Coconut Brown Butter Financiers Recipe: Green Tea or Chocolate Variation
3264 bite size petit fours
EDIT: MAKES 64! not 32. I forgot it fills two loaf pans, not one, until I found the uncut loaf I had set aside for snacking on later this week. Yum.
- Egg whites : 150 g (about 5-6 eggs)
- Icing sugar : 175 g (aka confectioner’s sugar)
- Unsalted butter : 150 g (2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons)
- Plain flour : 50 g
- Coconut flour : 80 g (Bob’s Red Mill makes this)
- Matcha/green tea powder : 5 g OR 5g Baking cocoa powder, OR melt 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate with the butter plus 2 grams baking cocoa
- Two pinches of Kosher salt
Mix together the egg whites, icing sugar, flour, almond or coconut flour, salt, and the powdered green tea or baking cocoa. (As for what to do with all the egg yolks, how about making creme brulee? There’s a great all egg-yolk version in Joy of Cooking.)
Make brown butter: melt the butter until it has turned brown and nutty. Mix this, still hot, in the dry ingredients. For a variation I tried it with melting Callabaut bittersweet chocolate in this step and replacing some of the baking cocoa (but not all or it was too sweet), and it came out fantastic.
Use a spatula to spread the final batter/dough into
a TWO large buttered bread loaf pans. Make it as flat and smooth as you can. (I ended up using my buttery fingers.) Should be about 3/4″ thick.
Bake 20-30 minutes on 350 degrees. Start checking it at 20 minutes, don’t under-bake. The edges should be slightly brown and the center not wet.
Allow to cool for a while (15 minutes), then unmold it from the loaf pan. You want to cut it when it’s firm (so that it doesn’t crumble) but not dried out (again so that it doesn’t crumble).
I found it divided pretty easily into 32 pieces that weren’t too small nor too large. (I divided a previous batch into more like 48 and they were too small and lost their structure easily. You’ll see in the photos below that the chocolate ones are smaller than the green tea ones. I made the chocolate too small and they fell apart and left too many crumbs in the fondant.)
(Some useful recipes I looked at for reference before cooking this up: http://www.atelierdeschefs.co.uk/en/recette/display/id/17466 and http://allrecipes.com/howto/petit-fours/ among others.)
ADDITION: The cake is also delicious soaked in orange liqueur. I have not yet tried to soak it AND coat it, but what I did with the leftover cake I didn’t coat in fondant was drizzle it with liqueur and let it soak in. Amaretto worked, also. Probably other liqueur would as well, I just haven’t experiments with this much yet.
WHITE CHOCOLATE/GREEN TEA FONDANT COVERING
I have struggled with getting the coating right and I think I may have finally hit upon one that I like. Here’s the green tea white chocolate version:
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 cups confectioners sugar SIFTED
- 1 tablespoon SIFTED green tea powder
- 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped/shaved
In a small saucepot, combine the corn syrup, water, confectioners sugar, and green tea powder. Heat it to about 100 degrees on low heat, then put the chopped white chocolate in and stir until it is all melted. When the stuff gets to 150 degrees, dip a financier cube (cut as described above) into the goop until it is fully coated. Carefully lift it out using metal chopsticks or chef tweezers, and carefully set it down on either a cooling rack or wax paper.
The cooling rack has the advantage that the excess coating drips through, but the disadvantage that the coating melds to the rack and you have to sort of slice them free after they harden. The wax paper has the advantage that you can just peel the hardened petit four free at the end but the coating may have pooled and slumped around it. I haven’t found a solution to this yet, neither by reading recipes nor by trying different methods.
The metal chopsticks help in that if they are lifted slowly and carefully from the petit four, the hole they would leave in the coating self-heals. If the hole doesn’t self-heal, return the coating mix to low heat until it is sufficiently liquidy to do that and coat easily. I had to return the pot to the stove about five times to get through the whole batch of 32 financiers.
These had to cool at least a half hour before they were hard enough to detach from the cooling rack.
To do a chocolate fondant coating, replace the white chocolate above with bittersweet or baking chocolate and the green tea powder with cocoa powder. You can easily adjust the sweetness by mixing in more confectioners sugar or more bitter chocolate until it has the taste you want.
The first mistake I made with the chocolate was not to make large enough a batch of the pourable fondant, which meant it lost heat too quickly and got too full of crumbs while I struggled to make it coat better. I also tried to hurry and coat more than one square at a time. The result was delicious but not as smooth-looking as the fondant shell should be.