I tell you, the more time I spend making these sorts of ultra-simple preparations the more I wonder if I’ll ever truly enjoy fancy pastry again. I took these to a get-together last evening and had a ball watching people react to them. The pattern was the same with everyone: they picked one up off the buffet table, took a bite, chewed for a moment, then stopped, held it up and stared incredulously. What the heck ARE these things???
These offer quite a bit of bang for very little buck, as it were. They’re best with fruit on the side and downright decadent with ice cream. It goes without saying they’re fabulous with coffee. Start yours by greasing your form. Even if you use a silicone mat like this 1″ x 3″ financier mold, you’ll want to butter it anyway for maximum crispness on the edges.
In a large bowl combine your powdered sugar, flours and almond meal/flour. The almond meal can be store bought (Whole Foods carries some by made Bob’s Red Mill) or made at home. Just lightly toast about 5 ounces of slivered almonds in a 375 F oven for about ten minutes then grind them in a food processor.
Whisk it all together, then add the egg whites.
Whisk those in, then start drizzling in your hot browned butter.
You can add the blackened solids if you’d like…some people consider them essential, but I don’t. I leave them out.
Lastly whisk in a little almond extract. Wanna use a little lemon zest instead (or in addition)? Knock yourself out!
Spoon the batter into the forms, filling them a little more than half way.
Bake 7 minutes at 425, then 7 at 375, then 7 with the oven off. For smaller financiers bake at 450 for 5, then 400 for 5 then 5 with the oven off. They should look about like so.
I got some fairly large bubble holes on top with the first batch. Subsequent batches had smaller bubbles, which made me think that resting the batter might be a good idea. Then I noticed the third batch had dimples in them. You can see some of them here:
I’m not completely sure what that means. However next time I think I’ll rest the batter maybe 20 minutes to let some of the bubbles rise out, then try to bake them all at once using more molds. They were all positively delicious though, no matter what they looked like. I can see why good bakers spend so much time perfecting these. If I get much better results than this I may have to quit the blog altogether and devote myself to financiers on a full-time basis.