One day several weeks ago, I ambled over to my colleague H's desk, and saw an oval shaped, light-brown cake on her desk. She told me it was some kind of a Hazelnut cake from Two Fratelli - our friendly neighborhood cafe, where the proprietor, Dave, was always inventing some new baked good or other (I swear he has the best savoury short crust). Curious, I took a bite and immediately fell in love with this crunchy-edged, crumbly, nutty, not-too-sweet, beautiful little cake.
I had seen a recipe for something that looked like it in the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook called a Financier and jubilantly asked Dave the next morning if this was what it was. He proceeded to helpfully correct me by telling me that in Australia, it was actually called a Friand - Friend with an A.
The traditional friand uses almond meal, but since I had fallen in love with the Hazelnut variety, it called for some research and improvising off of Dave's one-line instruction - "just use hazelnuts instead".
After almost daily baking the last 7 days, I finally gave this a shot tonight, and I think we have a true winner -
Blueberry Hazelnut Friands with Coconut (adapted from this Taste.com.au recipe)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup SR Flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
4 egg whites
125g melted salted butter
About a cup of blueberries
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-muffin pan. Combine dry ingredients, then mix in the eggwhites and melted butter. Spoon the mixture into the pan, and press a couple (5-7) blueberries on the top. Bake for 15 minutes till a skewer comes out clean. Let rest, then turn out to cool on a wire rack. Eat warm. Try not to eat all of them in one seating.