Choc chip friands are one of the best things to bake with leftover egg whites. These little gluten-free cakes are easy to make and so delicious, with an excellent and varied taste experience. Brown butter gives added depth to the almonds bringing out their nutty flavour as well as adding a slight richness to the whole. And the mellow sweetness of the friand combines well with the dark bitter chocolate.
What Are Friands?
Friands are very similar to financiers. In fact, they’re the antipodean version of the French financier. Ground almonds and egg whites are the main ingredients and they’re sort of half way between a macaroon and a cake in both texture and flavour. They’re gloriously crisp on the outside and soft and delectable on the inside.
Financiers are traditionally baked as a rectangular shape and are made with brown butter or beurre noisette as it is known in France. Friands, on the other hand, are baked in oval moulds without brown butter.
I became a fan as soon as I was first introduced to friands, not so very long ago. As soon as Laura of How to Cook Good Food announced this month’s ingredient for We Should Cocoa was to be almonds, friands were the first thing that popped into my head. And that idea has not gone away. Friands it is then.
Baking for People with Coeliac Disease
It’s always useful to have a few good gluten free recipes up ones sleeve. Coeliac disease is something we are becoming increasingly aware of. However, although CT has a friend who suffers from it, I had no idea it was quite as prevalent as it is, with one in a hundred people affected by it in the UK.
It’s an autoimmune condition which affects the lining of the small intestine and it’s triggered by the consumption of gluten. Gluten is found in a number of grains, but specifically wheat, rye and barley. Katie of Apple & Spice, who was diagnosed with the disease about a year ago, is running a coeliac awareness raising challenge to coincide with National Coeliac Awareness Week (14th-20th May).
Some bakes are particularly easy to turn into gluten-free ones and these gorgeous little burnt butter choc chip friands are one of them. Friands don’t have much flour anyway. They rely mostly on ground almonds, so it’s a simple process of switching wheat flour to a gluten-free one.
Burnt Butter Choc Chip Friands
Co-incidentally, minutes before I was about to bake this batch of friands, I read a post for brown butter chocolate chunk cookies over at The Little Loaf. As well as using buerre noisette in her cookies she had also used buckwheat flour to make them gluten free.
Well what a brilliant idea. I thought I’d try baking some friands with the traditional financier brown butter to see what difference it made. I was going to use gluten-free flour anyway, but buckwheat flour suddenly became the perfect choice.
Making brown butter adds an extra step to an otherwise super simple bake, but it’s worth it. The aroma of the nut like butter as it cooks and turns brown is delicious. It fills the whole house with its fragrance.
Once you’ve browned the butter, pretty much all you need to do is stir everything together. Spoon the batter into moulds and then bake. Job done.
My little almond bakes are neither rectangular nor oval. I use round moulds, because that’s all I have. Sometimes you just have to be pragmatic.
For the batch you can see in these photos, I made twelve mini friands and six larger ones. I’d baked the mini ones for friends, but CT and I tucked into the larger ones with gusto. The friands were as good as I remembered these cinnamon choc chip ones to be, if not better. The buckwheat flour worked really well, although we couldn’t detect any specific flavour.
The brown butter gives an added depth to the almonds and brings out their nutty flavour as well as adding a slight richness to the whole cake. The mellow sweetness of the friand combines well with the dark bitter chocolate and it all makes for an excellent and varied taste experience.
Other Friand Recipes You Might Like
- Chilli chocolate chip friands
- Cinnamon choc chip friands
- Orange poppy seed friands
- Raspberry rose friands
- Raspberry and white chocolate friands
- Rhubarb friands with white chocolate
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try this easy mushroom tart, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more gluten-free recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Choc Chip Friands. PIN IT.
Brown Butter Choc Chip Friands – The Recipe
Brown Butter Choc Chip Friands
- 90 g unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs – whites only (I used duck eggs)
- 120 g icing sugar
- 45 g buckwheat flour
- 60 g ground almonds
- 50 g dark chocolate – roughly chopped (I used 85%)
- 10 g slivered almonds (optional)
- Melt the butter over a low heat and leave to bubble gently for five to ten minutes. Check it every now and again. It's ready when the solids have sunk to the bottom and turned a light brown. Take off the heat immediately as you don't want the butter to burn. Leave to cool a little.
- Whisk the eggs whites until frothy. They don’t need to be stiff.
- Stir in the cooled butter.
- Sift in the icing sugar and buckwheat flour and stir into the egg and butter mixture together with the ground almonds.
- Stir in the chocolate chips as lightly as possible.
- Spoon the mixture into 9 muffin cases or 18 mini ones. I use silicone cases rather than a muffin tray and place them on a baking tray prior to transfering to the oven.
- Sprinkle the tops with slivered almonds, if using.
- Bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 15 minutes for mini friands and 20 minutes for larger ones.
- Place on a rack to cool a bit, then turn out of the cases to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar, if liked.