Finally. It's taken me too long. Feels forever ago that Lucy tagged me for the Six Words Meme, where you condense a description of yourself to just six words. Actually, I can distill it down to one: Complex...so rather than wrestle with the other five, I've spun the meme to highlight A Few of my Favorite Things. Six, to be exact. Perhaps some of them are yours, too.
Hazelnut Financiers (Financiers Aux Noisettes) - Slightly adapted from Patricia Wells' recipe from her Bistro Cooking, page 230, and online here
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup ground hazelnuts* (also known as hazelnut flour or meal)
1/2 cup cake flour
6 large unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled in a small saucepan
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Sift powdered sugar, hazelnuts and flour into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour in egg whites, beating with the whisk or a large spoon until they are well mixed. The batter will be wetter than you'd expect, moderately thick and slightly elastic. Pour in melted butter and stir until smoothly blended without any butter separating from the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
Fill well-greased, small and shallow metal molds (financier, barquette, madeleine or mini muffin) almost to the rim with batter. Support the filled molds on a heavy baking sheet before placing on center oven rack to bake for 7 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and continue baking another 7 minutes. Turn off heat to let them set in cooling oven for a final 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and turn cakes out of molds as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Place them on a rack to complete cooling. Serve plain or decorated with powdered sugar or a drizzle of melted chocolate. Makes 16-18 petits fours, depending on size of molds. Store in a tightly sealed tin or plastic container. They keep beautifully, if you can keep your hands off them. --
* Ground hazelnuts can often be found in health food stores and metropolitan supermarkets. You can also grind your own in a food processor or blender, but take care not to grind too long or the result could be nut butter rather than a fine, yet gritty meal. Grinding in small batches allows for better control.
If you'd like to be tagged for this meme, please leave me a comment. I'll be glad to amend this post with a link to you.