Where do I start ?
I've been meaning to make cherry financiers ever since I saw them pictured in a recipe book a very long time ago. Pretty little teacakes... But cherries are so seasonal. When good ones come along, I like to eat them fresh. They generally never make it as far as home as they get scoffed on the journey back.
Despite searching high and low - I cannot find the recipe book. It would help if I could remember which one I was looking for !
Over the weekend, some stunning big fat cherries did make it home and I decided a coveted few would become cherry financiers. The picture I had seen looked so good - yet I could only imagine that I would be wasting those juicy cherries by cooking them. I prepared for disappointment.
Well - I was wrong. These are the most fantastic little French pastries. I ate the first still warm from the oven and my heart skipped a beat. There is no describing these - I really do need to urge you to make these for yourself.
For making these, I used our 11 mini cheesecake silicone bakeware mould. I specifically chose this mould as although similar to a mini muffin mould in diameter, it is deeper with straighter / more upright sides. You could substitute it with a mini muffin mould if that is all you have - or possibly a normal muffin tin.... though I consider those too large for this application.
As these were new moulds I was using, I lightly greased with spray on sunflower oil and then floured - making sure to tap out all the excess before filling the mould.
I googled for financier recipes and found a few. Some had baking powder in them, some did not. I opted for the recipe from Epicurious - but added in 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder. I also halved the recipe and it fitted perfectly - filling all 11 cells of the mould.
70g ground almonds
105g icing sugar
92g of salted butter - that way I needn't bother adding salt !
92g of egg whites (that worked out exactly on 3 eggs)
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
Preheat fan oven to 230deg C
Brown the butter to a nut brown.
Sift the dry ingredients together and mix in the egg whites and vanilla. I used an electric hand held mixer. Add the hot butter, mixing in quickly.
Pour as quickly as you can into your moulds and then pop in your sweet cherry, with stalk attached.
Cook in the oven for 5 mins, then turn down the heat to 200deg C. Cook for a further 4 mins. Turn the oven off and leave for 4 mins more before removing from the oven.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before unmoulding. If you are anything like me - you'll be twitching and wishing the time away :-P
Supposedly you should allow these to cool - but they are marvellous still warm. The cherries have stared to split and oozing their juices. These are so good that after eating two - I handed the rest into the neighbours still warm. Had I left them in the house, I'd have eaten the lot before they cooled !
Sarah-Jane Nash - http://www.siliconemoulds.com/ - Flexible silicone bakeware recipes July 2010