Another tea cake that Theresa and I learned how to bake at Tea Time Treats is the financier. I find these to be more dense than madeleines, and nuttier in flavour. We didn’t actually get to make these ourselves in class, so it was the first recipe that I tried out at home.
I found that this recipe was quite straight forward, as it was mostly a matter of making sure all the ingredients are thoroughly whisked together. The part that required the most judgement was definitely making the beurre noisette, or brown butter. When you heat butter, the fats and milk solids will separate. If you continue to cook the butter, the milk solids will brown and develop a nutty flavour. Voila! You have just made brown butter! It’s pretty straightforward, but it is possible to burn your butter/milk solids if you over do it.
Typically financiers are baked in relatively shallow rectangular pans, resulting in a brick shaped cake (see story/explanation here). As an alternative, the recipe lists a mini-muffin pan as the best next choice. While I really enjoy the cute littleness that results from mini-whatever pans, I wasn’t really in the mood to do all of the work involved. I opted for a regular sized pan and found that it worked okay, but I think an actual financier or mini muffin pan would be best. It definitely took the middle a few minutes longer to bake than the outsides, so they browned more than I think they should have.
Anyways, this was a great recipe to make. There are a lot of variations that you could make by spinning off the basic recipe. In class we made raspberry pistachio financiers, but I opted to make mine blueberry walnut because that was what I happened to have around the house.
Blueberry Walnut Financiers
- 95 g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) icing sugar
- 95 g (1 cup) almond flour (essentially finely ground almonds)
- 53 g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
- 5 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 package blueberries, washed
- ¼ – ½ cup crushed walnuts
- Prepare your pan by brushing it with a mixture of melted butter and flour.
- Put butter into a sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Continue cooking the butter, whisking continuously. Once it turns a dark golden brown, remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool.
- In another bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, almond flour, and all-purpose flour.
- Make a well in the dry mixture, then add the egg whites and vanilla. Whisk until there are no lumps. Whisk in beurre noisette in two parts, until combined.
- Spoon batter into the pan. Top with blueberries, and sprinkle nuts on top.
- Bake until golden brown on the sides and the just baked on top. About 10-12 minutes. Once they’re done, let them cool for a minute or so and pop them out of the pan.