Eat Like a Princess - Tiana - Raspberry Almond Financiers
My husband has dangled the option of Disney Cruising in front of me recently so I started checking the food options. On the Disney Wonder, one of Disney’s four cruise ships, you can have lunch or dinner at Tiana’s Place. “Blending southern home-style cooking with classic American flavors, Tiana’s Place invites you to drop in and sup on a tasty medley of mouthwatering fare influenced by the French Quarter.” The chefs - with Tiana’s guidance - have created a spectacular menu with some delicious desserts. Beignets, bread pudding, and banana foster are shining stars. They also have a special Mardi Gras menu with some super tasty sweet treats perfect for when you want to eat like a Princess. My top favorites were the Maldonia Berry Financier, Banaoffe Pie, and Prince Naveen’s Flourless Chocolate Cake.
Financiers are sweet, pastry like cakes usually made with almond flour (also known as almond meal or ground almonds). They are often baked in small molds like tarts to achieve a light and moist interior texture with a crisp exterior. The traditional financier also contains egg whites, flour, and sugar. The recipe I used is for berries baked into the financier and sliced almonds on top for additional textural interest. Easy to make, fun to bake, and delicious to enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, or milkshake (my husband’s request) I don’t think you can go wrong with these any time of day or occasion.
The recipe may seem a bit advanced due to the usual ingredient of almond meal and the egg whites only but it comes together easily. If separating the whites and yolks of eggs causes you anxiety, crack the egg over one bowl to avoid shell pieces falling into your batter. You can also use your hand to allow the white to fall through versus tipping the yolk back and forth between the two sides of the eggshell. If some of the yolk falls into your white no big deal for this recipe. If you’re concerned, though, use one of the egg shells as a scoop to fish out the offense yolky bits.
Also, don’t panic if it doesn’t seem like much is happening at first and things are looking a bit deserty with only one S. Mixing the butter into the dry ingredients starts to form a dry crumb texture and then as the eggs are added transforms in appearance from a stiff dough for cookies to a loose batter for cakes. I scraped down the mixing bowl only as the end to ensure all the butter and bits off of my paddle were completely incorporated by my stand mixer. If you’ve never used it before I 100% recommend Baker’s Choice cooking spray – it is non-stick spray with flour it in. All of my creations pop out of their pans in perfect shape when I use it. Also, I put about 3 full tablespoons of batter into each of my silicone tartlet molds and smoothed it to the edges with a spatula. The molds appeared about half full and baked perfectly – crispy edges with fully centers. You do not have to press the berries into the pastries like I did, they can be lightly placed on top. Also, financiers can be customized for flavor preferences with different fruit, toppings, flours, and shapes! Just adjust cooking time if using smaller molds.
Raspberry Almond Financiers
- ¾ cup almond meal (almond flour or ground almonds)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 pint of raspberries or blackberries
- ½ cup sliced almonds for sprinkling on top
- Powdered icing sugar, for dusting
- 6, 4- inch nonstick tart molds sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or buttered and floured
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix ground almonds, flour, sugar, and lemon zest until combined.
- Add the softened butter and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the vanilla. Add the egg whites, one by one, beating for 2 minutes and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared molds. Place on raspberries and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
- Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes, but depending on the mold/pan used.
- Unmold the cakes, let cool on a cooling rack.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.