Wednesday, February 5, 2014

caramelized white chocolate and raspberry financiers

I made some caramelized white chocolate a while ago because I kept reading about it everywhere for a month or two. I loved it; caramelizing really helps to blunt the cloying sweetness of white chocolate and adds complex, toffee-y flavours. Have you ever noticed white chocolate on the surface of a baked good that is golden brown and crispy and tasty? That's caramelized white chocolate: naturally occurring caramelized white chocolate in its natural habitat. I always knew that I liked that stuff, but I hadn't realized that you can make it on purpose. Plus, it's really easy.  

I used my chocolate in a couple recipes when I first made it and then I stuck it in a jar and forgot about it until I cleaned my pantry the other day. I had been thinking about making some financiers, little French almond tea cakes, for a while and I was inspired to make this version when I made my white chocolate discovery. 

caramelized white chocolate

raspberry and caramelized white chocolate financiers:
adapted from canelle et vanille

120 grams egg whites 
125 grams sugar
55 grams white rice flour (or all purpose flour for a gluten-full version)
55 grams almond meal
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or the innards of 1/2 of a vanilla bean
150 grams butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup caramelized white chocolate, roughly chopped (recipe below)
fresh or frozen raspberries

Combine sugar, flour almond meal and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add egg whites and stir to combine. Stir in butter, cover bowl with plastic wrap and age in the fridge overnight. 

Mix chocolate into batter. Generously grease financier tins or muffin tins. Fill with batter; only about 1/2 inch high if you are using muffin tins, up to the brim if you are using financier tins. Push one or two raspberries a little ways into the batter-try not to let it sink all the way to the bottom of the tin. This can make it harder to remove the financiers in one piece. 

Bake at 375 for about ten minutes, until the centres are set and the edges are browned. For some reason, the ones I made in rectangular tins came out best when I cooled them and the round ones from muffin tins came out best when they were still hot, but ripped apart if I let them cool first. This might involve some trial and error for you. Just eat the ones you ruin and no one will ever know. 

caramelized white chocolate:

1 or 2 bars good white chocolate (I used this one), roughly chopped

Heat oven to 250. Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil. Put chocolate on the baking sheet and and place it in the oven. Every 5 minutes check on the chocolate and smear/mix it around the sheet with a heatproof spatula. It will slowly turn a light golden colour. Watch it carefully to ensure it doesn't get too dark and remember that the chocolate can burn if it's stuck in one spot. 

It may appear seized or crumbly but don't panic. Keep stirring occasionally; it should relax again and get smooth. Even if it's slightly grainy when it's done, that's fine. It will still be great when you add it to your baking. 

Photo credit: Tyrel Hiebert

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