This month's Diner News features a girly theme. Food for the ladies--the showers, luncheons, tea party events many of us enjoy. The manfood issue was a hit, so the girly girls should have a turn too. Spring seems the time for teas and brunches, Mother's Day treats and such. It just seems some fancier foods are in order, and French have that down to an art.
Financiers are pastries filled with the flavors of toasted almond and browned butter. They are light and sweet, and simple. Not even vanilla extract gets in the way here. Traditionally, the French bake them in special pans that create a small rectangular loaf. Supposedly, the little cakes resemble a silver or gold bar, hence the name. The other explanation is that they are a favorite of the financial districts in France. Either way, they know what is good.
I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe. You just never know with baked goods. I do love my baking mixes, but they aren't exactly the same as wheat flour. Granted, I have never had a true french Financier, but these are "tres bon" (or tres bonne, or tres bonnes-- my French is rusty and I am not sure whether these are masculine or feminine, singular or plural...does it matter?)
I invested quite a bit to test this recipe. I bought a silicone bar pan. You can get the same one on my Amazon Store. Financiers have a lot of butter. Big splurge for an experiment. A cup of almond flour. Toasting is good! Do not skip this step!
These are light and airy. I tried two different times. The first batch is lighter and cakier. The second batch baked longer. I read that french Financiers have a slightly crunchy outer surface. It is tough to get that with a silicone pan. I let them stay in the oven longer during the cool down time. I like the extra browning, but I will let you decide. Not exactly crispy edges, but still very nice. Such a simple yet sophisticated flavor.
1 cup almond flour
8 oz butter
1/2 cup master baking mix #1 or #2
1 1/2 cup erythritol/stevia blend plus 1/4 tsp liquid stevia
8 egg whites
6 strawberries, quartered
2 tbsp granulated erythritol/stevia blend
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread almond flour thinly over paper. Toast in a 325 oven for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat. Raise oven temperature to 400. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir over low heat until the butter begins to brown. When it turns golden, remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, combine toasted almond flour, baking mix and sweeteners. Stir in melted butter. Stir in egg whites. Pour batter into greased muffin cups or Financiers molds. Add strawberry slices on top. Bake at 400 for 7 minutes. Turn oven heat down to 350 and bake an additional 6 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the cakes in the cooling oven for 5-10 minutes. Remove and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Sprinkle with granulated erythritol.
Makes 14-16 bars. 237 calories 3 g net carb
John's brother is visiting this week from Indiana. I left the guys with some Financiers for breakfast. They were too afraid to eat them, thinking they would spoil my photo shoot. Silly boys! Now I can't give you the man review. It doesn't matter since this month is all about girly girl treats anyway! I will be back tomorrow with some snapshots of the food in the April Diner News. I still have a few photos to take before I mail out the newsletter Watch for it tomorrow, and remember to order the Diner News to get new recipes every month.
Note: If you order the silicone pan to make these, be sure to click over to order the squared version rather than the rounded one on the opening page. Amazon's description link is incorrect also, so please be aware these are not intended solely for use with soapmaking. Baking is #1. This pan is also great for breakfast casserole sticks and brownies.
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