Caramel. The word in itself tastes good. It is a word that trickles slowly off the tongue like the golden liquid it most often is used to describe. But its also a proces. And a flavour in itself. And one that I love deeply bordering on madly. I love the proces of caramelising. Be it searing a steak, turning sugar into amber gold or onions. No place does the true magic of caramel shine more bright than with onions. Caramelisation turns the eye-watering onion into something almost decadent. The idea for this financier recipe came last time I made onion soup. While cooking the onions the aroma of browning butter and savoury-sweet caramel made me think of the browned butter in financiers.
This weekend we went to the summerhouse and near the beach there is this huge, beautiful blackberry bush full of the juiciest blackberries I have ever tasted. My arms are covered in scratch marks, but the bounty I brought home is worth every one. Nearby there is an orchard that grows a variety of fruits and berries, and they had the loveliest blueberries so I got some of those as well.
The balance between sweet and savoury worked so well here. It is definitely a sweet cake, but the onions are unmistakably present in a warm, comforting way. The addition of the tart, sweet berries and citrusy cilantro gave it a lovely freshness, but the financiers are just as great on their own with a cup of coffee. Or maybe with a scoop of chocolate ice cream?
Without further ado, here is the recipe for 6 large/12 small financiers
Caramelised red onion + maple syrup financier
2 medium red onions, sliced thinly
1 tbsp. + 100g unsalted butter, divided
125g almond flour or blanched almonds
75g icing sugar
50g maple syrup
25g cake flour
Pinch of salt
Melt the 1 tbsp. butter in a stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, stirring a few times to coat the onion slices in butter. Leave for 5 minutes, stir a few times and leave for another 5 minutes. Do this for a total of about 30 minutes, or until the onions are caramelised and smell divine. Remove the onions from the skillet and leave to cool in a little bowl.
Meanwhile melt the 100g butter in a small saucepan and cook the butter until the milk solids are golden brown and the butter smells nutty. Remove from the heat, sieve off the milk solids and discard those. Set the melted butter aside.
In a foodprocessor or blender blend together the icing sugar, almond flour and red onion slices. Put the mix into a bowl and whisk in the egg whites until the mixture is smooth, about a minute or so. Add the melted butter in a slow stream while continuing to whisk.
Pour the batter into a piping bag and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. I often leave it overnight to give the flavour time to develop.
When ready to bake preheat the oven to 200C/390F and pipe the batter into a financier mould. Bake the financiers app. 12-14 minutes for large and 7-9 minutes for small, or until they are done. Leave the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in the mould before turning them out and cooling on a wire rack.