French Friday’s with Dorie
I know this sounds like a remarkable coincidence but have a friend named Madeleine who is a financier. No, really. I do. Thinking of her now as I write this makes me giggle — probably because “madeleine” and “financier” both have associations with small French cakes. She probably knows this because she is crazy smart, being a financier and all. She’s also crazy fun and whenever I spend time with her we end up getting into loads of trouble. My giggles therefore are probably the result of the many memories I have of madcap adventures we have shared since our 20’s.
I have been pondering for weeks now which crazy tale of Madeleine the financier’s I would share in a post about these delectable, petite cakes cooked up for French Friday’s with Dorie. I have also been excited about the tons of extra time I would have to craft a hilarious Madeleine story — seeing as how these financiers (the cakes) are so easy to figure out and take practically no time at all to bake up.
No such luck! Regretably I made the mistake of telling Madeleine the financier about her impending infamy with my readers and she screamed at me:
“Absolutely not! Do not write about me in your blog!”
I was forced to agree to not telling you anything about her to keep the peace between us. So therefore I will have to postpone sharing with you the story of how one time Maddy and I went to Las Vegas and except for the hour or so it took for us to check in and get back downstairs to the casino (where she met a very handsome Arab man) I would not see her again until two days later at the airport where she showed up sporting a sparkly diamond tennis bracelet. One I had never seen her wear before.
Instead I must write about these financiers. They are just about the most perfect morning food there is. Sweet but not too sweet, the almond flour mixed with beurre noisette (browned butter) adds just the right kind of nutty flavor without any of the overpowering extract-based flavor you might expect from similar offerings at trendy coffee boutiques — You know, the kind that will sell you something similar for $3 or more.
Additionally, as is the case with Madeleine the financier, any first-thing-in-the-morning encounter with these cakes ought to come with a tall cup of coffee. Madeleines in the morning require a dose or two of caffeine and both would thank you profusely for bringing a tall cup if they could speak that early.
Financiers are typically baked in a small rectangular shaped molds so that the finished cake resembles a small bar of gold. Yes, gold. Gold not unlike the gold that a jeweler somewhere had to melt down to fashion a very expensive tennis bracelet my friend Madeleine still sports on fancy occasions. (The bracelet she still insists she has had for a very long time but that I can’t recall ever laying eyes on in the 20 years I had known her prior to our Vegas trip.
I don’t own a financier pan and had to draw the line at buying one just for this assignment. I instead made due with a mini-muffin pan which worked out very nicely and perhaps contributed to what I think is the perfect size for these treats. It is nice to know that after buying rose syrup, preserved lemons, 9 inch spring form pans, Cream of Wheat, and who knows what else for French Friday’s I actually do
have a line I will not cross when it comes to kitchen purchases!
(Bloggers, do the people you write about in your blog ever get so mad at you that they don’t speak to you? Believe it or not it has not yet happened to me but there is always a first time. What are your experiences here? Come to our page at Facebook and let me know your thoughts on this important topic!)
This is what you will need:
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 6 large egg whites
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
This is how you make it:
- Put the butter in a small saucepan and bring it to the boil over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally.
- Allow the butter to bubble away until it turns a deep brown.
- Pull the pan from the heat and keep it in a warm place.
- Mix the sugar and almonds together in a medium saucepan.
- Stir in the egg whites, place the pan over low heat, and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, heat the mixture until it is runny, slightly white and hot to the touch, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour, then gradually mix in the melted butter.
- Transfer the batter to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the batter to create an airtight seal, and chill for at least 1 hour. (The batter can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Butter 12 rectangular financier molds (these were tested in 3-3/4 x 2 x 5/8-inch [10 x 5 x 1-1/2-cm] rectangular molds that each hold 3 tablespoons), dust the interiors with flour and tap out the excess.
- Place the molds on a baking sheet for easy transport.
- Fill each mold almost to the top with batter.
- Slide the molds into the oven and bake for about 13 minutes, or until the financiers are golden, crowned and springy to the touch.
- If necessary, run a blunt knife between the cookies and the sides of the pans, then turn the cookies out of their molds and allow them to cool to room temperature right side up on cooling racks.
This dish was an assignments for French Friday’s with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan’s culinary tome “ Around My French Table” . We generally avoid including the recipes in our posts. However, wherever there has been a significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers or hundreds of other bloggers I will either include it here (only when adapted) or provide a direct link. Please feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding a French Friday with Dorie Recipe