xmas 2023 - gluten free gingerbread friands with a rum butter glaze

Welcome to the last bake for Xmas Week 2023. I know one isn't supposed to play favourites, but of all the recipes I made for Christmas, these gingerbread friands were my favourite. They were moist, delicately spiced and topped with the most delicious glaze. The friands are a Liz Prueitt recipe I bookmarked years ago, whilst the glaze came from Sweet.

Here’s the recipe for you which makes 10 friands. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Gluten free gingerbread friands with rum butter glaze – makes 10
130g unsalted butter
¼ cup gluten free flour mix 
3 tsp cocoa sifted
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp each nutmeg and allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
125g brown sugar
100g almond meal
4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp golden syrup

Rum-Butter Glaze
80g icing sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
15 g unsalted butter, melted and warm
1 tbsp dark rum (or lemon juice)
1 tsp warm water

To decorate (optional)
candied thyme leaves or rosemary

Preheat the oven to 220°C, conventional. Brush 10 holes of a friand tin with some melted butter. Place in the fridge to chill while you make the batter.

To brown the butter, place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until melted. Continue to cook until the butter is foaming, gently swirling the pan from time to time, to allow the solids to brown more evenly. Continue to allow the butter to bubble away until it turns a rich golden brown and smells of toasted nuts and caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, to allow the burnt solids to collect at the bottom of the pan. Strain through a fine-mesh (or muslin-lined) sieve, discarding the solids. Allow the browned butter to cool slightly before using. It should still be warm when folding into the mix later: if it is too hot it will start to cook the egg whites; if it is too cool it will be difficult to incorporate into the mix. You will need 100g of browned butter for this recipe.

While the butter is cooling, sift the flour, cocoa, spices and salt into a bowl. Stir through the brown sugar and the almond meal. Put the egg whites in a small bowl and use a whisk or fork to froth them up for a few seconds – you do not need to whisk them completely. Pour the egg whites into the sifted dry ingredients and stir until they are incorporated. Add the vanilla, the golden syrup and the browned butter and mix until the batter is smooth.

Remove the tin from the fridge and fill the moulds just over two-thirds of the way up the sides. Reduce the temperature to 200°C conventional and bake for 10 minutes before rotating the tray. Reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for another 5 minutes or until the edges of the friands are golden brown and the centres have a slight peak and spring back when gently prodded. Set aside to cool before removing them from their moulds; you might need to use a small knife to help you release the sides. Cool on a wire rack before icing the friands with the rum butter glaze.

To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl. Add the melted butter, rum (or lemon juice) and water and mix with a spoon until smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly if it sits around, so stir through a little more warm water if you need to—it should be the consistency of runny honey. Ice each cake and allow the glaze to set before serving. If liked, you can top the friands with some candied herbs. 

To candy the herbs, simply brush the herbs with egg white (I used a small paint brush) then toss in caster sugar to coat. Place the herbs on baking paper to dry out before using. Store any leftover herbs in an airtight container.

Although the candied herbs are optional, I think they made the gingerbread friands look very festive.

That's my last post for 2023. Life is a bit topsy-turvy at the moment so I'm not sure when I'll be back in the kitchen again. Until then, all the best over the holiday season and keep safe and well.

Bye for now,


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