What do you do when Ocado send you some free strawberries? Well you could make a fruit salad, eat them with some sugar or make Eton Mess.
I decided I’d use these strawberries to make financiers, I love how English strawberries are smaller and sweeter than a lot of their foreign relatives. So I thought they would be perfect for these delicate little cakes. Financiers are traditionally a rectangular shape, mimicking a gold bar, hence the name, it is also thought they were popular in the financial district of Paris, near the stock exchange.
I don’t have any financier moulds, but I do have a collection of random petits-fours moulds, ranging from barquettes to mini bundts. So I went to town and filled nearly every mini cake tin I had in the kitchen!
Thankfully the shape is not the only characteristic of a financier, they usually include a beurre noisette, ground almonds and egg whites.
The recipe includes details on how to make a beurre noisette, however Emma over at Poires au Chocolat has written a great post with pictures showing how to make a good beurre noisette. It really is worth trying, as it imparts so much flavour and it’s really not scary at all.
The little cakes are topped with strawberries just before baking, the delicate batter puffs up and encases the strawberry so that it is just poking through the top of the finished cake. As you would expect, these have a very short cooking time and as soon as they’re removed from the oven they’re dusted with icing sugar and left to cool.
STRAWBERRY & PISTACHIO FINANCIERS
- 100 g Plain Flour
- 250 g Icing Sugar
- 125 g Ground Almonds
- 200 g Egg Whites approx 6 eggs
- 125 g Butter
- 80 g <a href="http://www.souschef.co.uk/pure-pistachio-paste.html">Pistachio Paste</a>
- 12 Strawberries to Decorate
- First you need to make the beurre noisette. Get a bowl ready on a heatproof surface and you'll need a fine metal sieve as well.
- Next prepare your tins, the size mould you use is entirely up to you, but you will have to adjust your cooking times accordingly. This will make 12 generous muffin sized financiers or 24 barquettes. Grease the moulds with butter and place them on a baking tray to make it easier to move them around.
- Place the butter in a heavy based saucepan and melt it, keep heating the butter. It will start to bubble up and begin to smell of hazelnuts. Heat the butter until it starts to turn a brown colour.
- As soon as the colour begins to change and darken, take the pan off the heat and strain it into the bowl that you have ready. Leave the butter to cool and be careful as it will be very hot.
- Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan.
- Sift the plain flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds and stir to mix the dry ingredients together.
- Add the egg whites to the dry mixture and beat it well until it is all incorporated together and no dry mixture remains, you'll have to be quite tough with it.
- Next add the pistachio paste and beat this into the egg mixture, by this point you'll have quite a thick paste.
- The beurre noisette should now be cooler, mix this into the batter. You will find it is difficult to mix in the butter, but just persevere they will emulsify.
- Put the batter into a piping bag and fill the moulds/tins of your choice, until you have used all of your batter.
- Take your strawberries, quarter them and then place quarters lightly in the middle of your financiers.
- Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. When the financiers are baked, dust them with icing sugar and leave them to cool in their tins.
The mini bundts were not baked with strawberries in them, I turned them out, dusted them with icing sugar and then fanned my strawberries by slicing them and glazing them with melted strawberry jam, before setting them atop the cakes.
What would you make with some free strawberries? Or would you just gobble them down?
Thanks for reading.