I made these to use up some leftover egg whites. They are lovely, crisp at the edges and squidgy within. Normally financiers are made in small ingot-shaped moulds, but I don’t have any, so I used mini muffin moulds, which were perfect — they make dainty little cakes to serve with coffee or as an accompaniment to another dessert. The recipe, by Elly McCausland, specified plums as the fruit, but there aren’t any in December; instead I used cherries from my home-made whole-cherry preserve. Use any soft fruit you fancy, sliced if necessary: plums, apricots, raspberries, cherries, peaches … or else a small blob of good-quality jam.
This quantity made 18 small cakes. If using standard muffin moulds, you’ll only have 9.
70 g ground almonds
35 g plain flour
100 g golden caster sugar
pinch of salt
90 g butter
90 g egg whites (about 3-4 eggs’ worth)
fruit of your choice
Preheat the oven to 200C and grease your moulds. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then whisk in the egg whites. Gradually whisk in the butter. Dollop into the moulds so that they are almost full, smoothing the tops. Place a piece of prepared fruit on top of each one.
Bake for 8 minutes, then reduce the heat and bake for about a further 6 minutes, till the edges are golden and the top springy. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Serve as they are, or lightly sprinkled with icing sugar.