My parents, born and raised in Sri Lanka, are highly bemused by the sudden popularity of coconut oil, especially as many of the virgin coconut oil products come from Sri Lanka itself. They find it highly comical that health food nuts and buffs are paying exorbitant amounts of money for something that’s rather cheap and seen as an inferior product in Lanka, compared to olive, canola and even vegetable oils. Granted, the Sri Lankan stuff that’s made for local consumption can be nasty. Meanwhile, my relatives are always singing the virtues of all other oils and asking us to bring olive oil to eat, drink and moisturise their skin with.
Some of that thinking has obviously rubbed off on me, there is a part of me that baulks at the idea of paying over 10 dollars for a small jar of what my grandmother bought from the markets for under a hundred rupees (approximately a dollar). In saying that, it’s a fabulous dairy-free alternative to butter and in this recipe, gives a lovely silky texture to the final friand – so much so that I didn’t even miss the butter, this time. Yes you heard correct, I didn’t even notice the butter was gone.
1 cup almond meal
1 2/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
5 egg whites
150g coconut oil, melted
Raspberry and sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C. Place the almond meal, icing sugar, flour, baking powder, cocoa, egg whites, coconut oil in a bowl and whisk until combined.
Spoon the mixture into 12 x 1/2-cup capacity lightly greased oval-shaped friand tins, insert a raspberry on top and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 20–25 minutes or until risen and cooked through. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Using a palette knife, loosen the edges and remove the friands from the tins immediately.
Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving. Makes 12.