Thursday, November 14, 2013

Traditional Financiers

 Financiers are my new favorite thing. Ever. I bet you're dying to know why, so here's a list (partly because I like lists, but also partly because my SAT-practice-test-brain can't handle much more than that right now).
1. They are chewy with crisp edges, which is always lovely.
2. They have a wonderfully nutty flavor from the almonds and browned butter in them.
3. They are just about the most perfect snack to have with a cup of tea or coffee.
4. They are the namesake of one of my favorite bakeries
5. They gave me an excuse to use one of my new baking molds I bought in France this summer (because let's be honest here, what isn't better when it comes from France?).
6. They are insanely easy to make.
I baked the extra batter in tiny tart pans for an even more bite-sized treat
 I totally wasn't kidding about #6. The batter for these comes together in the time it takes to preheat the oven, and you can have a perfect snack, dessert, or breakfast (because I won't judge you) in under half an hour. When isn't that a good thing?
 These are also perfect for tons of different variations. Sick of making almond-flour-everything? Substitute ground pistachios (plus you'll get a lovely light green color). Want something fruity? Thrown in some berries. Something richer? Chocolate chips would be delicious. Anyway you make them, they're quick, easy, and will be gone in less time than it took to throw them together.
 Traditional Financiers 

1/2 cup + 1-1/2 T. (120 g) sugar
1/4 cup + 1 T. (40 g) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 t. (60 g) almond meal
100 g egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
1/2 cup (100 g) unsalted butter, browned (still hot)

Preheat oven to 425F degrees, and butter 12 financier molds, roughly 1-1/4" x 2-1/4". (My tin only makes 7 financiers - if yours is like this, either set aside batter and wait to use the tin again or bake in a mini muffin tin or mini tart pans.) Refrigerate buttered tin.
Sift together sugar, flour and almond meal into a medium bowl.
Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in egg whites; whisk together by hand until ingredients have been combined.
While still hot, slowly pour browned butter into batter, simultaneously whisking the batter until combined.
Evenly distribute batter among molds or mini-muffin tin wells, leaving about 1/8" of space from the rim.
Lower oven temperature to 350F degrees, and bake on the center rake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool unmolded financiers on a wire rack.

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