Financiers You Say...
Financiers are described in Larousse Gastronomique as "a cake made from a sponge mixture made with ground almonds and whisked egg whites. Small financiers are oval or rectangular in shape; they may be used as a base for iced petit fours" and that is all well and good but it doesn't describe how truly delicious they are. The most important part of these little treats is the brown butter or beurre noisette. It gives it a lovely nutty flavour and a more golden hue. Financiers are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee at the end of a meal. Or, in the case of my house, when I put them on the table.
This recipe makes about 24 mouthfuls. They are best eaten on the day, specifically fresh from the oven but that isn't always possible. And why wouldn't you want to eat them all anyway? If you have over indulged, just put the remaining financiers into an airtight container. But make sure you eat them the next day!
250 gm butter
375 gm caster sugar
250 gm ground almonds
45 gm flour
340 gm egg whites, preferably at room temperature
Let's run through brown butter together. We are looking to caramelise the milk solids and in turn, the butter will become a golden and nut brown colour. It is important to whisk constantly as we don't want chunks of milk solids. We want a fine sediment. The butter will stay hot for a while so it is a good idea to make the brown butter first and leave for 15 minutes or so. Let us begin:
Melt the butter over a low heat in a sauce pan. Once melted, turn the heat up a little and let the butter boil away. Make sure to whisk frequently, moving the caramelised bits off the bottom of the pan. Once the milk solids reach a light brown colour and the butter is no longer yellow, but starting to darken, remove from the heat and pour everything into a bowl. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 175.C
In a kitchen mixer bowl, weigh the sugar, almonds and flour together. Mix until combined. Turn the mixer onto low and slowly add the egg whites. Leave on low for a minute or so. Check the mix to see if there are any rogue pockets of dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl. Once everything is incorporated, turn the mixer back onto a medium low (a touch faster than the lowest setting) and pour in the butter in a steady stream, at a pace that matches the speed of the mixer. Once all the butter is in, add all the leftover sediment in the bottom of the bowl. This will enhance the nutty flavour.
Grease the tins well with grease spray
After that is all in, turn off the mixer and pipe or spoon the mix into the tins. Level the tops off and place in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the financiers are golden brown. Leave in the tins for a minute or so, then turn them out onto a rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar, put the kettle on and enjoy!!