November is definitely my month to give thanks. Not because it’s Thanksgiving time and not because this is the month of my parent’s birthday (yeah, both) and if they were not here I would not be in this world either. No, I could but I don’t want to go that far. I would love to be more optimistic in my life but I’m not, I’m not the kind of person who gives thanks just for being born.
I have needs, as everybody does. I’m not happy when I don’t get other people’s attention. I’m not happy when I don’t fulfill my tasks on time, when I don’t conquer my goals, when I don’t see I’m growing as a person and when I’m not doing something I really, really like. So, after at all, I’m just a normal person.
But last November, I started doing something that is filling my heart with joy; a year ago, I started Give Me Flour. And to all of you, dear readers, who had stopped by and encouraged me in one way or another, a big “THANK YOU”.
All I want now is to celebrate, slowly, in small little bites. The perfect recipe for that? Chocolate Friands, the little but “satisfyingly extra rich and moist” mini-chocolate cakes from Tartine, the book. Actually, we were lucky enough to visit the bakery during our time in San Francisco last summer and try these temptations in their place of origin. How was it? Take a look, the pics are right here! But first, let’s start with the recipe.
Even though I typed here the full recipe, I halved it for my first try and used smaller little molds I brought from Brazil. So, I ended up with the same number of mini-cakes, 24 in total, and they were as just as moist as the original. How I love when I come across a good and well balanced recipe!!!
I did some modifications, however. The first was the baking time; 15 minutes were not enough as the center was still unbaked when I checked. But I know that’s totally an oven matter. Just be aware of that, you may want to keep your eyes open when baking it.
Second, I don’t know if I told you already but I’m totally “superstitious” when making cake batters. In the original recipe you are supposed to add dry ingredients to the chocolate mix and then the eggs. But for me the flour has to be the very last item, I’m not a natural cake maker and if there is still something to add after the flour, no matter what I do and how I do, I always end over mixing the batter. So, I mixed eggs first and finished with the rest.
Kitchen notes: You can use a pastry bag or a tiny ice cream scoop for filling the molds. The originals are also baked and served on 1 ½ –by ½ inch glassine cups. Very sweet!
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line up 24 mini-muffin-cup-paper liners on a baking sheet , or butter and flour 24 mini-muffins tin wells, knocking out the excess of flour.
To make the batter, place 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 two eggs and whisk just until incorporate. Be careful not to over mix 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 ten minutes on a wire rack, and then unmold them if you have baked them in the muffin tin and let cool completely. If you have baked them 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 seat 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, the friand by its side, dip the top into the ganache and them shake gently to let the excess run of the side. Return the friand to the rack and let the ganache set up in a cool place for about 1 hour.
Serve the friands within a day of making or store them in a airtight container (to avoid condensation) in the refrigerator for up to five days.