan with melted butter
Whisk the egg whites until broken down and frothy.
Fold in the almonds, flour and zest until just incorporated and stir in the cooled, melted butter.
Divide the mixture equally between the cups in the tin.
I used a piping bag to squeeze a little lemon curd into each cake, but you could easily do this with two teaspoons. You only need a small amount – around a teaspoon.
Bake the friands for around 25-30 minutes. They will rise up a little and become golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes in order to firm up a little, before leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
To decorate, mix the icing sugar with a small amount of water (or gin if using) to make a fairly thick, but still runny, glaze. Drizzle over the little cakes and stud each one with a candied lemon slice.
Definitely an unusual alternative to afternoon tea, but a welcome one.