Nut-free Chocolate Friands

Sugar High Friday #29: CHOCOLATE FREEANDS (a.k.a nut-free friands)

OK … so this is a recipe for friands which aren’t technically friands … in a blog post which isn’t technically a blog post.
Let me explain: It is March 2007, and Emily (of the blog Chocolate In Context) is hosting this month’s installment of Sugar High Friday. The ingredient that Emily has chosen to feature is “Raw Chocolate” (meaning cacao beans, cacao nibs, cocoa butter, or cocoa powder).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the world of international blogging events, you can read all about the inception and history of Sugar High Friday on the blog of its creator: the Domestic Goddess
Now, this website isn’t technically a blog … but Emily was kind enough to link to Tava as a source of “Raw Chocolate” ingredients, so it seems appropriate to post a submission for Sugar High Friday #29 here.
Now, back to the friands (which aren’t really friands).
A friand is “a small dessert made from almond meal, sugar, egg whites, and flavouring”.
My “freeands” are identical to regular friands … except that they contain cocoa meal instead of almond meal. Yes, they are nut-free friands. Hence the all-too-obvious pun on the word free (as in free-ands … sorry 🙂
So, why would anyone bother making this delicious almond-based treat nut-free? I have two reasons:
  1. Nut allergies. Our place is very strictly nut free, so we don’t cook with almonds, or any other kind of nuts, ever.
  2. Cocoa meal. Cocoa meal is really interesting stuff. The flavour and texture it provides is reassuringly familiar (it is both nutty and chocolatey), yet tantalisingly unique (you’ve never tasted anything quite like it). And it’s easy to make from cocoa nibs, in a blender.

When making your own cocoa meal at home in a blender or food processor, it’s important to blend sugar with the cocoa. The sugar soaks up the free cocoa butter, and prevents the cocoa from clumping together in a solid blob.

70g (½ cup)roasted cocoa nibs
120g (¾ cup)icing sugar
40g (¼ cup)plain flour
3egg whites
100gbutter, melted

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C, and prepare your baking mould (you can use a friand tin, or a mini-muffin tin)
  2. Blend the cocoa nibs and icing sugar together until you achieve a reasonably fine, consistent texture, similar to almond meal
  3. Combine the cocoa nib / sugar mixture with the flour in a mixing bowl
  4. Beat in the egg whites
  5. Add the melted butter, and combine thoroughly
  6. Place the batter in your baking tin, filling each mould to about 3/4 full
  7. Bake for 10-20 mins (cooking time will vary, depending on the size of each mould). The friands are cooked when they have puffed up in the middle, and are springy to touch.
  8. Remove friands from tin to cool, and then decorate with sifted icing sugar

In my opinion, these little beauties are best eaten fresh.

OTHER RECIPES (adapted especially to use The Tava Bar)

Foolproof Chocolate Brownies recipe
A Refreshing, Flavourful Chocolate Icecream recipe
Fluffy, Rich Chocolate Mousse recipe
Something savoury: Kangaroo with a savoury cocoa sauce

The Cocoa Communiqué

Click here for much more information about The Tava Bar, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Extra dark cooking chocolate.
100% cocoa solids; no sugar.

Allergy Aware:
This chocolate is made in a strictly nut-free environment.