Roasted plum and almond financiers


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If you can’t bear to throw away a bowl of egg whites after an ice cream or pasta making session, this is the recipe for you. It takes those whites and turns them into beautifully dainty, buttery little cakes, rich with ground almonds. The nuts keep them wonderfully moist and give them a delicious marzipan flavour that is utterly moreish. They’re based on the classic financier – a cake baked in a mould that resembles a gold bar, hence the name – but are made in a muffin tin, so no special equipment is required. Best of all, they come together in minutes – all you need is a large bowl and a whisk. You can flavour these cakes with any seasonal fruit – raspberries, cherries and figs are particularly good – but I love the drama of slivered purple plums, which turn jammy and delicious in the heat of the oven and pair beautifully with the tender almond crumb. You can even dollop spoonfuls of a good fruit jam on top of the cakes before baking, instead of using fresh fruit (again, cherry works particularly well), and these cakes can also be made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour instead of plain flour. Think of them as a blueprint for your wildest, fruitiest dreams.




Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Lightly grease a nine-hole muffin tin
Melt the butter in a small pan then set aside for a few minutes to cool
In a large bowl, mix together the almonds, salt, flour and sugar, then add the almond extract and egg whites and whisk well until combined
Gradually pour in the melted butter, mixing constantly until you have a smooth mixture with the consistency of pancake batter
Divide the mixture between the nine muffin moulds, then arrange the slivers of plum across the top of each – you will need 3–4 pieces per cake
Bake for 8 minutes, then turn the heat down to 160°C/gas mark 3 and bake for a further 6–10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as you want them to be golden around the edges and just set on top
When they are done the cakes should spring back slightly when pressed. Leave them to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tin
Dust with icing sugar and enjoy
Plum financiers
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