Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kitchen Break-In

Almond Financiers in the Finished Kitchen

After seven months the kitchen remodel is finally finished.  Wahoo, no more cooking in my parka, boiling water to wash pots or surprising foraging raccoons!  I only had two meltdowns.  Well ok, three, but they were all justified, at least in my mind.  


For those of you who love before and after photos, here are two I found from when we moved into the house in 1995.   We have forever banished the color coral from this house!

Our first meal was total comfort food, grilled cheese sandwiches on a rainy night, but the oven needed to be baptized, so to speak.  So I chose Financiers, also sometimes referred to as Friands.  These are deeply satisfying little French cakes.  They can be complicated to make, but I found a much simpler recipe that gives my local bakery a run for their money.   While these cakes look very pretty made with the scalloped molds they taste just as good made in muffin/cupcake pans.
Almond Financiers
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, February 2008
makes approximately 10-12

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (Use a good quality butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup almond meal (can be found at Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush muffin pan or molds with butter or use parchment cupcake liners.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until golden brown, 6-7 minutes.  Add honey and whisk until combined.  Remove from heat.

Mix almond meal, sugars, flour, and salt.  With mixer on medium speed add egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Reduce speed to low, and add warm butter/honey mixture in a slow, steady stream.  Raise speed to high, and beat for 45 seconds more.

Spoon batter into muffin cups or molds. Bake until edges are golden brown, 15-25 minutes. Rotate pan/molds after approximately 10 minutes to brown evenly.  Let cool slightly (about 5 minutes) before unmolding cakes.  Don’t wait too long or cakes will be difficult to remove from molds.  You may need to use the tip of a knife to help release the cakes from the molds. Financiers are best served warm or the same day they are baked.  These cakes can be kept for up to 3 days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Other Financier recipes can be found in: