If I had tried to orchestrate this week’s French Friday with Dorie recipe scenario, I could not have done better. From beginning to end, it was the perfect storm.
Today’s recipe is Financiers (fee-nahn-see-AY), tiny rich buttery cakes. created a century ago at a patisserie near the Bourse (the French Wall Street). These treats were popular with stockbrokers as pick-me-up, finger food.
What makes these exceptionally delicious is beurre noisette, (brown butter). Financiers require oodles of butter. When cooked to a golden brown coloring, it acquires a nutty flavor. NOTE: Go the extra mile and brown your butter.
One cup of sugar and almond flour, 2/3 cup A-P flour and 6 egg whites later, you’ve got batter ready to chill for an hour or two. Overnight is better.
Although the Financiers can be any petite shape, I only could find a mini-muffin tin in my moving boxes. I found gorgeous raspberries at the store. Thus, fruit Financiers. To celebrate my first week in Aspen, I decided to share the spoils with the young people manning our front office.
To those of you who have asked, The Gant, my new home, is an 143-condominium complex located in the heart of downtown Aspen. Built in 1975, each condo is individually owned. It is basically a resort rental complex with all the amenities and staff (100) that go along with that moniker. Most homeowners come for the summer, holidays and a week or two during the ski season. Only 8 other owners live here full-time.
Nine years ago, because of my husband’s health, we needed to escape the altitude, find a kinder climate and be nearer our kids. After selling our house and thinking we could at least enjoy the Aspen summers, I bought a condo here at The Gant. When it became apparent we couldn’t return, Donnie Lee, the general manager, promised me, since my hands were full, that they would take care of our condo. Whenever they needed to buy, build, install, improve, or change something in my place, someone would call to get my approval. They did the rest. Every year I’d return for 3 or 4 days to check in. That’s why I’m lucky enough to know all the staff and consider them family.
Now back to the Financiers. After whipping up the batter Monday evening, I woke up early Tuesday to a raging spring snowstorm. Really? Wouldn’t warm little raspberry mini-muffins (the staff’s eventual name for my Financiers) be a tasty treat for the front desk staff who often work outside as well as in?
I filled the buttered molds with batter and raspberries and baked them 18 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. They popped out easily and, while still warm, I covered them carefully and pulled on my boots and heavy jacket to scurry over to the office.
Here’s what I can say about the Financiers. There is no photo because I didn’t have the heart to freeze-frame the staff’s enthusiasm, insisting they pose for this Post. However, with apologies to Roger Ebert, the bellmen each gave them a Ten-Fingers Up.
To see the absolutely gorgeous, fancier Financiers that my colleagues made this week, go here.