They really are! And they must be had fresh and warm from the oven, in my opinion ^^!
I'd never think of making financiers if not for heartsintheoven's browned butter blueberry muffins and bakersroyale's caramel financiers! Why? Because of browned butter (this really caught my eye! interesting is an understatement!) and a recipe calling for brown butter AND 4 egg whites (perfect! an exact leftover from the chocolate fondant bake). (^^)
This is my first attempt at financiers.. and you'd think I'd do well to follow a recipe.. but NO! my itchy hands and mind couldn't leave a (or any!) recipe alone! So these financiers are the result of bakersroyale's (mainly), dorie greenspan's and sadaharu aoki's (posted by travellingfoodies) recipes ^^.
Financiers (adapted from bakersroyale, dorie greenspan and sadaharu aoki)
1 1/2 sticks (180g) unsalted butter (to.. no, MUST reduce to 80g-120g/1 stick next time!)
1/2 cup (60g) flour, sifted
1/2 cup (60g) almond meal/hazelnut meal (I used 40g almond + 20g hazelnut)
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (75g) icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp honey
4 egg whites
blueberry pie filling (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
2. Melt butter over MEDIUM heat. Pay attention as the butter's boiling and crackling ~ and continue cooking until it turns clear and golden, and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of pan. Once you see brown bits at the bottom of pan, remove from heat.. takes about 8-10 minutes from time butter boils to the brown bits. Leave to cool. Strain through a fine metal sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer. If good quality butter is used, you will be rewarded with a wonderful "hazelnut" aroma (some say ^^) or in my opinion, freshly baked buttery shortbread! ^^
3. Combine flour, almond/hazelnut meal and sugar till well blended.
4. Mix honey into egg whites till well blended. NO NEED to beat or whisk till fluffy.
5. Fold egg whites mixture into the dry ingredients. Do not overbeat.
6. Gently fold melted brown butter into batter till well combined. Do not overbeat. Rest an hour (or overnight) in the fridge. (I didn't ^^||.. I couldn't.. so I baked half and put the rest in the fridge ^^ clever, no? ^^)
7. Pour about 2-3 tbsp batter into greased financier/tart/muffin moulds. Top with berries or jam or chocolate or caramel or fruit filling, if you like. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
8. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Best eaten warm and fresh from the oven ^^
These financiers turned out to be quite a treat! As I've never had any, I didn't have much expectation for it ~ and it turned out to be OUTSTANDING ^^! Though the cakes may be a little on the oily side (too much butter even for butter-whores like us!), the sweetness level is perfect! And to ensure I have moist cakes (my greatest fear ~ DRY cakes!), I added honey as a substitute for trimoline (inverted sugar, as in sadaharu aoki's recipe) ^^.. perfect!
This is a pretty easy and quick bake! A perfect treat for kids and adults.. with a glass of milk.. a cup of tea.. or coffee.. any time! My piggies really enjoyed the financiers! Me too! (^^)
p.s I'll be popping in some reese's peanut butter cups when I bake the rest of the "rested" batter tomorrow, for an ultimate indulgent treat ^^! mama pig loves reeses.. I think it'll work.. it did for bakersroyale's rollos! (^^)