Aug 10, 2009
These little cakelets are so delicious! And if your eye-hand coordination is better than mine, yours can be really lovely, as they are in the book, with the overlapping plum slices making a perfect rose.
These little round versions of financiers look exactly like little fruit tarts in the cookbook, and I couldn't quite figure out how it was all going to work out, but it did.
Although I think I complained about all the steps involved in making financiers when I made the ones with cacao nibs, I've decided that they're really quite simple. The beurre noisette is the only thing that stops me from saying they're easy-peasy, because that is a little time-consuming. Because it freezes indefinitely, according to Rose, I decided to clarify and brown a whole pound of butter this time.
I've never seen so much butter melting away. The sight of this huge pot o' butter made Jim question my sanity, or at least my ability to follow directions: "Are you sure you're supposed to use this much butter?" But now I have three little plastic tubs of beurre noisette in my freezer, which is a lot, considering that I'd never even heard of it a month ago.
I liked the chocolate financiers a lot, especially the caramelized cacao nibs, but I think that chocolate almost does a disservice to the financier concept, because you lose the subtle flavors of the browned butter and the toasted almonds in the batter.
It's a snap to put all the ingredients together in the food processor, and then pour the batter into six individual tartlet pans. (The directions specify 3 7/8" pans. The only ones I could find were 4-inch, but I think that's close enough).
They can be topped with blueberries or currants, as well as plums, but I used plums because they're called plum ingots, not blueberry ingots.
I got all the fruit from the same bin, but that was the only red one, so my tarts don't all look the same.
As I was struggling to make my plum roses look like the plum roses in the book, I recalled taking an aptitude test in the third grade. The woman who gave the test told me that I had an extraordinarily low score in eye-hand coordination for "someone of normal intelligence." She told me never to work in a factory. I remembered that because I had a mental picture of how I wanted it to look, and what I ended up with didn't exactly match that picture.
Even the powdered sugar looks a little forlorn, instead of the delicate sprinkling that I envisioned. But you know what? I don't care because these were so fabulous. In fact, as I licked my fingers after finishing it, I thought to myself that what I really, really wanted to do was to eat another one. And they're not tiny, either. Jim told me to go ahead--he wouldn't tell. Then he taunted me by having a second one himself. But I'm made of sterner stuff.
Sarah: "There's a tartness I like. And I like the texture of the cake. The almonds give it a really subtle nuttiness."
James: "I've never had anything like this before! It's not too sweet, and it's got a really good texture."
Jim: "The crust has a really good flavor--just the right amount of sweetness. And it doesn't fall apart."
Karen: "I could eat a lot of these."
--And that's the way it is, Sunday, July 19, 2009.
Posted by Marie at 6:36 PM