After my heartfelt ode to the wonderfulness of fall, it rained. It not only rained, but there was thunder and lightening. Luckily, the torment of the night passed, and the day is crisp with only a hint of the nightmare before. The first chill of the season has set in and I’m not quite ready to embrace it just yet. It’s the sort of day you want to stay in with a good book, or in my case a long list of TV shows to catch up with, and something to nibble on.
I first made these financiers over a year ago and fell in love with them. The moist tea cake is full of flavor from the ground almonds and browned butter, or as the French call it, beurre noisette. When the batter came together, it looked similar to the one for macarons, but I’ve never successfully made a macaron so I can’t be 100% certain. Plus, I can’t make a statement like that and not be worried about a few angry French pastry chefs coming after me with their rolling pins. Let me clarify myself. For two pastries that seem quite different in composition, there are a few similarities that reminded me of one to another. They both use confectioner’s sugar, almond meal, and egg whites, and somehow even with the additional butter and flour included in the financiers, the batter had a related glossy, stickiness to it. Anybody else notice the similarity?
In any case, the final product is totally different; so if you try this recipe out don’t expect a crispy shell with a chewy interior. This is a cake, a really moist and dense mini cake. It’s wonderful with a cup of tea, as an afternoon snack, with friends, or for a day spent lounging around home. It’s delicate but homey at the same time.
I made mine in mini round and heart-shaped cupcake tins.
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande
½ cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup + 3 tablespoons almond meal*
9 tablespoons + more for greasing of butter
4 egg whites, room temperature
Sift the flour and sugar together. Add the almond meal. Melt the 9 tablespoons of butter and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 more minutes until the butter has a nutty fragrance. Set aside and cool. Pass the butter through a sieve and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Add to the batter. When combine, let the mixture sit for a few hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the molds and tap a little flour into them. Pour 1 tablespoon of batter into each mold. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
*I couldn’t find almond meal so I made my own by running whole almonds in a food processor. Be careful not to over process them or else it will become almond paste!