Today is the birthday of a friend with whom I recently reconnected. Knowing that I would be seeing her was the just excuse that I needed to bake the Chocolate Friands from the wonderful Tartine cookbook. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a while and I am glad that I finally baked these delectables bites (friand is french for “small mouthful”).
The recipe couldn’t be easier-you don’t even have to drag the mixer out. I do have one word of advice-use the best chocolate that you can find. I used Callebaut, from Belgium, but Valrhona is equally as good. I love the fact that these little cakes are really just a couple of bites, although they’re so good, one might just might not be enough!
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (coarsely chopped)
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 mini-muffin cup paper liners on a baking sheet, or butter and flour 24 mini-muffin-tin wells, knocking out the excess flour.
To make the batter, place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until very hot. Pour the butter over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt and mix well. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in 3 batches, whisking well after each addition. Add 2 of the eggs and whisk until combined and then add the remaining eggs and whisk until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Transfer the batter to a liquid measuring cup and fill the cups until 3/4 full. Bake until the cakes just start to crack on the top, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then unmold if you used a mini-muffin tin. If you used paper cups, just let them cool in the cups.
To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a small, heatproof bowl. Bring the cream just under a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for a minute or two. Stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
When the friands are cool, dip them into the ganache by holding on the sides and shake gently to let the excess chocolate run off. I found it easy to spoon the ganache over the top and then swirl it around. Let the ganache set up for about an hour in a cool place. If you want to keep them overnight, make sure that you store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Yield: 24 mini cakes