I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

January 29, 2011

Hazlenut Friands

Do you remember when friands were all the rage?

It wasn't that long ago actually, every cafe in the country sold them and they were the new "In Thing".

It didn't last.

In a bloodless but sticky battle, the cupcake coup was successful in routing these delicious morsels and the only ones I see now are the same two-flavoured, mass produced, pre-packaged, frozen ones from the wholesalers that you find in such places as McDonald's. It frustrates me that we have the exact same ones in our freezer at work, as the "safe" gluten free menu option. We have dozens if not hundreds of egg whites going to waste in our kitchen every week, and it seems such a shame not to convert them into fresh, flavoursome friands.

At home , being the thrifty housewife that I am, I save all my extra eggwhites in little baggies in the freezer. They keep really well and are always on hand for dessert emergencies. You know those times when you're separating eggs and you get a little yolk in them? Next time don't throw them out or feed them to the dog, bag them and write on them so you don't try and use them for meringues or other sensitive beasties, and use them for friands instead.

It's such a simple process. No creaming, no beating, just chuck it all in and stir together. So easy peasy. I know friands usually use almond meal, but I just happen to have an open bag of hazelnut meal that needs using up and some hazelnut oil that is getting old - and I hate waste!

I use a basic 1 2 3 recipe reminder for my friands :

1 cup of gluten free flour
2 cups of nut meal
3 cups of pure icing sugar
12 egg whites
300 gr melted butter or oil
Extra flavourings like fruit, chocolate, etc.


Mix all the dry ingredients together

Stir the egg whites with a fork to break them up

Add the whites and butter/oil into the dry ingredients

Now is the time to put in the extra flavour base. Today I had a heap of white and yellow nectarines to use and also some vanilla, cardamon and orange sugar I thought would go well too.

Mix it all gently together until combined.

Spoon into a well greased friand tin and place some extra fruit on top. I know it would have been more elegant to have lovely little slices of fruit on top, but I forgot and diced it all up by accident.

Bake at 180-200* for 25 minutes.

Make sure to turn the friands out of the tin while they are still very warm or they might stick.
This mix will make 2 dozen friands. I always think it's a shame to make a mess in the kitchen if it's not worth while. One dozen friands will disappear so quickly that you will be grateful for the extra dozen, really.

And who knows... maybe if you make enough they just might give cupcakes a run for their money.

So dear Readers, what's your favourite cafe cake?


  1. Friands are easy to make? I didn't know that and have never tried making them. Actually a funny thing is that I kept being given friand trays and since I never made them, I kept giving them away. The faster I gave them away the faster more appeared in my kitchen. In the end I was throwing them out with the stuff Andrew was taking to the dump and still they kept coming. In the end I decided that my kitchen must need one tray even if it is never used for anything other than creating a friand tray vaccum that the universe rushed to fill. It has worked. So long as there is a tray in the house - that is embraced and welcomed, no more have appeared. Will its powers still be intact though if I dare to use it...?

  2. I remember when they ere huuuge! We used to buy them all the time at work. Now you don't really see them but they were really good and tasty!

  3. Those are the loveliest looking muffins I've ever seen! Thanks for sharing!

  4. İ cant decide, toss up between the chocolate mud cake and lemon or orange poppyseed cake (there maybe other morsels I have missed out on like the cup cake craze that seems to finally be hitting here, but its been along time since İ had the joy of sitting in any nice cafe waiting to decide what to have)but here it has to be and probably always will be baklava with pistachios.

  5. i always freeze my egg whites too. The nectarines in these look great.

  6. Friands really did come and go, didn't they? Which is a shame, as they're quite delicious. I am so over cupcakes...

  7. Your right, the 'always available gf option' The Friand. Yours look amazing Bec, love the fruit addition too. Funny how cakes like Friands are fashionable & then not :)
    Your such a great Martha G. with your handy tips, and so right about the amount of egg whites just getting chucked at commercial kitchens.. Crazy huh.

  8. I love using hazelnut meal in steand of almond meal or mix both of them. Your friends look delicious!

  9. Hey you were right about that! They were huge! I remember as my dad, who is celiac, was happy as he could join in the cake fun at cafe's then my mum when on a huge friand baking frenzy for something like a year. That Orange, Cardamom and Vanilla combo looks GREAT too.

  10. ooooh I love friands - but yes - it is a shame that 'fresh' ones are hard to find these days :)

  11. Friands were soo naughties 00's. Ha ha. hilarious. These look good though. I always wonder what the technical difference between such items like friands, muffins, cupcakes etc actually is! They are generally pretty transferrable

  12. What do you say when I say friends are made through friands? ;p

  13. So many good ideas here. I love the idea of freezing extra whites! I have never done that, but now will from here on out. And I have also never made a friand!! I will definitely be making this recipe!! I loved this!

  14. Hello Readers Dear,
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the friands.They really are delicate little morsels.
    Spice, I'm glad you came to your senses and accepted the cake tin. I wonder if the same thing would happen if you gave away something else? Could be interesting, or perhaps the Universe was pushing you towards your friand destiny?
    I did some googling on the subject of baked goods and found an answer for you GG.
    Cupcakes are 'real' cakes, generally using the creaming method. Muffins are classified as quickbreads, and friands are almost between the two.
    Another suggestion I found was that if you threw a cup cupcake at the wall it would go 'poof'. If it was a muffin it would go 'thud'. So I guess then, that being French,a friand would go 'Oh La La!'

  15. And I certainly agree with you Tiger fish, friends are made through friands! Whatever language you use!