The HCB baked the peanut butter ingots this week, which I baked the first time around. I didn't love them, but I didn't hate them, either. I was compelled to then bake a batch of peanut butter cupcakes and frost them with the lacquer glaze, which tells me they were just not peanut buttery enough.
In HCB solidarity, I decided this would be the week I tackled the Chocolate Ingots.
October 25, 2011
Name of cakelettes: Chocolate cakey thingums
Constituents: chocolate finaciers, with caramelized cocoa nib pieces
Rose's financiers recipes are not that hard to execute, and generally come together quite quickly. This recipe has an extra step of caramelizing the cocoa nibs but that isn't too difficult. I've been eagerly saving my cocoa nibs that I bought in Mexico for this recipe. The best before date was for sometime in 2010, but I used them anyway.
Cocoa nibs smell like a cross between chocolate and roasted coffee beans. To caramelize them, they are tossed around in a medium-hot saute pan with some sugar until the sugar dissolves. Then a tiny amount of butter is added and the caramelly nibs are poured out onto a silicone liner to cool. Once the nibs are cool, they are crushed and set aside.
The only other part of this recipe that may take time is making the beurre noisette. Earlier in the bake-through I browned a pound of butter and stored it in the freezer; whenever we've needed any for financiers or genoise I've just shaved off what I needed. Sadly, today I needed more brown butter than I had stored in the freezer so I had to make more.
The beurre noisette is kept warm while the rest of the recipe gets under way. Almonds are toasted and ground fine with flour and cornstarch. I used my immersion blender and the nuts weren't evenly ground. I'm ok with that, however. Cocoa powder is also blended in with the dry ingedients.
Egg whites and sugar are mixed together by hand, the dry ingredients are added and also mixed by hand. Then the most interesting part of the recipe: mixing in the beurre noisette. This needs to be slowly added to the eggs and dry ingredients over five minutes of mixing time to properly emulsilfy the batter. I timed myself this time, and found that by three minutes I had already drizzled in half of the butter. I guess when Rose says drizzle, she really means it. I had all the butter in by 4 minutes of mixing, but the batter seemed ok to me. It was very pretty: thick and creamy and nicely aerated. The last ingredient to be added is the caramelized cocoa nibs, which also get sprinkled on top of the cakes before they bake.
Normally these would be baked in a financier mold, but I opted for silicone cupcake cups. I used the same amount of batter per cup as is prescribed for the financier mold (30 grams). They baked for about 20 minutes and filled my apartment with a caramelly-chocolate aroma. Nice!
They are pretty good little cakes. They have a nice crisp crust and a moist interior. The almonds and cocoa nibs complement the chocolate (and all that butter) nicely. I like them, but I don't love them. They do make nice little chocolate snacks, and for that I can't complain.