Monday, March 18, 2013
It's Secret Recipe Club time! This month I had the pleasure of delving into Tandy Sinclair's blog, Lavender and Lime. Tandy resides in South Africa and she is a foodie at heart. Her food inspiration started with her family and recipes and food memories from her grandmother and aunts. Tandy has been blogging since 2009, but her passion for food has been expressed in many other forums, including publishing her own cookbook (super cool!) and some of her recipes in a variety of magazines and publications. What I like most is Tandy's recipes have a simplicity about them that highlight the quality of ingredients. I spent quite a bit of time browsing Lavender and Lime and finally narrowed it down to these Almond Financiers. I have a weakness for sweets.
I have never made financiers before, but I'm so glad that I picked this recipe. In case you are wondering, a financier is a small, moist French cake, typically made with ground almonds, whipped egg whites and browned butter and are often baked in small rectangular shaped molds. I don't have rectangular molds so I baked mine in one of my completely underutilized pans--the mini bundt molds. Yeah for using it twice now! Or you can use a mini muffin tin.
This recipe yields a small portion so I wasn't overwhelmed with tons of mini cakes to try to get rid of--which is a good thing! It made 7 mini bundt cakes (the tops are 1 3/4 inch wide and the bottoms are just under 2 1/2 inches wide). It's the perfect size to satisfy your sweet craving. The exterior of the cake takes on a little bit of crunch which gives way to a soft moist interior. The cake itself is very sweet so I paired it with black tea. I think it would also be nice with a bittersweet chocolate ganache dripping down the sides to balance the sweetness. Next time I make this recipe I may cut the sugar back just a bit. Also, I mentioned above that browned butter is a traditional method for making these little cakes, however this particular recipe doesn't call for it. But feel free to brown your butter if that suits your fancy.
I really love how these tiny cakes came out--and they are pretty! One of these days I'm going to host a tea party and I'm tucking this recipe away for just that occasion. Definitely a keeper. Thanks Tandy!
from Lavender and Lime originally from Larousse Gastronomique
25 grams flour
25 grams finely ground almonds (or almond flour)
85 grams vanilla sugar (I used regular sugar and added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract in with melted butter)
2 egg whites
2 pinches salt
37 grams butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray half of the wells in a mini muffin tin or mini bundt pan with cooking spray.
Combine flour, ground almonds, sugar and one pinch of salt into a medium bowl. Whip egg whites and the other pinch of salt using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed (about 6-8 minutes).
Gently fold egg whites into flour mixture. Quickly fold in butter until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your individual cakes, mine baked for 12 minutes).
Cool on wire rack. Remove from pan and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, drizzle of chocolate ganache or a dollop of jam.