Double Chocolate & Cherry Friand

Friand is a small almond cake, which is a close relative of the French financier. Apparently, friands are quite popular in Australia and New Zealand. At the first glance, the recipe for friand looks almost identical to the French financier, doesn’t it? The pincipal ingredients and their amounts, such as icing sugar, almond powder, melted butter and egg white, are nearly the same. However, if you study the recipe closely, you would notice one important difference — the butter. Financier requires the addition of browned butter, or beurre noisette. In contrast, melted butter is used for making friand. Hence, friand is easier to make and you could even bake it with your kids at home.

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Friands: Before baking

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In this recipe, I added dark chocolate buttons to the chocolate friand to make it richer in taste. If you prefer a lighter chocolate friand, you can always omit the chocolate buttons. I would recommend 55% dark chocolate, because I found that 70% dark chocolate buttons would solidify again when the friands had cooled down, probably because of higher cocoa butter content. 55% dark chocolate is just right.

Ingredients (yield: 6 muffin-size cakes)

Melted butter 100g
Icing sugar 130g
Ground almond 60g
Plain flour 37g
Cocoa powder 5g
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Egg white 120g
Dark chocolate buttons (55%) 100g
Fresh cherries 6 pieces, or more to serve

Method:

  1. Prepare a muffin tray/cups or a friand tray. Grease the tray or muffin cups with butter and dust with flour. Preheat oven at 180 degree Celcius.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together all icing sugar, ground almond, plain flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  3. Whip the egg white lightly so that it becomes frothy.
  4. Add egg white to the sifted dry ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Mix in melted butter.
  6. Add chocolate buttons to the friand mixture.
  7. Divide friand batter evenly between 6 muffin cups.
  8. Put a fresh cherry in the middle of each friand batter. No need to push the cherry all the way down. img_3096
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the skewer inserted near the centre of the friand comes out clean.
  10. Remove from muffin tray/ cups, and let them cool down completely before serving. (Be careful when eating the friands, because the cherries are not yet pitted.)

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