Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chocolate Hazelnut Friands

Five egg whites were burning a hole in my freezer. I had used the yolks for something (crispy cereal prawns!) and decided to try freezing the I have heard so many people do. I was quite pleased that, finally, I would not be sending some poor unused whites to the bin without a fighting chance. So I smugly tucked the whites to sleep for a bit in the deep freeze and that was that.

Much too soon, little niggling egg white thoughts began to badger me. “Must use those egg whites soon!” “What will you do with those egg whites?” “Don’t forget about those five frozen egg whites!


I know you must be thinking of a ton of things to do with egg whites – meringue or some version of it – like a pavlova (which seems to be enjoying some kind of crazy resurgence!) – maybe an angel food cake or a canonigo. But you see, I am not an egg white kind of girl. I, sigh, do not like meringue (even though I think the making of it is pretty charming). I do not really like any (solely) egg white based desserts. I am more an egg yolk kind of girl – rich, creamy, intense, and loaded with cholesterol.

So what to do with those whites that didn’t involve something even slightly meringuesque?

Financiers and friands. Almond meal, melted butter, and unbeaten (trumpet sounding here please) egg whites. The perfect vehicle for any egg white of mine I say! Not only are they delicious, financiers have an interesting provenance involving Parisian bankers, breakfast, and gold ingots. What more could you ask for in a lovely little cake? Friands meanwhile, are pretty much the same in make-up, although I am still a bit unsure as to their origins. Some say they are the Australian versions of financiers, and I am inclined to agree since my recipe came from one of my favourite Aussie ladies :)

Chocolate Hazelnut Friands
(adapted from Chocolate Friands, page 40, Simple Essentials Chocolate by Donna Hay)

  • 1 cup (110 grams) hazelnut meal
  • 1 2/3 cup (250 grams) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 egg whites
  • 200 grams butter, melted

- Grease mini muffin tins, or mini tart pans (I must have used over 30 over these little pans).
- Place hazelnut meal, confectioner’s sugar, flour, cocoa, and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg whites and stir to combine.
- Add the butter and stir until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the tins and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 160C (320F) oven (until springy to touch). Adjust the baking time to the size of your tins and check early on how it’s cooking.

I fear there may be some French bakers out there shaking their fists in the air at my mentioning financiers and then using hazelnut meal instead of the traditional almond meal in this recipe. There may even be some hissing and scratching about how a chocolate version could in no way be likened to a gold ingot – although I’ll have you know that Pierre Herme, French pastry chef extraordinaire, has also made a chocolate version. The simple fact was, I had some hazelnut meal that needed using and no almond meal in sight. Plus, as any Nutella lover would know, hazelnuts and chocolate were destined to be together.

Friand or financier, I liked how these came out! Not too sweet, very chocolate-y, with the hazelnut’s nutty flavour all throughout. They were not too heavy and their small size made them perfect for serving with a cup of coffee or tea...or as a nice hostess gift :)

I’ll need to start freezing my egg whites more often!

p.s. I got these cute little tartlet pans from a famously sweet-toothed local blogger who needed to find new homes for some of the many bits of bake ware she had accumulated (as any expert baker out there with mountains of baking stuff needs to do once in a while). I also got this pan from her. Lori, your stuff have found a good home over here :)


Manggy said...

Ah, Financiers are named for the richness of the butter (beurre noisette specifically) and almond meal used in them, Friands are French for "small mouthful." I could use any of those names for these because I sure as heck can stuff my mouth full of that goodness! :)
If you are looking for a savory application for egg whites, you can try making egg drop soup. Also, American-style macaroons use only egg whites :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A killer combo! These friands look very tempting!



Erin said...

They look fantastic Joey! I think I may have to whip these up sometime soon.

I am with you on the whites/yolks issue. I hated eggs for years, until I realised it was just the whites I couldn't stand. I can do baked meringue, but meringue for pies etc, too foamy yech. I don't do souffle for that reason.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Joey, my dear, I would not believe how glad I am for seeing this recipe here - I tried a recipe for chocolate hazelnut friands a couple of months ago and it was a disaster... The texture was awful and the taste was too mild.
I'll be trying these, for sure! Tks for sharing!

Irene said...

You cracked me up because I am totally not an egg whites kind of girl either and if I had unused ingredients in my freezer, they would also be nagging at the back of my mind until I finally gave in, like OK OK I WILL MAKE SOMETHING WITH YOU, SHEESH!!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Joey these look really fantastic. I did some financiers some time ago and really enjoyed them. Hazelnut and chocolate have to be a favorite pair for me. I really will try these!
Egg whites, I tried freezing and making an angel food cake with them. Not a good plan. Something changed in the egg whites and the cake was ok but really half the size I usually get.
Unless it's a dozen egg whites, I just use an extra one or two in scrambled eggs.

Elyse said...

These friands look delicious!! Great job. I'm not an egg white girl, either. I'm so glad you posted this recipe; I'm always looking for a non-egg-white-y recipe to use up my egg whites. You're amazing!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Manggy! Thanks for the added information! :) Egg drop soup...mmm, I can go for that :)

Hi Rosa! Thanks!

Hi Erin! Thank you :) I can make a meringue, although I don’t enjoy eating it...I do enjoy soufflĂ© though :) I suppose because it’s got some of the custard mixed in :)

Hi Patricia! Hope you like it! Donna’s original recipe actually uses almond meal but I changed it to hazelnut :)

Hi Irene! know me then! :) And I have lots of those little naggers in the freezer!

Hi Tanna! These came out well since the egg whites are unbeaten... maybe it does lose some of its voluminizing power in the freezer :) I would use them in scrambled eggs but I’d really prefer more yolks to whites in my scramble!

Hi Elyse! Thank you! Glad you liked the post and hope you can use it in the future :)

Watergirl said...

I was going to tell you to make a healthy (or not) egg white omelette (with herbs!) but I think these mouthfuls are a far better idea! Who would think by looking at those dark chocolate beauties that they were healthy?
As for other uses for egg whites, have you tried to use them as a beauty ingredient? I think some people have used just egg whites as a face mask.

Katrina said...

You've made the cereal prawns! Do tell how it turned out! Looks like I'm the only one yet to make it...

And WHERE did you find hazelnut meal??? Your friands sound like just the yummiest things. Chocolate + hazelnuts cannot but be scrumptious!

Claudia said...

This looks incredible. I may have to preserve them instead of sending them off to an early demise. (I always think I will make an egg-white omelette or something - I never do). Egg whites rejoice! Delicious!

veron said...

oh my this look decadently rich, Joey! Such a great chocolate treat!

Stepford Mum said...

Yum, Jo, these look so good! I want to try them but never have egg whites to spare! Alonso is a little egg monster :)

corrine said...

Finally, I can make something out of egg whites that is not a meringue! How do you make hazelnut meal or almond meal? I have powdered almond. Is that the same?

bee said...

gorgeous use of egg whites. thanks for sharing this recipe.

LyB said...

Joey, you are a life saver! Well, an egg white saver at least... I have egg whites in the freezer too and now I have this recipe to try! Your little cakes look just delicious, thanks so much for sharing. :)

Anne said...

Who wouldn'y fall for these cute yummies! I love anything chocolate :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I never knew you could freeze egg whites. Thanks for letting me know. And those friands looks divine.

RecipeGirl said...

Good egg white tip. I always just through them out (cringing at the waste!)

Love these. They're darling. And lucky you for acquiring these priceless little tart pans.

ChichaJo said...

Hi M! Well, they aren’t exactly healthy...there is the butter to consider :) Now as a beauty mask...there’s a thought! My mom thanks you for suggesting it to me! ;)

Hi Katrina! Yes I did...but I still had the same confusion with cooking the egg and then adding the other stuff – but I followed the package instructions and oh my! It was delicious! I got the hazelnut meal in Santi’s :)

Hi Claudia! Thank you! I’ll always be saving those egg whites now :)

Hi Veron! I really liked them – and they aren’t as decadent as they look...especially in this small size :)

Hello Stepford Mum! Hehe :) I end up with these extra whites when I cook or bake something that requires only yolks...

Hi Corrine! Hazelnut meal is ground hazelnuts (and almond meal, ground almonds) can buy the nuts and grind them yourself (which is better) or just buy the ground nuts already package (which is faster, heehee) :)

Hi Bee! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

Hi Lyb! Hope you like it!

Hi Anne! Me too!

Hi Susan! When I found out you could freeze them I was so happy...finally a way to buy time to think about what in heaven’s name to do with the egg whites!

Hi Recipegirl! I love these little pans :)

Midge said...

Mmmm... Hazelnuts, chocolate... The only thing I'm not really fond of is the egg white; like you, I'm an egg-yolk sort of girl.

I thought friands were from South Africa. Most of the recipes I've encountered come from there.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I don't know why but you've stopped coming up on my feed thing...

These look gorgeous and how lucky to have a local baker/blogger to give you such great baking kit.

Hope you're well Joey. x

Pia said...

Hazelnut and chocolate!
Like Nutella, you can't go wrong.

judyfoodie said...

Not only do they look cute, they look yummy :) I think I will make those for my husband. He loves all things nutty and chocolaty.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Midge! Chocolate and hazelnuts are definitely my kind of combination as well :)

Hi Amanda! Thank you! :) Yes, she had a virtual “yard sale” of sorts for her old baking stuff...some hardly use and all pretty much in great condition :)

Hi Pia! With that combination you truly can’t go wrong :)

Hi Judyfoodie! Thanks! Hope he likes these!

Anonymous said...

RE: Pili nuts (sorry to change gears here but was unable to send a direct e-mail)

My mother just return from a 1-month vacation to the Phillipines and she gave me 3 bags of pili nuts with skins. She said they were hard to find. They are in my refrigerator now and is wondering how long can they stay in the refrigerator. Also how do you peel the skin and roast them. Hope you can answer my question.

Thank you for your time!

zoe said...

these sound delicious! Where can I find hazelnut meal?

Maris said...

These look really fantastic - I love chocolate and hazlenut.

PS - I would definitely eat these for breakfast :)

Jen said...

Chocolate and hazelnut make a perfect pair. These friands look luscious!

Dog Frosting said...

These look really delicious. Like baby chocolate pillows...yum!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous! I think I did get your email and have already responded? In any case, I keep them in the coldest part of my fridge and they keep for very long. I peel the skin by blanching them in boiling water...very easy and fast. Hope this helps! :)

Hi Zoe! I bought mine in Santi’s Delicatessen :)

Hi Maris! I would eat this for breakfast too...maybe with some tea :)

Hi Jen! Thanks! I agree that they make the perfect pair :)

Hi Dog Frosting! Baby chocolate pillows...I like that! :)

Anonymous said...

I must attempt to make these. They look so delicious!! When i saw this under 80 breakfasts it made me think of this article on Betty COnfidential, Choclate for Breakfast.

Chocolate tacos and banana chocolate strudel. YUMMO! I usually have my dessert version of the strudel by turning them into springrolls using eggroll skins and frying them up. A little unhealthy but go ahead and indulge once in awhile!

Lori said...

Joey, I envy you for even bothering to do something with those egg whites. Me, I just throw them out. But egg yolks? Never!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous! Chocolate for breakfast is fine by me! :)

Hi Lori! Haha! I used to throw them out too until I saw Nigella (and read other blogs) freezing them :) I’m with you on the egg yolks though...the best part! I love the pans and am enjoying them as you can see :)

Rome traveller said...

Oh my gawd. I suddenly feel hungry. I was just surfing the net and I love this blog.
Is there anything better than a good chocolate cake and a cup of English tea?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Rome Traveller! Thank you! Yes, that’s a great combination :)

Anonymous said...

My son came home and told me about your recipe for friands. We made them with almond meal and they turned out fantastic!!!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous! Glad they turned out well for you and thanks for letting me know! :)

Isis said...

"I am more an egg yolk kind of girl – rich, creamy, intense, and loaded with cholesterol."

-- this cracked me up, girl. i can totally relate!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Isis! Hehe, we have something in common then :)