One of my favorite blogs is David Lebovitz. In addition to a blog full of great food, great technical cooking information, and humorous anecdotes, he shares, on the blog and in several cookbooks, meticulous and well-tested (and sweet!) recipes.
One that I’ve been wanting to make for a while are his financiers au chocolat, from his book, The Sweet Life in Paris. I always have a few egg whites in the freezer, and every so often I start to worry a bit about just how long they have been in there. Same for the lovely dutched cocoa I bought from the spice house a while back (And as if to prove my point about how his blog provides fantastic technical information, see David’s post earlier this week on the difference between regular and Dutched cocoa).
I’ve tried in the past to defrost egg whites in the microwave, but even though I use the lowest possible power, I never got it right. I found this worked much better: putting my (well sealed) jar of egg whites in a bowl of water.
You then process sliced almonds together with your other dry ingredients. (If you don’t have a food processor, there is always the option of almond flour, but recognize that the texture of your finished product will vary significantly–you just can’t get as fine a grind with your food processor as you can get in almond flour. I would imagine that if, conversely, you only have whole rather than sliced almonds on hand, you’d want to give the almonds a head start in your food processor before adding the other ingredients).
Transfer to a bowl
And mix in your egg whites, melted butter, and almond extract.
I don’t have a financier mold (though, given how much I like these, maybe I will eventually look into one) so I used my muffin tin. I used my cookie scoop to fill my mold (this was so I didn’t overfill any one cup) and it perfectly apportioned the batter into 12 little cakes:
Some of my financiers didn’t hold together all that well as a result of the minor battle that was waged to remove them from the tin (update: when I made these again I buttered the non-stick molds really well and they tumbled right out) but luckily that was just a cosmetic issue.
The freshly ground almonds, enhanced by the almond extract mixed with chocolate was fantastic. I liked seeing and biting into the little bits of almond in the cakes, which were light and just barely bound together by the egg whites. Being tiny little morsels, they unfortunately disappear quickly, but very little is required–by way of ingredients or effort–to whip up another batch, which softens the blow somewhat when you realize they are already gone.
There must be something in the air–I’m not the only one who’s been making these recently (and who has kindly posted the recipe).
Financiers au Chocolat (adapted from David Lebovitz’s “The Sweet Life in Paris”)
- 6 tablespoons (90g)unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup (90 g) sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons (25 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (preferably Valrhona)
- 1 tablespoon (10 g) flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (90 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 egg whites (about 1/4 cup ) at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Melt the butter and set aside until room temperature. Mix the ground almonds with the cocoa, flour, salt, and sugar. Stir the egg whites and almond extract into the almond mixture, then gradually stir in the melted butter until smooth and fully incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between muffin tin (they will not fill up a regular size muffin tin). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until slightly puffed and springy to the touch.
Note the original recipe calls for 1/3c egg whites. Two egg whites is about 1/4 c and I’ve made it with just that and it’s turned out just as delicious.