Thursday, December 9, 2010

Honey Almond Financiers

If you've been around here a few days, you'll know that I don't like nuts. But the truth is - I don't like whole or chopped nuts - it's a texture thing - but I'm perfectly happy to use ground nuts. And I did just that in these financiers. That's a French word that I can't really pronounce correctly. All you need to know is that in this instance, it means small cake. 
These mini tea cakes - which I made in my mini muffin pan - apparently get their name from the fact that they are traditionally baked in small rectangular pans, resembling bars of gold.

Despite the fact that these were not in the appropriate shape, I greatly enjoyed them - something a little different from the standard cakes and cupcakes. I decided to plop a little raspberry jam in the center of each financier for some added flavoring. Let's just say that not all the jam remained in the cake.
Luckily some did, and I found the raspberry to be a wonderful pairing with the almond and honey flavor of the cakes. These little treats were bound for my office, where they were happily received. 
Tip of the Day: I'm a major fan of cooking sprays for greasing pans - I've never done any of that buttering/greasing/flouring to keep my cakes and cookies from not sticking. But I'm an even bigger fan of the sprays with flour included - I've used Pam and Baker's Joy and store brands all with good results. The added flour really makes a difference in getting cakes out with nothing left behind (except jam that is). 

Recipe: (adapted from thekitchn.com)

6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup raspberry (or any other variety) jam


Melt the butter, honey and sugar together, and stir until smooth. 
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds and salt. Pour in the honey mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until mixed in. Stir in the extract. 
Divide the batter among 24 greased mini-muffin cups - about 1 heaping tablespoon in each cup. 
Drop a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of jam in the center of each muffin. 
Bake on 350 F for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown.
Cool in the pans 5 minutes until turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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