Before I met her, one of my friends was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which means she cannot eat anything with gluten (wheat, soy sauce, bread, etc.). Luckily, with the ability to share experiences and recipes over the Internet, there are many gluten-free recipes to be found.
My challenge with gluten-free baking though, is that most of it requires a mix of different kinds of flour (potato flour, arrowroot flour, rice flour, xanthan gum, etc.). Except for when I bake something for my friend, I will not usually use these multitudes of different flours and am reluctant to buy them only to have them sit in my pantry for long periods of time. So when I saw this simple David Lebovitz recipe for chocolate financiers on the Gluten-Free Girl’s blog, I couldn’t resist giving it a try.
This has become one of my go-to “let’s impress people” dishes because they’re so tiny and yet pack in so much chocolate and almond flavour. People love these things; it’s just a bonus that they’re gluten-free too.
Chocolate and almond financiers
N.B. I have made some small adjustments to the original recipe.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (margarine works too, but will make the financiers more moist)
1 cup almond flour/meal/ground almonds (use pre-ground almonds such as Bob’s Red Mill, or grind sliced almonds in a food processor until fine)
4 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup egg whites
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly butter the financier molds, mini-muffin tins, or silicone molds, and place on a sturdy baking sheet to prevent spillage. I use mini-muffin tins, and find it easier to remove the financiers if the tin is also “floured.” I used cocoa powder to flour them instead of actual flour.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan or microwave and set it aside until room temperature.
In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa, salt, and powdered sugar. Stir the egg whites and almond extract into the ground almond mixture, then gradually stir in the melted butter until incorporated and smooth.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them 3/4 full.
Bake for ten to fifteen minutes, until slightly puffed and springy to the touch. Use a toothpick to poke in one of the financiers if you’re not sure; if the toothpick comes out clean without any wet dough stuck to it, then they’ve finished baking. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from molds.
Once cooled, financiers can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. If using margarine in your recipe, I recommend not covering them at least overnight so that the financiers can dry out a little bit; covering them right away will keep the financiers extremely moist and they may start to stick to each other.
Makes about 15-17, one-inch financiers.