chocolate hazelnut friands

Chocolate Hazelnut Friands

Friands are a traditional French recipe similar to a muffin, but based on egg whites and nut meal with a low flour content. Usually almond meal is used (see also Raspberry White Chocolate Friands), but this recipe uses hazelnut meal for a stronger flavour. Chocolate hazelnut friands can be baked as full-sized cupcakes or as mini-cupcakes that are good as a bite-sized riding snack. The flavour and texture continue to develop over a few days after baking. Using vanilla bean paste rather than vanilla essence gives a richer taste, but either ingredient will work. Good-quality cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips are also worth the investment.


180 g unsalted butter
100 g hazelnut meal
40 g plain flour
20 g cocoa powder
150 g icing sugar
100 g dark chocolate chips
5 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla bean paste


Pre-heat oven to 180 ºC (fan-forced). Melt butter over low heat and let cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix together hazelnut meal, plain flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar and 100 g dark choc chips. Beat egg whites with vanilla bean paste and add to dry ingredients. Mix in melted butter to form a smooth batter. Bake in greased mini-friand tins for 10 min or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Alternately, bake in friand tins for 20 min. Let cool slightly before removing from tins.

You will end up with quite a few egg yolks as a by-product of baking friands. If you are not in the mood to make custard or lemon curd and don’t want to just throw them out, you can use the yolks to substitute an equivalent weight of whole egg in a recipe like our Cherry Almond Brownies. Roughly speaking, five yolks from this recipe will substitute for one whole egg in a cake or brownie batter, without negatively affecting baking.