Thursday, July 19, 2012

Red Currant Financiers


Red currants!  I was drawn to those red little gems the minute my eyes caught a glimpse of them.  I couldn’t believe my luck finding them at the Hillcrest farmers market.  Currants are around for a limited time in summer, especially July, and local chefs snatch them up as quickly as they appear.  I immediately grabbed a basket and gingerly carried it home. 


I toyed with the idea of making a currant jelly since the vendor mentioned that it goes well with a lamb roast or game meat.  But with one basket, I didn’t want to waste these precious gems.  Instead, I used them to flavor financiers.  A financier is a small French cake made with brown butter and almond meal (ground almond).   


The tartness of the currants added a nice contrast to the sweetness of the financiers. Traditionally, financiers are served with ice cream or other frozen confections, but I found them quite delightful by themselves.



Red Currant Financiers (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Desserts)

60 gm butter, unsalted
120 gm sugar
120 gm almond meal (ground almond)
60 gm red currants
3 medium egg whites

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat until it becomes a light brown in color.
2. Remove the saucepan from heat and let it stand for a few minutes.  Pour the melted butter into a bowl and discard the milky solids. 
3. Cool the butter to room temperature.  It should be runny and not solid.
4. In a bowl, combine the sugar, almond meal, and flour.
5. In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on slow speed for 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the melted butter.
7. Beat in the sugar, almond meal, and flour.
8. Transfer the batter to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours.
9. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
10. Combine the currants with the batter.
11. Line a 12-hole mini-muffin pan with paper liners.
12. Dive the batter evenly and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.  Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely.

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