It’s been a busy, busy week and tomorrow S and I leave for Florida for his youngest brother’s wedding (very exciting!). But before we head out of town, I have to share this recipe for Chocolate Friands. I have confessed many times my dislike of chocolate, but I believe I have stumbled upon the recipe that has changed my mind.

I don’t often make chocolate things but as S was celebrating his 30th birthday last weekend, I knew I needed to bake something to please his palate. Chocolate he requested so chocolate it would be. I recently picked up a copy of Tartine and remembered pausing at the recipe for Chocolate Friands (friand is French for “small mouthful”).

I love to bake cakes but with just the two of us we usually never make it beyond a few slices. The rest of the cake hangs around the counter begging to be eaten. With any luck the remainder finds its way to friends and neighbors.

The friands remind me a bit of brownies–the best brownies I’ve ever made (without question). I worried that the crown of ganache would be overkill, but I was mistaken. The friands weren’t too sweet at all. The tiny treats were perfect for S’s birthday celebration.

These were a delight to make-buttering and flouring the molds and filling them with the thick chocolate batter. Be forewarned–if you use smaller molds, the recipe will produce quite a lot. We were up to our elbows in friands, but they keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. And it’s much easier to share a cute little brownie with the co-workers than a half-eaten cake.

Chocolate Friands
Excerpted from Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

6 oz, bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup, unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp, sugar
3/4 cups, ap flour
2 tbsp, cornstarch
1/4 tsp, salt
4 large eggs

4 oz, bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup, heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line up 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 or stir until smooth. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt and mix well. Add teh 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.

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, adn 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.

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.

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.

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 refriderator and then leave them in the container when you remove them from the referigerator until they come to room temperature, or to serve them right away.

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