I have stacks of baking books throughout my house. There's not enough room in my kitchen for all of them, so they spill into the living room, the sunroom, and even my bedroom. The majority of the books are French themed, ranging from exquisitely-crafted pastries to rustic French Provencal desserts. Baking French sweets gives me a much-needed connection to France; a place I'm just not able to visit as often as I'd like. So... here's Another Paris Moment. The dessert I made for our second "Dinner-by-the-Fire" was Les Financiers aux myertilles.
Financiers are small French cakes, usually made from ground almonds. Traditional financiers are made in small rectangular molds, meant to resemble a bar of gold. This recipe by Nick Malgieri uses round tart pans instead. Flavored with the grated zest of one entire lemon and studded with blueberries, this is a great little dessert with fresh, bright flavors -- perfect for spring.
:: Financiers aux Myrtilles
Recipe by Nick Malgieri
• 3/4 cup ground almonds
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup sugar
• Grated zest of 1 lemon (organic)
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 3 large egg whites
• 1 tablespoon rum
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 pint blueberries, or raspberries
• Sliced almonds for finishing
• Nine 3 3/4-inch or 4-inch tart pans, coated with a non-stick spray
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the ground almonds, flour, sugar, and lemon zest. Mix until combined.
3. Add the butter and continue beating for 2 minutes.
4. Stir rum and vanilla into egg whites, then add to flour mixture in two additions. Beat for 2 minutes after each addition, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
5. Fill each tart pan with 2 ounces of batter, then sprinkled with blueberries and sliced almonds.
6. Bake for 35 minutes. Unmold and serve with whipped cream.
* I believe the financiers are best eaten the day they are made.
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