Friday, April 20, 2012

The Presbyterian and Pina Colada Friand

It could take a fortnight to debate whether a “Coconut Friand,” this week’s French Fridays with Dorie challenge, is a “French Friand,” a “Financier” or an “Australian/New Zealand Friand.”  No matter the derivation, it is a tea cake, and this makes me think of High Tea at The Empress Hotel in Victoria or Afternoon Tea at Brown’s Hotel in London.  Those occasions when we Americans try to act cultured, pinkies extended, as we sip tea and eat insipid, crustless cucumber finger sandwiches and cloyingly sweet dessert delicacies when what we really want is a strong libation after a day’s shopping and sightseeing.

Around my French Table is a staple in our kitchen
 I have become a California girl and my sous chef is a Los Angeles native.  When we hear the word “coconut” we think of crashing waves, balmy breezes and swaying palm trees, not some cute tea cake.  Give me a chair overlooking the ocean, a cocktail in hand and Jimmy Buffet on the radio and I am in heaven.  In this sunbaked part of Southern California--we have already reached 100+ degrees—it is pleasant, if not essential, to introduce the tropics into our lives whenever possible.  So I decided to create a culinary libation based on one of my favorite tropical drinks.  Ergo, the “Piña Colada Friand.”

Lightly whisk egg whites until slightly foamy

Whisk in all ingredients, being particularly gentle with flour and melted butter
The batter is super easy to prepare and can be made up to 3 days in advance.  To create this culinary libation, I took a few necessary liberties in augmenting Dorie’s recipe by adding lime zest, dark rum, and vanilla fleur de sel and using a combination of sweetened and unsweetened shredded coconut.  I put a fresh pineapple square in the bottom of each paper cup in the mini-muffin tin before pouring in the batter.  I placed the mini-muffin tins on baking pans and put them into a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes, at which time I rotated the baking pans and baked for another 8 minutes.  I then removed the paper cups and let the friands cool on a baking rack.  Viola!  A “Piña Colada Friand.”

Who put the lime with the coconut????

A little pineapple for our daily fruit intake...hey, it's worth a try to make this a "health food"

24 Pina Colada Friands ready for baking

The friands looked a little naked, like the men at Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, so I decided a cover-up was needed.  I made a simple glaze from confectioner’s sugar and coconut milk and toasted some shredded coconut for color and texture.  After the friands had cooled slightly, I drizzled on the glaze and sprinkled on the toasted coconut.  The Piña Colada Friands now looked properly clothed and ready to party.

Poolside, waiting for that afternoon tea.....

Teetotalers beware!  These friands deserve more than hot tea.  An ice cold Piña Colada is a natural pairing, but I am an aspiring mixologist diva and the simple way is not my way, for better or for worse.  After many trials and a handful of Tylenols, I found the perfect cocktail accompaniment:  The Presbyterian.  This drink is not for choir boys and, despite its name, its consumption need not be limited to Sunday brunches. 

The Presbyterian
(Adapted from a demonstration by Mark Peel of Campanile at Palm Desert Food & Wine 2012)

2 Ounces Rye Whiskey
1 Ounce Simple Syrup
1 Lime freshly squeezed
Ginger Beer to top off

Place the rye whiskey, simple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.  Fill with ice and vigorously shake.  Fill a glass (preferably a Collins glass) with ice and pour, leaving about one inch room so you can top off with Ginger Beer.

This makes a light, refreshing cocktail that goes perfectly with the Piña Colada Friands.  So make a pitcher of Presbyterians, grab a handful of Piña Colada Friands, crank-up the volume on Margaritaville and enjoy.

To read more French Friday's with Dorie or to join the group:


  1. Yum...that's my kind of food pairing!!!

  2. Ooh, I like your addition of fresh pineapple in the middle. Very pina colada!

  3. The lime in the coconut - ha!
    Your friands looks lovely and the cocktail, well, it just needed to be done.
    Your posts always make me smile.

  4. Looks delicious! Want to have a bite

  5. Love that you added the coconut to the top and the pineapple to the middle…they look so lovely!
    A perfect paring with that cocktail…I love ginger beer!! Yum!

  6. Not a thing missing here. The friands look wonderful with the glaze, the perfect topping. You certainly made a simple recipe very special.

  7. I will take some of each! Great post, Christy. I feel for you in the 100+ degrees. We have reached the 80s here in northern california these past few days and it is hot enough for me. The pina colada friand is truly inspired. Love them! And I am bookmarking this so I can get my son (also an aspiring mixologist) to make us some Presbyterians when he gets home from school.

  8. What a stunning post...and the photos...fantastic! Great idea to bake a pina colada version of Dorie's Friands. Looking great and delicious! I am also jealous of the wonderful weather you are having...let"s not even talk about the hailstorm we got this afternoon around here...Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Wow, inspired variation on the friands! They look (and sound) delicious.

  10. I love the idea of pina colada friands, they look and sound so good! I am with you, my happy place is a beach, a cocktail, and Jimmy on the radio...wonderful! Have a great weekend!

  11. Ha! Pina colada friands. You are very clever. I wish I had figured out a way to make these with coconut milk, but NO shredded coconut. I didn't actually make them. My sister subbed for me this week because she knew that her family would enjoy them.

  12. Christy, You win. That is the coconut friands taken up several notches. Over the top. Do you lay in bed at night and think of these things or do they just drop into your lap. (The ideas, not the friands.) I especially liked the idea of frosting those little suckers. And, as far as The Presbyterian goes, I just sent my letter of resignation to my Episcopalian Church and am converting. Well done. Mary

  13. I love what you did with these. The pina colada flavor additions and toppings both sound (and look) great! So glad you enjoyed these - and the Presbyterian does sound excellent.

  14. Absolute perfection, Christy! I would love these!

    I'm going to be a bit late with the lamb as my husband is just heading back from VA.

  15. I'm so far behind on FF I don't know when I'll get caught up. Love what you did with your friands and your cocktail sounds fabulous!

  16. Your jazzed up friands sound marvelous...and I'd love a Presbyterian to chase it down :)


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