chocolate friands

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These are hard to describe. They resemble brownies, but are so far on the fudgy end of the brownie spectrum that they’re almost candy. They’re served in candy cups if you can find them, but the alternative option is mini muffin cups, which makes the friands resemble cake. These don’t fall neatly into any category.

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They’re made similarly to brownies too, with a few interesting variations. One is that, instead of melting the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water like most brownie recipes, hot melted butter was poured over chopped chocolate, and the residual heat of the butter melted the chocolate. It provides the same effect as a double boiler, but it’s simpler.

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The other difference I noted is that the eggs are stirred in last. Usually flour is the last thing added to batters and doughs, because the more flour is worked (stirred or kneaded), the chewier and less tender the resultant baked good becomes. Plus, eggs are mostly water and they don’t easily mix into the fatty mixture of butter and chocolate, so seeing that worrisome “do not overmix” warning right after the eggs are added at the end was extra stressful.

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And lastly, and I believe most importantly, there is no leavener – no baking powder or soda, no whipped eggs. This is what makes the confections so rich that they’re almost more candy than brownie. And that is what makes them so hard to figure out.

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Apparently they’re hard to pronounce too, as I had multiple coworkers come by my office to thank me for the ‘chocolate friends’ that I brought in to share. It’s an appropriate name for a treat I chose to make for Josie’s virtual baby shower. Josie is in the no-dessert-is-too-rich club, like me, so I definitely consider her a chocolate friend. Congratulations Josie! I wish you and your family the best.

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One year ago: Banana Peanut Butter Muffins
Two years ago: Vegetable Curry
Three years ago: Country Egg Scramble

Printer Friendly Recipe
Chocolate Friands (from Tartine)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter
1½ cups + 1 tablespoon (11 ounces) sugar
¾ cups (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
⅔ cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line up 48 1½-by-½ inch candy cups on 2 baking sheets, or butter and flour 24 mini-muffin-tin wells, knocking out the excess flour.

2. 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 or stir until smooth. In a medium mixing 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 2 eggs and whisk just until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

3. Transfer the batter to a liquid measuring cup for pouring, and fill the cups three-fourths full. Bake until the cakes just start to crack on top, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, and then unmold them if you have baked them in the muffin tins and let cool completely. If you have baked them in the paper cups, just let them cool in the cups.

3. To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to 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 rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

4. Make sure the friands are cool before dipping them into the ganache. Holding each friand by its sides, dip the top into the ganache and then shake gently to let the excess run off the side. Return the friand to the rack and let the ganache set up in a cool place for about 1 hour.

5. Don’t put the friands in the refrigerator to set up if your kitchen is hot because condensation will form on the tops when you take them out, ruining the smooth look of the ganache. The only way to avoid the condensation is to place them in an airtight container before putting them in the refrigerator adn then to leave them in the refrigerator and then leave them in the container when you remove them from the refrigerator until they come to room temperature, or to serve them right away.

6. Serve the friands within a day of making, or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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  1. Fudgy brownies that are like candy? Yes, please!

  2. These look too easy to make. I have all of the ingredients on hand right now. With a small playdate today, I see these in the very near future.

  3. Those sound totally worthy of being baked in ‘peanut butter cup’ paper cups! And what a great chocolatey indulgence to compliment a party menu!

  4. These sound so wonderful, Bridget. Thanks for being part of Josie’s shower!

  5. So cute! And yes, no dessert is too rich! Love this idea, thanks so much for being a part of my shower!

  6. I have never heard of this dessert and I thought I knew all things chocolate! What a great dessert for a baby shower! I really wish I could reach out and grab one!!

  7. Yum!

  8. I would consider them candy and pop them like there’s no tomorrow.

  9. Friendly brownie candy? Absolutely! These look incredible, Bridget. What a wonderful addition to Josie’s shower.

  10. These look addicting!

  11. These little guys look like they would be great “friends” of mine too! Beautiful job, Bridget!!

  12. I’m with Tara – I think I would be friends with these, too! I would not, however, be friends with anyone who tried to take them from me. They look lovely!

  13. I’ve been craving something exactly like this lately. I made fudge, but it didn’t cut it. I made chocolate cupcakes…still didn’t cut it. Now, THESE? Ummm, I’m sure they would do it for me. Thank you so much for sharing this-this might be a fun weekend splurge.

  14. Laura says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I wanted to make this recipe so badly that I added you to my google reader, forgetting that I already had you in there! Ha ha! Looks delicious!

  15. Thanks Bridget – just shared this with our chocolate loving friends at DC Metro Chocolate Tours.

  16. You can’t go wrong with a description like fudgy brownies

  17. What beautiful little treats! I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to eat just one.

  18. I’m definitely not a big brownie fan. But I thought these were great. In my opinion these are more fudgy than brownie. The small portion size makes them easy.

  19. Can we just call them chocolate friends? Because I think they’d make very good friends 🙂