Tartine Baking Project: #50 Chocolate Friands

I cannot believe I am on the fiftieth recipe of this cookbook!  I’m not going to pop open the bubbly quite yet, but I’m just about half way through this little adventure!  It’s exciting!  And I don’t think I could have celebrated #50 any better.  Friands are amazing!  I had no idea what a friand was before I dove into the recipe.  I was sold with the word CHOCOLATE.  I’ve been in quite the chocolate…I don’t want to say rut, because I like using Ghirardelli chocolate.  It’s just that I’ve been wanting to mix it up as far as what kind of chocolate I’m using!  Awhile back I saw this beautiful video of The Mast Brothers.  They’re in Brooklyn, and I’ve always wanted to go to their chocolate shop.  I made mention of my adoration of Mast Brothers on Twitter, and the ever so lovely Jen from Local Appetite was eager to send me a package!  In days I was eating an almond + sea salt dark chocolate bar.  Perfection!  Thanks so much, Jen!  You are amazing & I owe you something equally as exciting!  I am so in love with all the amazing people I’ve met through this blog and the Internet!

This chocolate met the hype.  Opening the package was a magical experience.  I was definitely smiling.  A lot.  And at this point I still didn’t really know what exactly a friand even was.  Turns out, they’re remarkably easy to put together.  This is a real win-win.  People will think you spent hours and hours preparing them, and you know that is not the case.

Since I baked them in cupcake wrappers and friands don’t rise very much, I decided to cut the extra wrapper to make dipping them into the ganache that much easier.  Yes.  Ganache.  The best ganache I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself.  I tried to make mine look like the friands pictured in the cookbook by including a thin stripe on top, but mine look a little…homemade.  I’m being nice to myself there.  They look slightly wonky, but they still taste amazing.  So there’s that.  I just love how small they are – they’re so rich and perfectly chocolatey that just a few bites is all you need.

I am loving these extended hours of good sunlight!  Although we did have one of the sunniest Michigan winters I can remember, it still was winter, which meant it gets dark so early!  Not anymore!  Happy Spring!  As I walked outside, platter of friands  and camera in hand, the neighbor girls were right there.  They were immediately at the table, nearly grabbing them off the platter.  Little Sister screamed, “Chocolate!” then ran off when she realized I was taking pictures, not passing them out.  After watching me for a couple minutes, Middle Sister stood there, rolled her eyes, and said, “Uh, Emily.  They all look the same….Youuuu reallllly don’t have to take so many pictures, I think.”  Seconds later, Big Sister came up and snapped, “So are you going to be some kind of photographer when you grow up?”  Yes – “when you grow up.”  Not sure if that was meant to be a compliment or a dig.  I know I must seem like a monster not giving this little girls any of the goods!  It was right before dinner though, and who am I to ruin their appetites for dinner?