Spring in Sydney means an abundance of oranges. Of course I love blood oranges, and use them whenever possible. But the humble navel orange is juicy, sweet and seedless. The wonderful Orange Grove Market sells local oranges that are just divine and I am buying them in abundance!
So I made my usual recipe for friands, some with blood oranges and some featuring navels. These little cakes are made with eggs whites only and ground almonds and are very similar to the French financier.
I made 2 batches, using a blood orange in one batch and a navel orange in the other.
6 egg whites, beaten lightly
75g plain flour
240g icing sugar, sifted
125g almond meal
150g melted butter, cooled
Grated zest and juice of an orange
150g icing sugar or enough to make a thick glaze.
6 orange slices, to candy
50g caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan-forced. Lightly grease 12 friand molds.
Beat the egg whites until frothy with fork in a large mixing bowl.
Sift the flour and icing sugar into the bowl, stir in almond meal and then add the melted butter. Stir in the zest of the orange, and the juice of one half of the orange.
Spoon the mixture (approximately ¼ cup) into each of the molds.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown or until a skewer is inserted into centre comes out clean. Sometimes the friands need a few more minutes in the oven to be nice and brown.
To make the glaze, mix the juice of the other half of the orange with the icing sugar. You may need to add more or less juice or more or less icing sugar to get the glaze to the right consistency to ice the friands. Ice the friands with just enough glaze to coat the tops and perhaps to run down the sides a little.
To candy the orange slices, put them into a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly soft. Drain, and place the slices on a plate and coat well with the sugar. The slices will be sweet and slightly sticky.
Put the slices on top of the iced friands for serving.