December 31, 2012
I generally tend to have dried coconut around the house - it's wonderful in a lot of baked goods, perks up a bowl of oatmeal, and makes a nifty sambal or chutney. A spoonful in a choco-banana smoothie almost turns a breakfast beverage into a party single handedly.
For all of that, I don't often feature coconut in all of its glory all that often. Sure, I've made the odd macaroon in my day, who hasn't? People like coconut macaroons. But! I suspect that people would probably like coconut friands even better.
I found this recipe on the delightful Girl Cooks World blog, where she subtitles them "little coconut tea cakes", which is a very good description to highlight the differences between friands and macaroons. She also differentiates them from the potentially related financiers, for which she also has a few recipes (and boy, they look good!).
These are gluten free (Girl Cooks World is quietly, entirely gluten free), which makes them an excellent treat to take to festive occasions where such bounty might be thin on the ground. Your gluten-free friends will be delighted, and so will anyone else who tries them. I halved the recipe, with excellent results (as listed below), but you can certainly "double" it again to get 24 lovely little cakes. Don't worry, they won't have a chance to get stale.
Makes 12 mini tea cakes
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons superfine rice flour
1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spritz a 12-whole mini muffin tin with cooking spray, generously. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites until smooth and frothy, but not stiff. Add each of the remaining ingredients, in order, stirring well with a spatula between each addition.
Divide the batter between the muffin-cups. Bake for 17 - 20 minutes, or until the edges are tinged with gold. Remove from the oven, and carefully invert over a rack. A quick tap on the bottom of the pan should remove any stragglers, or you can use a little fork to help lift them out. Re-arrange so they are all right-side-up, and allow to cool at room temperature. Dust with confectioner's sugar, if you like.
Excellent, hot or cold.
Next time I make these, I plan to add a little lime zest in with the sugar. Doesn't that sound delightful?