cooling chocolate finaciers

Bouchon Bakery’s Chocolate Financiers

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cooling chocolate finaciers
These crisp as the cool!

As with Bouchon Bakery’s Traditional Financiers, we’ve wanted to make the chocolate version for a while. Just for scientific inquiry, of course, not necessarily because we like things made of chocolate. So, we waited for just the right time, which was earlier this week, for our downtown walk. We like to make treats to bring down because most baked goods are always best the day they’re made, and, to be honest, we really can’t eat a whole batch of financiers, anyway. So, we get to have a few fresh ones to try, and we get to share some, too. Sharing always make them taste even better.

This recipe comes from Bouchon Bakery, by Thomas Keller and Sebastian Rouxel, and, as with all of their recipes, we’ll be listing ingredients by weight. Also, as you look through the photos, it’ll look as if this makes a lot of financiers, but, realize that we tripled the recipe we listed. We needed to make sure there were enough for people to enjoy.

Bouchon Bakery’s Chocolate Financiers

Yield: about 24 mini financiers

Bouchon Bakery’s Chocolate Financiers

Ingredients

  • 120 g (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 Tbs) sugar
  • 20 g (2 Tbs + 1 tsp) all-purpose flour
  • 60 g (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp) almond flour or meal
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 155 g (11 Tbs) butter
  • 20 g (0.7 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 10 g (0.4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate (100% cacao)
  • 100 g (about 3 large) egg whites

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. Sift in almond meal, breaking apart clumps in the sifter as needed. Sift in cocoa. Whisk until uniform. Set aside.

Place butter in a skillet over medium heat. When melted, whisk to keep milk solids suspended in the oil. Continue cooking and whisking until butter is a hazelnut brown, about 10 minutes. Strain, measuring 100g of browned butter, into a medium saucepan.

Add chocolate to browned butter and stir until melted and smooth. If needed, place back over medium heat to ensure chocolate is melted. Set aside.

Make a well in the center of the sugar mixture and add egg whites. Start whisking egg whites, slowly incorporating the sugar mixture. Continue until batter is thick and uniform. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl and re-whisk.

While whisking, slowly add hot butter-chocolate mixture. Continue whisking until uniform.

Transfer to a piping bag with a 3/8-inch tip or opening.

Pipe batter into mini-muffin tins, filling each to about 1/8-inch from the top.

Place in the oven and immediately lower temperature to 350°F. Bake 14-16 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Use a sharp knife to loosen financiers and remove to a rack to cool completely.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2016/04/bouchon-bakerys-chocolate-financiers/

Ingredient discussion:

If we hadn’t had some almond flour on hand, we would’ve ground up almonds in a food processor. After all, that’s what almond meal is, ground almonds. We will say that commercial almond meal has a finer grind, which is nice, but a food processor does a pretty good job, too. The secret of making financiers is the browned butter, though it may seem odd to brown 155g of butter to make 100g. But, this works out almost perfectly, because butter includes more than oil. There are water and milk solids, both of which are removed in the browning and straining process. For our triple batch, we browned a full pound of butter (455g); this resulted in just a tablespoon or two over the 300g of browned butter we needed. Finally, the cocoa and chocolate. Dutch-processed cocoa is darker and less bitter than standard cocoa — we used Valrhona cocoa. For the chocolate, we used Callebaut 70% bittersweet, and Baker’s unsweetened chocolate. We suggest the using the best chocolates you can, for the best-tasting financiers.

Procedure in detail:

Preheat oven to 425°F. If you don’t have a non-stick mini-muffin tin, apply a light coating of butter or baking spray.

sifting cocoa powder
Sifting is easier if you use a scale because you can measure directly into the sifter.
dry ingredients
You’ll have less dry ingredients than we had, because we made a triple batch.

Combine dry ingredients. First, in a large bowl combine the sugar and the flour. You don’t need to whisk them together — you’ll do that later — just get them both into the bowl. Now, break out that underused sifter that you have in the cupboard and sift in the almond meal. Almond meal is clumpy and has bits of almond in it, so definitely sift. Finally, sift in the cocoa; it, too, is clumpy, so run it through the sifter. If you’re measuring by weight, adding sifted ingredients is easy: put the sifter in the bowl set on the scale, press tare to zero the scale, and add the ingredients directly to the sifter. Then simply sift away. Finally, whisk all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

browning butter
Whisk the butter as it browns to keep the milk solids from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
straining butter
Strain the browned butter through a piece of muslin or several layers of cheesecloth to remove the solids. And, learn from us, use a heatproof funnel.

Brown butter. Key. Key. Key. Did we mention browning butter is key? Well, it is. Place the butter in a skillet, preferably a light-colored one, so you can monitor the browning and make sure it doesn’t go over the edge to burning. Start melting the butter over medium heat. When completely melted, start whisking. Continue whisking and heating — the butter will foam, then bubble, as the water is cooked off, and, finally, the milk solids and butter will darken — until the butter is a nice hazelnut brown. It’ll smell delicious, so good that you’ll want to use browned butter for all your baked goods. Once the butter is browned nicely, strain it through a clean piece of muslin into a small saucepan. It should be just about the perfect amount, although you can weigh as you strain just to make sure.

adding chocolate to browned butter
Here you can see just how much we browned the butter: a nice nutty brown.

Melt chocolate. Add the chocolate to the still-hot butter and stir until completely melted and smooth. If needed, place back over medium heat to help the chocolate melt. Set aside.

whisking in egg whites
Incorporate the dry ingredients gradually to help prevent lumps.

Whisk in egg whites. Back to the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the egg whites. Whisk the egg whites, gradually incorporating more of the dry ingredients. Continue until you have a thick batter. If needed, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and whisk again to incorporate any dry clumps.

adding browned butter
Slowly add the melted butter and chocolate as you whisk the batter.

Whisk in buttery chocolate. Still whisking the batter, slowly add the hot butter-chocolate mixture. Continue whisking until smooth and uniform.

piping financier batter
With a triple batch of financiers, using a piping bag was handy. If we’d made a single batch, we probably would’ve just used a spoon to fill the muffin tin.

Pipe. You don’t need to transfer the batter to a piping bag, but it does make it easier to fill the mini-muffin tins without making a mess. If you do, you want either a 3/8-inch tip, or, if you used a disposable piping bag (or zip-lock bag with the corner cut off), a 3/8-inch opening. Pipe (or spoon) about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each opening, or enough to fill each cup to about 1/8 inch from the top.

Bake. Place the financiers in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If you wish, it helps to rotate the pan front to bake halfway through to ensure even baking.

Cool. These little cakes crisp up just a bit while they cool. This is one of the reasons they’re not as good the next day; the crispiness goes away as the sugar absorbs moisture from the air. But, for crispy edges, use a sharp knife and run it around the edges of the financiers to loosen, then transfer to a rack to cool and crisp.

Delicious. Slightly crisp on the outside, still moist on the inside. Intense chocolate taste. All in one easy to eat bite. We thought these were nearly perfect, and it seemed as though volunteers liked them, too. But, if you give them away, don’t be surprised if people refer to them as “brownie bites” or something similar; just realize that these are probably the best “brownie bites” they’ve ever slung a lip over, and smile.

Worth the trouble?

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