Thursday, August 23, 2007


Just imagine for a minute that you made the petits pots de chocolat for a dinner party the other day. Partly because one of your family members stated that a dessert could not qualify as such unless it contained chocolate (chocoholics tend to be extreme) and partly - why deny it - because people are always so impressed with those little pots and you want to show off just a little bit. You proceed as usual, melting the chocolate, beating eggs and sugar, pop everything in the oven. The phone rings, it's a friend of yours and you start to chat, she tells you all about her pregnancy and that the baby is due in only a few weeks. You get excited and distracted and you don't notice how the water of the bain-marie comes to a boil and things go a bit out of hand with your chocolate pots. In the end, they taste ok, don't look all that great and you're glad that your terrace isn't very well lit.

Or maybe you go about making the petits pots carefully and they emerge from the oven in a state of silky-smooth perfection.

Well (and here comes my point - yes, there is one), either way, you'll end up with three lonely egg whites. And if you're anything like me that bothers you. Surely, you can't just throw away perfectly good egg whites, can you? No. Pavlova? Too fussy. Meringue? Hm. You give it some more thought and you vaguely remember that there is a little cake called financier or visitandine that requires only egg whites. You find a recipe online (thank you google), modify it as you see fit and start baking.

Financiers (makes about 8 smallish muffins)

  • 150g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 50g plain flour
  • 3 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 180°. Slowly melt the butter and keep heating carefully until it's the colour of hazelnuts (this is very aptly called beurre noisette in french, I believe it's quite unhealthy so don't ask). Pour the butter into a small bowl and let cool. Whisk the egg whites and sugar until the mixture is foamy, then add the flour and almonds and mix thoroughly. Add the butter and stir to combine everything. Line your muffin tray with paper cups and divide the batter between them. Bake until nicely browned on top (about 10-15 minutes).

In case you write a food blog, take a picture quickly. Financiers are wonderfully moist and tasty - probably the nasty beurre noisette - with a light crumb. They'll disappear in a flash.

P.S. The picture shows Maja and her friend Willi. It has nothing to with this post whatsoever. Attention-seeking, in other words.

No comments: