It has been a pretty hot summer so far in NYC and so my cooking frequency has fallen drastically, and my baking has been non-existent. Turning the oven on just makes the apartment unbearably hot, and well, although I love baking.....I also love not passing out or having heatstroke!
Anyway, the point of all that was that I was absolutely itching to finally make something and last weekend when I went home, I made a batch of lemon curd to use up some of the fiftygazillion lemons my brother had zested (for his limoncello, which I'm sure I'll need to uh, quality check). Of course, THAT left me with 6 egg whites...so I made friands.
Cherry ones, to be exact! Friands are also known as financiers and are delicious, buttery cakes. I do not have friand tins so I used a mini-muffin pan. This was also my first experience making brown butter and I had stupidly bought salted butter (confusingly labeled sweet cream butter) instead of unsalted so when I tasted the solids, I almost died of salt poisoning. Fortunately those get strained out. I also want to take a moment to say that I took REALLY AWFUL photos of my friands--I can't figure out why, but I guess you'll have to take my word that they were tasty.
Cubee Totoro and I both approve. Aside from browning the butter, this recipe is very straightforward and honestly if you were feeling lazy, you could just melt the butter rather than browning it. Now I just have to wait for the weather to cool off before I can risk turning the oven on again!
adapted from The Joy of Baking
2/3 C brown butter
1/2 C all purpose flour
1 C almond meal, toasted (I used 1/2 almond and 1/2 hazelnut)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp salt
6 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
cherries, pitted and cut into halves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use a tablespoon or two of your browned butter to grease mini muffin tins (this recipe makes 24). Combine the dry ingredients and whisk. These are traditionally made with all almonds but I only had half a cup of almond meal on hand so I made up the rest with toasted ground hazelnuts. Beat the egg whites lightly and stir into the nut mixture along with the cooled brown butter and vanilla. Fill tins about 3/4 full. Bake for 3-4 minutes; remove the tins and place a cherry half on each friand (this is optional but pretty AND tasty). Bake for a further 4 minutes or until browned. You're supposed to cool these on a rack but I ate a few of them hot because I like the crusty parts the best. It's all up to your willpower, but these are best when they are fresh.