Thursday, September 8, 2011

46/99: Gold Ingots (Financier Classiques)

About two weeks ago, I made the brioche so that I could make the caramelized apple pudding cakes. I made the crème anglaise for the cakes and then let the little brioche cubes soak in it as required. They had to sit for awhile so I put them in the refrigerator and forgot about them.

A day or two went by but I decided that I’d use them anyway. Then a week went by. And then two weeks.  Sadly, my little brioche cubes and their marinade found a new home- in the trash can. The lonely pineapple is still sitting on the counter top with half wilted leaves.

Since that recipe has been nagging me for a few weeks, I felt like I should just complete it today. Plus, that would keep the pineapple from dying.  The plan was to buy brioche from our local bakery and cheat. I already made brioche so it counts if I buy a loaf for the next recipe, right?

After class I hurried to the bakery that closes at 2:30.  It was 1:58. Whew.  I got to the counter, ordered my coffee (it’s the best in town), and then asked for a brioche.

The man at the counter looked at me regretfully and said that a gentleman had just come in and asked for 10 brioches. Sadly, he took the last ones.

I called the other, not so exciting bakery and they didn’t have a brioche either. They said I could special order one and it would be ready by the weekend. I could make my own brioche by then so no thank you.

Time was ticking because my next class was at four.  The goal was to get the majority of the cake done before class and that way my evening would be free for other things.  I flipped open Rose’s Heavenly cakes to see what I could make with the ingredients in my pantry.  I’m going out of town this weekend so I didn’t want to make anything exceptional because then it wouldn’t get eaten.

The final decision: Gold Ingots (Financiers Classiques). They contain only ingredients that any good baker has in the pantry at all times, no exceptions: eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, butter, and baking powder.  The only ingredient that I could reasonably not have were almonds but thankfully I’ve acquired a semi-impressive nut assortment from making all of these cakes.

The battle with the clock began.  I felt like a competitor in Top Chef.  I preheated the oven, got the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator, filled a bowl full of warm water, plopped the eggs in it, and then brought the butter to room temperature in the microwave. 

As soon as the butter was ready, the oven was preheated and the almonds went into the oven for 7 minutes.  7 minutes later, half the butter had been turned into beurre noisette and the rest had been melted and stood waiting.  All of the other ingredients were measured.

Clean up time came next and within a couple minutes the kitchen was done and the almonds and sugar could go in the food processor (they had to be cool). The rest is simple. Mix everything together and slowly drizzle the butter in.  Pipe the batter into the pans and into the oven they go. 20 minutes, tops. Yeah, I’d say that’s impressive. 

Here’s the progression:

Toasted almonds:

Beginning of beurre noisette:

Almond mixture:

Batter beginnings:

Add the egg whites:

Ddd the butter then pipe into the molds:

When they finally came out of the oven, I set them on the kitchen counter, put the cat outside and let them cool till I came back.  It was perfect.

When I got back I put one in my mouth.  Then two. Then three. Ok, maybe four. My roommate tried one too. “Oh my gosh,” she said. “It’s like Sunday morning. These are amazing.”

They really are.  I was shocked (No offense, Rose). My previous encounters with ingots were less than impressive.  If you remember back from my first round, the peanut butter ingots they were a complete failure for us. My mom fed them to the dogs. I don’t blame her; They weren’t up to par with everything else from the book.  You can see why I had such little expectations for this round.

As it turns out, Rose’s description turns out to be completely true once again.  She says that they are “the most melt-in-your-mouth financiers.” She mentioned that you can multiply the recipe easily and I can definitely see why you would want to do that. 

Conclusion. I LOVE these. Everyone who tried them loved them.  I guarantee you they will be gone before the night is over.

Rose’s Heavenly Cakes
Gold Ingots (Financiers Classiques)- page 311


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