Foodiva's Kitchen: French Fridays With Dorie - Coconut Friands

Friday, April 20, 2012

French Fridays With Dorie - Coconut Friands

Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else. 
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Metaphorically speaking, I've been off the planet for two weeks and that's exactly the length of time you haven't seen a post from me. And I've been missing my French Fridays with Dorie crowd dearly so when I felt it was time to come back into the warmth of the blogging community, I almost always choose to cook along with the others in this virtual group. The other reason is of course, I don't have to think too hard to create my own recipe, as Dorie always provides one for us each week (well that's probably the main reason!).


This week's voted recipe is Coconut Friands, a French tea cake very similar to financiers except the nuts in the latter is replaced with unsweetened coconut. Normally I would have a bag of dried, shredded and unsweetened coconut lurking around in my baking arsenal but when I decided to bake these today, the bag had mysteriously disappeared. Either it had gone off somewhere on vacation and forgot to tell me, or Diva D had used it all up and yes, she forgot to tell me.


Funnily enough, this week I happened to make a coconut-flavored ice cream using macapuno, so I had a jar of that still lying around. And since a coconut by any other name is still a coconut, I thought, why not? Except I would have to play around a little with Dorie's recipe because macapuno, which literally means - oh my goodness - "mutant coconut", has a thick but soft gelatinous-like flesh that is used in popular Filipino sweets and ice cream.


The batter would not be as dry as when dried coconut is used, so to compensate for this, I increased the amount of flour and decreased the sugar (the macapuno strips were already preserved in a very sweet syrup, anyway). This probably lessened the browning of the batter during baking, resulting in slightly pale-looking, but no less delicious, friands.


As per Dorie's bonne idee to add a small piece of soft or candied fruit on top of each friand batter, I went ahead and added the striking, red-fleshed dragon fruit. I fashioned them into fetching little flowers using my fondant cutter, which by the way, I have never used to cut fondant with (but only because I haven't worked with fondant, well not yet). Producing these delicate flowers was probably the hardest part of this whole friand business, the rest of the mixing was so easy you can do it without any special equipment or technique.


I used a mini-muffin tin to bake them in, but I've seen others use a classic, oval-shaped friand mold or even a madeleine pan. The end result was pretty pleasing, with the macapuno ensuring that the friand remained on the coconut-ey side but softer to bite into rather than crunchy and grainy. And who can resist that pretty fuschia pink flower on top?

This recipe is contained in Dorie's award winning cookbook, Around My French Table. If you have a copy, why don't you join our fun cooking group? For other wonderful takes on this recipe, check out the other Doristas' posts here.

Have a delicious weekend ahead, everyone!

39 comments:

Cher Rockwell said...

Maya! Those are so pretty - mutant coconut and all :-)
Glad to see you back.

Maya Mohd said...

Cher, aren't you glad that I haven't mutated either? Lol, so glad to be back among friends!

Trix said...

I am not surprised that you made such pretty friands! Everything you do is always gorgeous. : )

Maya Mohd said...

Thank you, Trix! With the support of gorgeous and talented friends like you, it's not really that difficult :).

Elin said...

Gosh! these coconut friands of yours look stunning with the fresh fruit topping. Beautiful !

Ei said...

Dragonfruit is so purty! "Mutant coconut" amuses me. I never knew such a thing existed!!

Maya Mohd said...

Thank you, Elin! I wish I had berries, but that that leftover dragonfruit was just begging to be used up :). Lol.

Maya Mohd said...

Ei, the nomenclature worries more than it amuses some people! Lol. No, nothing bad will happen to you with these friands, they're non-radioactive... and totally yummy. :)

Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) said...

You make everything so pretty! I haven't had macapuno in years but I'm tempted to pick up a jar now that I've seen your post. Haven't ever worked with fondant either but I love the shape of the cutter!

Maya Mohd said...

Jean, to be honest, that was the first time ever that I bought a jar of macapuno. Of course I had to buy it since I couldn't get the fresh macapuno coconut here. I loved making these friands and ice cream with it, so there will be another macapuno recipe in the future. Next, fondant! :)

Kris' Kitchen said...

Glad you are back on the planet. Beautiful baking! Every time I see dragonfruit in your recipes I wish I had some hanging around here!!! Such a very pretty addition and you have shaped it so beautifully for these friands. Nice baking...always love to come and see what you have done.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts said...

So pretty! Glad you are back!

Frankly Entertaining said...

The fruit looks gorgeous on top of your friands. I can always count on you for the most creative interpretation!

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef said...

I love the dragonfruit on top. We don't get it often here but when it's available I always buy some and then end up making sorbet with it because I have no dragonfruit imagination. :)

Looks beautiful!

Guyla said...

The dragonfruit stars really add a pop of color and probably flavor too. My friands didn't brown much either.

Sandra M. said...

Welcome back dear!
:)) First I thought that you put cooked beets on top hehee...than I read the post! Looks amazing as always!

Lizzy said...

Welcome back, my friend! I've missed you and your GORGEOUS food photos! This week is no exception...your dragon fruit looks amazing on these friands. Have a wonderful weekend~

Gina said...

Why is it my Diva Darling that I get red with envy when you parade those dragon fruits in front of me? He he. I've missed you, I've had quite the falling this week too. Only blue skies ahead, remember that. I saw these when Patty made them and have had them on the brain ever since. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
-Gina-

www.you-made-that.com said...

Love how cute your dragon fruit turned out. Great looking dessert.

Priscilla @ShesCookin said...

I adore anything coconut and the dragon fruit topping adds a beautiful touch!

Kathy said...

Maya, Absolutely beautiful coconut friands…love, love the dragonfruit flowers. They look gorgeous!

Teresa said...

Very pretty! Dragonfruit is so beautiful, especially with the lovely little flower shapes you made for your friands.

Anonymous said...

I love all of your adaptations! Your flowers are ridiculously beautiful and how neat that you paired dragonfruit with it! I bet mango and papaya bits would be good with it too!

Alice @ http://acookingmizer.wordpress.com

Betsy said...

Hi Maya, Good to see you this week. Your Mutant Coconut Friands are lovely. I especially like the colorful dragonfruit flowers on top. Your friands are definitely ready for a party.

Gerry @Foodness Gracious said...

Nice job and that dragon fruit is awesome, what does it taste like, not real dragons..right? ;)

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Hi Maya,

New to your blog but excited to be here! :) Your coconut friands look delicious; I love the flower toppers!

Magic of Spice said...

Those are just beautiful! Love the pretty dragon fruit on top :)

Maya Mohd said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments, and especially to the Doristas who tried this recipe out. I will try to go round and comment on your posts soon!

Maya Mohd said...

Gina, thank you my ever supportive Cookie Queen! I'll keep your words in mind when I'm having one of 'those' days... Missed you bucketfuls too and wish I could send over a crate of pink dragon fruits your way! <3

Maya Mohd said...

Gerry, I've never eaten any dragons before so I can't really compare. Do they taste like chicken? LOL. The fruit version has the texture of kiwi, is slightly sweet but on the verge of bland, I'm afraid.

Maya Mohd said...

Laura, welcome and thanks for visiting this site! Am curious to find out more about yours too, as I heard many lovely things about your food :)

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

Maya- I don't think there's any dessert you couldn't concur. Cheers to you my friend! How long did they last in your house? I'm sure not for long.

Natasha Price said...

These are so pretty with the dragon fruit flowers on top!

Mary Hirsch said...

MAYA, You really created something special out of Dorie's original recipe and you did have to think outside the box. I would have loved to taste those creations. They looked beautiful.

loavesandstitches said...

Very interesting and pretty, too!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Maya! You never bore us with the way you bake/cook. I've seen several coconut friands but yours look very original and I love it!

Christy said...

Wow!!! I adore how these look with the dragon fruit - not only delicious but eye candy as well!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

After all these wonderful comments, it is rather difficult to come up with anything, the other s have not mentioned already. there is the stunning photos, the wonderful dragonfruit floer

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

...that should not have happened, one of the kids just talked to me, I was distracted and hit the publish button...so I meant to say "flower", of course, and the use of the "substitute coconut" ...It is an interesting and very beautiful post! Sorry for the first incomplete comment, will not happen again! Enjoy the rest of the week!

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