I had this idea in my head for a while. I wanted to combine the chocolate and blackberries with a spice beneficial mostly for pork and poultry – juniper berries. For me, it seemed like a nice match, especially with earthy blackberries. I picked the last berries from the bushes in the backyard and put this strange idea of mine to life in the form of the chocolate financiers. The taste was quite interesting, in a good way :) Simply put, the financiers were not just edible but also enjoyable.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp finely ground juniper berries
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup ground almonds
- 3 large egg whites
- Blackberries, 2 per each mold (about a scant cup), fresh or frozen (don’t defrost if frozen)
Butter 6 rectangle financier molds (don’t grease the molds if they are silicone ones). Set aside.
Over a small bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, ground juniper, and salt. Set aside.
Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook the butter until it is medium brown and has a nutty aroma, 5-6 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and almond flour together, stir well. Add the egg whites stirring. Place the saucepan over low heat and, stirring continuously, heat until the mixture is hot to the touch and runny, about 4-5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour mixture. Then gradually stir in the brown butter. Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared molds filling them just below the rim. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. You can also refrigerate the batter in a bowl, and later divide the chilled batter between the molds. But I found it’s easier to do while the batter is in its liquid form.
When ready to bake center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 400F. Press two blackberries into the top of each financier (it’s easier if the berries are frozen; don’t push too hard onto the fresh ones). Do not entirely submerge the berries. Bake the financiers for about 15 minutes, until they are puffed and a cake tester inserted into a center comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, unmold immediately. Cool completely on the wire rack. They are the best the day they are baked.