How to make brown butter and chocolate chip financiers

Financiers – buttery, nut-based cakes made with egg whites – are quick to make and don’t require specialist equipment. They are traditionally made with ground almonds but you can be flexible – swap for ground pistachios or hazelnuts, if you like. Switching the chocolate chips for frozen berries is also a delicious idea.

These involve making brown butter, by simmering on a very low heat. As soon as the butter starts to smell nutty and turns a golden-brown colour, remove it from the heat and let it sit before straining it through a metal sieve into a bowl.

If you’re a fan of the brown bits in the butter, you can absolutely leave them in. It’s important to weigh the butter again once browned, making sure you have 100g, as it will lose mass in the cooking process.

The batter will keep happily in the fridge for three days.

Brown butter and chocolate chip financiers

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour resting | Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

MAKES

12

INGREDIENTS

  • 120g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 50ml boiling water
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of sea salt flakes, well crushed
  • 200g egg whites, from 6-7 medium eggs
  • 80g mini dark chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped
  • 50g flaked almonds

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and heat really gently, swirling regularly, until it turns a deep brown colour and smells nutty. This process should take around 10-15 minutes. Set aside and let the brown butter cool until it’s no longer hot to touch.
  2. Make the coffee with the measured boiling water, then allow it to cool until just warm. At this point, you can sieve the butter into a bowl to get rid of the bits, or you can just leave them in – I like to do that sometimes.
  3.  Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and then stir to combine evenly. Add the coffee, egg whites and brown butter.
  4. Stir evenly and gently with a spatula until combined. Add the chocolate chips, scrape down the sides of the bowl and place the bowl of batter in the refrigerator for one hour.
  5. Meanwhile, generously butter 12 round silicone moulds or a muffin tin and dust with flour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4.
  7. Take the batter out of the fridge and give it a stir. Divide the batter into each of the silicone moulds or buttered muffin tray holes, then sprinkle a generous amount of flaked almonds on top of each one.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until, when a skewer is inserted, it comes out clean, then remove from the oven and take out of the moulds.
  9. Enjoy warm with a splash of cold cream or cool with tea for the next day. These keep in an airtight container for up to three days.
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