Almond friands with vanilla ice cream and vanilla dust

Makes 8 Cakes, Bread and Pastries

Friands 3 4482


For the ice cream

  • 2 vanilla pods, split
  • 125g caster sugar or vanilla sugar (see recipe linked)
  • 5 egg yolks (save the whites for the friands)
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 200ml double cream

For the friands

  • 100g butter, plus extra to grease caster sugar, to dust
  • 80ml agave nectar or honey
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • seeds 1 vanilla pod
  • 170g skin-on almonds, finely ground
  • 85g ‘00’ flour
  • 5 medium egg whites (approx. 185g)
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 25g whole skin-on almonds, roughly chopped
  • vanilla dust, to decorate (see recipe linked)


First, make the ice cream. Remove the seeds from the vanilla pods using a sharp knife, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar (see vanilla sugar recipe here) and egg yolks together until creamy.

Pour the milk into a pan and add the vanilla seeds and pods. Bring to just under boiling point, then gradually pour the milk over the egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously. Pour back into the pan and set over a low heat, then stir with a wooden spoon until it reaches a temperature of 75C on a cook’s thermometer – or just watch for a slight change in texture to a thin custard (it won’t be thick) and don’t let it boil.

Put the base of the pan in a basin of cold water to stop the custard cooking further and leave it to become cold and infused with vanilla flavour.

Fish out the pods, rinse and leave on kitchen paper to dry – you can add them to a jar of sugar when dry, if you like.

Whisk the cream into the cold custard, then transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze until the outer edges are hard. Fork the frozen bits of the custard into the centre, break it all up and refreeze. Repeat once more, then freeze again until firm.

Cut the frozen custard into pieces and transfer to the bowl of a food processor and whizz to break up all the ice crystals. Put it back in the freezer and freeze until the ice cream is firm and scoopable. Alternatively, process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and freeze.

To make the friands, grease 8 x 100ml oval friand moulds (or use muffin tins) with a little butter and dust with caster sugar, then sit them on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C F/Gas 4.

Gently melt the butter and agave nectar or honey in a pan over a low heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and seeds and set aside to cool. In a bowl, mix the ground almonds and flour together.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar with a handheld electric whisk until the beaters begin to leave a pattern in the foam. You don’t want it to be as stiff as meringue but it should not be watery.

Stir the cooled butter mixture into the bowl with the almonds and flour. Fold in the egg whites, being careful not to over-mix as you need to keep the volume. Use to fill the moulds up to three-quarters, then scatter the chopped almonds over and bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden.

Leave to cool in the moulds for around 5 minutes before tipping out. Serve warm or cold with the ice cream, dusted with a pinch of vanilla dust (recipe here).

This recipe featured in the October 2022 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe, click here.

Recipes and food styling by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.
Friands 3 4482
Recipes and food styling by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.


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