A few notes about the recipeI decided to kick off 2017 with these cranberry chestnut financiers because financiers are one of the easiest treats you can make. Financiers are like mini pound cakes, denser than a muffin, but in a good way. Financiers are made from a combination of finely ground nuts, all-purpose flour, and sugar, bound together with brown butter and egg whites. You don't use a mixer to make these. They are THAT easy. I opted for chestnut flour because chestnut gives such an interesting flavour to baked goods. It's so difficult to pinpoint and describe the flavour of chestnut. Is it nutty? Yes. But it has a richer flavour, reminiscent of cocoa. Sweet baked goods with chestnut flour make me think of molasses or caramel, with coffee notes, especially if you eat these financiers two days after you baked them. You can swap out the chestnut flour for something else. This recipe works with good old all-purpose flour, cup-for-cup (or better yet, gram-for-gram). I've even made financiers with rice flour. These chestnut financiers are gluten-free, so I tested out sorghum flour to prepare the pan. That worked well, even with the pretty vintage pan I used. I had zero issues getting the financiers out of the pan. Obviously, while worrying about the new year and a million other things, I also worried about the cakes getting stuck to the pan. Crisis averted! Now that I've made this first recipe, I am ready to embrace 2017.
Cranberry chestnut financiers
Recipe type: Dessert
- 115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 63 grams (1/2 cup) chestnut flour
- 63 grams (3/4 cup) ground almond
- 90 grams egg whites (from 3 large eggs, approximately)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 48 frozen cranberries (do not thaw!)
- Sorghum flour for dusting greased pans.
- Brown the butter in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat when the butter smells very nutty and the milk solids have browned. Set aside the pan to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar with the chestnut flour and the ground almond.
- In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until they are frothy and quite thick.
- Pour the egg whites over the dry ingredients and whisk them in, then add the vanilla and the browned butter and stir to incorporate everything together really well.
- Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter 16 wells of a mini-muffin pan and flour them with sorghum flour, tapping out the excess. Make sure that the sides and bottoms of the muffin wells are evenly coated.
- Divide the batter between the 16 wells of the pan, and top with 2 to 3 frozen cranberries, pressing them down slightly.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
- Let cool 5 to 10 minutes so that the financiers firm up before unmolding them onto a wire rack to cool completely.