Mum. The woman we owe so damn much too. And nothing ever seems enough for the woman we vomited on and pooped on, and then whose shoulders we cried on and as we get older the one we consider our best and closest friend. But you know what helps? Butter. Love, and lots of butter. All housed in the form of these delightful French pastries—the financier. A pastry cooked in the banking district in Paris for—yep, you guessed it—financial types. It is a simple almond cake, leavened by egg whites, moistened with nutty browned butter and baked into a small mould. But such simplicity is deceiving: this baked delight is exquisitely refined. It is springy, sweet and nutty with an exterior that's as crisp as an eggshell and the perfect fodder from mum this Mother’s Day.
Lemon Curd Financiers Recipe
250g unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
150 g (1 cups) ground almonds, lightly toasted
90g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
5 eggwhites, whisked lightly
Lemon curd (makes more than you need)
2 eggs, 2 egg yolks
165g/¾ cup caster sugar
80g/ 1/3 cup butter
zest and juice of 2 lemons
Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease and lightly dust with flour 12 small dariole moulds, pastry tins or at a pinch a muffin tin.
To make the lemon curd whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Leftover lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Add the butter to a small frying pan and melt over low heat, swirling constantly. Cook the butter until it smells nutty and fragrant and takes on a light brown appearance. Remove from heat, stir through the sugar and set aside.
Put the ground almonds, flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the egg whites, a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. Pour in the melted butter and whisk through until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the holes in the prepared tin. Bake for twenty minutes, or until they are golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool and serve.
Allow to cool and place a heaped teaspoon of lemon curd in the centre of each financier. Present to mum like you’ve just won the nobel prize. She’ll think it the culinary equivalent.
Image credit: Katrina Meynick