These little French cakes are an enigma. I couldn’t quite decide whether they are light or heavy. On the one hand, no egg yolks are added, maybe it an egg-white-only bake. On the other hand, there’s quite a generous amount of butter. And then the nuts – almond and hazelnut. The ingredients intrigued me so much that I just had to give it a try.
So, a second recipe from Pierre Hermé’s Pastries in one weekend – he’s on fire!
Makes 16 very thin rectangular cakes
57g unsalted butter
10g ground hazelnuts
75g confectioners’ sugar
25g plain flour
1g baking powder
30g ground almond
70g egg whites
1) Melt the butter over low heat, removing it from the heat as soon as it turns a nutty brown color. Strain it and set it aside to cool.
2) Preheat the oven to 160C fan.
3) Sprinkle a baking sheet evenly with the ground hazelnuts. Place it in the oven and toast for no longer than 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4) Increase the oven temperature to 220C fan.
5) In a bowl, in the following order, sift the confectioners’ sugar, plain flour, and baking powder. Mix in the almond flour and toasted ground hazelnuts. Incorporate the egg whites and the browner butter, and mix until the batter is smooth.
6) Fill the financier molds almost to the top then bake in preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Leave the financiers in the moods for 3 minutes before unmolding them.
I think I used the wrong mold for these financiers, as the original recipe is supposed to yield only 6 cakes. I reckon mine is a lot thinner than the one in the recipe. Hmm. I cannot say I am a big fan of financiers. It is not bad, with the hazelnuts and the browned butter, but, I think I still prefer madeleines.