Think a wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free dessert would have to be a bit lacklustre? We’d have to disagree; take a look at Marianne Stewart’s recipe for peach, rosemary and olive oil friands, which prove you can most definitely have your cake and eat it too.
A friand, or financier, is an egg white and almond-based sponge that is simple to make, and the unbaked batter can be kept in the fridge for a while before use. This makes it the ultimate low-effort, high-reward bake, and this version is gluten- and dairy- free to boot. The combination of peach, rosemary and olive oil is pure summer, but you can easily substitute other stone fruit or herbs – try thyme and plum or lavender and apricot.
Makes 8 friands
- 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped, 1 tsp reserved for topping
- 110g (4oz/½ cup, plus 1 tbsp) demerara (raw brown) sugar
- 85g (3oz/generous ¾ cup) ground almonds
- 40g (1½oz/¼ cup) brown rice flour or rice flour
- 5g (¹⁄8oz/1 tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch) or tapioca flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 4 egg whites (about 140g/5oz)
- 40g (1½oz/3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
- 80g (3oz/¹⁄³ cup) dairy-free yoghurt
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 firm ripe peach, sliced into 16 pieces
- warm honey, for glazing
- rapeseed (canola) or coconut oil, for greasing
- Blitz the finely chopped rosemary with the sugar in a blender until fine. Sift together the rosemary-sugar, ground almonds, flours and baking powder into a bowl. Add the egg whites and stir gently with a whisk. Mix together the olive oil, yoghurt, lemon zest and juice. Add to the batter and blend gently with the whisk.
- Scrape the mixture into a piping bag or jug, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F. Grease an 8-hole oval silicone financier/friand mould (each cavity dimensions about 7.5 x 5.5cm/3 x 2¼in) with rapeseed (canola) or melted coconut oil and place on a baking sheet.
- Pour or pipe the batter into each cavity to fill two-thirds, then top each with 2 slices of peach.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until risen and browned around the edges. Cool the cakes still in the moulds on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then de-mould and cool completely.
- Glaze with a little warm honey, then sprinkle the reserved rosemary on top.
They will keep for 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe taken from Nourish Cakes by Marianne Stewart (Quadrille, £15). Photography © Catherine Frawley.