Some call them Friands, some call them Financiers. I’ll tell you what they are :- they’re small cakes made from almond meal, egg whites, icing sugar and typically flavoured with fruit. I’ll also tell you why I love them. They’re tiny, they are somewhat healthier than your regular cakes, they’re light, extremely easy to make, ready in minutes and you can get creative and do just about anything to them.
I’ve made Financiers on many occasions before, but to be honest I haven’t shared all the versions here. So here’s one I made recently, which again were quite irresistible, it would be a crime not to share them. They make an excellent coffee cake or just right for high tea. If you’re the kind who lingers around the fridge post your meal to satisfy your sweet tooth, yet you don’t want to cheat on your diet plan – I’d say this mini cake will be your best friand ( pun intended :-p)
You can make these in any tiny molds you have at hand. Tiny cupcakes liners, shallow molds, round, square – any shape you can find will work. The molds I’ve used here are hand me downs from my mum, who made us a simple vanilla sponge cakes back in the early 80’s. Baking was fairly new to Indian moms, and a hot yellow cake when you were 4 – in India was a big thing! I treasure these molds and I’m surely passing them on to my son, who loves baking too.
Traditionally these buttery cakes are made with almond meal and do genuinely taste good with a little bit of fruit in it, be it fresh or dry. Since I was craving chocolate – actually I’m always craving chocolate but that’s beside the point. Cherries and chocolate are a match made in heaven. And what really gives the boost to chocolate is some coffee. Just a little bit is all you need, it lifts up the chocolate flavor and makes it so much richer. In this recipe I’ve used Gourmesso’s organic coffee pods. I don’t think I’ve said this enough but the quality of ingredients you use makes all the difference in the flavor of your dish. And one of the many great things about this coffee is that it is harvested and refined under the most responsible socially-economical conditions. Gourmesso stands for fair, sustainable coffee, transparency and sense of responsibility. So not only are you using a high quality product, you’re also helping support the people who work so hard to bring this coffee to you.
Now that’s a dessert that leaves you high on may notes !
200 gms butter
200 gms grated dark chocolate grated
3 tbsp Gourmesso Black Coffee
250 gms icing sugar
50 gms plain flour
170 gms ground almonds
6 large egg whites
Cherries – pitted
For the Financiers , preheat oven to 180C. Melt the margarine in a microwave and keep aside. Sift the icing sugar and flour in a bowl. Stir in the ground almonds, coffee and grated chocolate. Whisk the egg whites to soft peak stage and fold them into the flour mixture. Now pour in the butter and mix gently, incorporating everything together. Pour into greased financier tins or cupcake moulds until they are 3/4th full. Pop in the cherries, about 2-3 per mold. Bake for 15 mins. Don’t overbake them, they need to be moist within. Let them cool.
This recipe should make 12 larger Oval Friands (using the friand tins ) or about 2 dozen smaller ones. Store in air tight container.