One of the problems with making your own ice cream is what to do with all the leftover egg whites. Meringue is the obvious option but I am not a massive meringue fan and although I have never had any problems making it in the past, with the crappy oven I currently have I just can’t seem to get the temperature right for meringue; it goes from being too hot so that it burns, to too cold so that it doesn’t cook at all, with no middle ground or temperature sweet spot.
So I have to come up with alternative ways to use them up; I often freeze them, meaning to make an angel food cake at some point, but I always seem to add more whites to the freezer than I end up using, so I prefer to bake something when I first separate the eggs to save myself from ending up with a freezer full of unwanted egg whites.
These financiers are just right for using up the whites from one batch of ice cream. They are made with a mixture of ground almonds and flour which makes them moist and light; raisins are added for extra flavour and texture but you could replace them with an equal quantity of whatever dried fruit you prefer, cranberries or chopped dried apricots would be nice. They are quick and simple to make and altogether too easy to scoff down half a batch without realising…
The raisins are soaked to make them plump and juicy, I used amaretto because I had some and I like to enhance the almond flavour of the cakes but you can use whatever spirit you have lying around. Rum, whiskey and brandy would all work; or simply use black tea.
Raisin and Amaretto Financiers
- 100g (3.5 oz) raisins/sultanas
- 2 tbsp Amaretto/spirit of your choice/black tea
- 85g (1/3 cup + 1tsp) butter
- 75g (2/3 cup) ground almonds
- 30g (1/4 cup) plain flour
- 85g (3/4 cup + 2tbsp) icing sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
A couple of hours before you want to start baking (or the day before), mix together the raisins and amaretto, cover, and leave for the raisins to soak up the liquid and become plump. To speed up this process you can gently warm the mixture in a small pan or in short bursts in the microwave.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin generously with butter and dust with a little flour.
Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almonds, icing sugar, flour and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites and vanilla extract until frothy but not thick, then fold into the dry ingredients along with the butter. Fold in the raisins along with any remaining liquid.
Divide the mixture between the moulds and bake in the centre of the oven for 10-15 minutes until they have risen slightly and are golden and springy to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then carefully remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve with a cup of tea.