As you’ve come to expect, my Saturday edition of French Fridays with Dorie…
Yes, it’s “friands” – not a misspelling of “friends”. But these little pastries will surely become your best buddies once you taste them. They are a French pastry, explains Dorie in Around My French Table, closely related to “financiers”. Financiers are a nut-based pastry created in Paris for busy financial business people on the run. The friand is a close relative but uses unsweetened coconut, rather than the ground nuts. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what financiers or friands were either. See what you can learn if you buy Dorie’s book?
And my inspiration for the lime addition? Well it came from the coconut – you know the old Harry Nilsson song: You put de lime in de coconut, drink ‘em all up. It was Harry Nilsson’s second hit single – a catchy calypso tune that even Kermit the Frog found a reason to perform. I figure if it was a good enough combo for a hit song, it might catch on in a baked good too.
And the chocolate – do I have to justify adding chocolate? I didnt think so.
Friands are so simple to make with just a few ingredients – egg whites, unsweetened coconut (some used sweetened and just cut down on the sugar), sugar, flour, vanilla extract, salt, and butter. I added the zest of one lime to the sugar, rubbing it in using the same technique I described in these Orange Thyme Cocktail Cookies. And lastly, I made a quick chocolate ganache to drizzle on top. And happily, the batter can be made ahead and left in the fridge for up to 3 days – a huge check in the plus column for me.
So what did I think of these lovely little coconut pastries? At first bite, the butter seemed a bit overpowering. I can see why Dorie suggests a variation with a bite of fresh fruit added such as a raspberry. It would counteract the richness. I also cooked them a little longer than the 17 – 20 minutes called for, adding a little extra browning and crispness. Once I topped them with a dollop of bittersweet chocolate and a sprinkling of toasted coconut, unsweetened coconut and a bit of lime zest, their loveliness started shining through. One other note, I should have used the zest of two limes with the sugar – the zest of one wasn’t a strong enough essence for the batter.
Ah, but @gregorytlee, a coconut lover, just gave them the thumbs up. They won’t last long… Stop by soon if you want a taste!
As always, I learned much from her recipe and playing along with this wonderful group. To read more renditions of this recipe, check out the French Fridays with Dorie web site and buy Dorie Greenspan’s award-winning cookbook Around My French Table. You will cherish the purchase and learn from each recipe and story that she shares.