Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mini-Muffin Financiers

I had never even heard of financiers until Dennis discovered a spot near his office that gives them away with each cup of coffee.  Financiers are small French cakes, not too sweet and perfect for breakfast.  Dennis has been requesting a homemade version for a few months now so I decided that could be his Christmas morning treat.  I was worried that the recipe would be too involved but it’s actually quite simple.  You just have to plan ahead as the batter needs to sit for a few hours before you can bake it up.  I just whipped up the batter the night before, then baked up a few financiers each morning.  There are apparently special financier pans but I found a recipe using a mini-muffin pan.  I really need another baking pan like I need another hole in the head.  

These got two enthusiastic thumbs up from Dennis.  The original recipe calls for placing a raspberry on top of each before baking but since it’s December I left that out.  I’m looking forward to baking up batches in the summer topped with fresh berries.  A few of those and a good cup of coffee and I can almost pretend like I’m back in Paris.

Mini-Muffin Financiers Recipe (from Leite’s Culinaria)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus, plus more for the pan
1 cup confectioners sugar 
1/2 cup almond flour 
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 large egg whites, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a heavy pan over medium heat, warm the butter until it melts and the milk solids settle and stick to the bottom of the pot and turn golden brown and slightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour or ground almonds, all-purpose flour, and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low speed, then add the egg whites, honey, and vanilla, and mix on low speed, scraping down the bowl, until combined. Add the cooled melted butter and their solids and mix until incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. (You can actually keep the batter in the fridge, at the ready, for up to several days.)

When you’re ready to bake the financiers, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter a 12-cup mini muffin tin. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full of batter. Bake on the center rack until golden brown around the edges and firm in the center, about 14-16 minutes.

Let the financiers cool in the pans for 5 minutes then run a thin knife or offset spatula around the sides of the muffin cups or financier molds. Turn the financiers out onto wire racks. Serve warm or let cool on the rack and serve later that same day.