Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Financiers (Chocolate Almond Cakes)

I know.  They look like mini cupcakes.  And they are.  But they aren't.  It's confusing.

They are actually called "Financiers" and the big differences that set them apart from regular cupcakes is that for one thing they primarily use almond flour (and a little all-purpose) and egg whites.  Also, from what I understand, they have little mini loaf pans that you are supposed to use for the mold.

But if you don't have those then a mini cupcake pan is the next best option.  Thus, using that also makes them look more like cupcakes....and I frosted them with chocolate ganache which didn't distinguish them any further.

About that ganache.  You saw it up there.  That was the main impetus for making these--at least at this point.  I had been planning on making them ever since I borrowed and read and then copied several recipes from David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris.

But why I made them now is because I had a TON of leftover chocolate ganache that I used for some cookies I made the day before.  So I had to use it.  I couldn't just toss it.  That would have been outrageous.

I thought about sitting down at the table with a spoon and lapping it up.  But then I thought better.  That would have been dangerous and I may have been on a constant sugar high and probably wouldn't have felt so good afterwards.

I mean I love chocolate but even I have my limits.  It was a lot of ganache.

So these came little guys came to fruition.

And I got rid of that ganache.

Financiers (Chocolate Almond Cakes) - Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz:

6 tbsp (90g) melted and cooled unsalted butter
1c (90g) sliced almonds or almond flour (I used almond flour)
3 tbsp (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder (he suggests using Valrhona and since I had some I did)
1 tbsp (10g) all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4c (90g) confectioners sugar
1/3c (about 2-3 egg whites from large eggs) at room temp.
1/4 tsp almond extract 

1.)  Grease a mini-muffin pan (or a mini loaf pan) and preheat the oven to 425
2.)  Melt the butter in the microwave or stovetop and set aside to cool at room temp.
3.)  Add the almond flour (or sliced almonds), cocoa, flour and salt to a food processor and process to combine (if using sliced almonds process until they are finely ground down to an almond flour size)
4.)  Transfer the dry mixture to a medium bowl and add the egg whites and almond extract and stir to combine
5.)  Gradually stir in the melted butter and stir until fully incorporated into the batter
6.)  Spoon the batter into the mini-muffin pan so each one is about 3/4 full
7.)  Bake for 10-15 minutes (mine took only about 10) until puffed up and springy and or a toothpick comes out clean
8.)  Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from pan

After they cooled, I filled a pastry bag with the leftover chocolate ganache and piped it on the financiers.  This is optional and is not included in the original recipe.  However, you can do it or use something similar but they are quite tasty on their own...

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