Coffee and flaked almond friands

Image of coffee butter friands to illustrate a recipe from Safia Shakarchi

Espresso-infused butter gives a wonderful flavour to these moreishly nutty cakes.
By Safia Shakarchi

Of all the things I’ll miss from lockdown, eating a freshly baked batch of a dozen cakes to myself will be one. But, at the same time, there’s nothing quite like having some pals over or heading out for a picnic. These little cakes travel well so they’re great to pack up and take to the park, or just pile them on a plate and let your friends help themselves to a bite when they come over.

The coffee comes in by infusing the melted butter. I’ve whisked in some instant espresso for a more intense flavour, but you can also experiment with using your favourite beans. Try replacing the instant espresso with about 40g beans and using 215g butter instead (a little will get lost when coating the beans, and don’t forget to sieve them out).

Both methods will result in a light, nutty coffee-infused cake… you may still decide to keep all dozen of them to yourself after all!

Makes 12 cakes
200g unsalted butter
1tbsp instant espresso
70g plain flour
180g ground almonds
220g icing sugar, sifted
6 large egg whites
50g flaked almonds

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Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan and lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan. Once melted, whisk in the instant espresso and briefly bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool and infuse for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, ground almonds, icing sugar and a pinch of salt together in a mixing bowl. Set to one side.

Using an electric mixer (or by hand with a little elbow grease), whip the egg whites up to soft peaks in a bowl. Carefully fold the whites into the dry ingredients.

Pour in the cooled melted coffee butter and gently mix together to form a batter, ensuring everything is fully incorporated.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin tray and scatter the flaked almonds over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the tray for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

This feature appeared in issue 05 of Caffeine magazine Australia

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