Brown Butter and Orange Financiers (GF)

I came home after a month in Rome and Tuscany feeling fully saturated with olive oil. After weeks of dunking my bread in olive oil, drizzling it over pillowy slabs of fresh mozzarella di bufala, and even scrambling my eggs in sizzling puddles of it, I was beginning to worry that with even the mildest physical exertion I would begin to sweat the stuff. Putting my best Julia Child logic to work, I decided that the only remedy for an olive excess was a healthy dose of butter. These financiers, rich with nutty browned butter but balanced by the fresh tang of orange zest, were the perfect medicine. These decadent cakes are definitely dessert-like, and would be delicious served with a dollop of whipped cream after dinner. The bright citrus notes, however, means that they are also the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee or afternoon tea. In fact, they are so tasty that I might even consider eating them three times a day! I was originally inspired by Cannelle et Vanille's recipe for grapefruit and brown butter financiers. As I came home to a fridge full of oranges, I decided to forgo the grapefruit and replace it with a generous sprinkling of orange zest. Financiers, named for their traditional rectangular shape resembling bars of gold, traditionally contain beurre noisette (brown butter), almond meal, and egg whites. I have convinced myself that the omission of egg yolks makes up for the extra butter, so I can indulge in the cakes with a clear conscience.

Brown Butter and Orange Financiers
     4 egg whites (about 120-125 g)
     125 g granulated sugar
     55 g sweet white rice flour
     55 g almond flour
     150 g butter
     Zest of one orange
Cut the butter into cubes and place it in a small pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it turns brown. The top of the butter will become foamy and it will smell distinctively nutty. Strain the butter and set it aside to cool.
With the oven at 350˚, toast the almond flour for about 5 minutes.
Whisk together the egg whites and the sugar (this is easiest to do in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment) and then add the rice flour, almond flour, brown butter, and orange zest. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ and grease your molds. I used mini brioche molds, but you could also just use a muffin tin. I had enough batter for 7 cakes but if you use a muffin tin you might be able to squeeze out one or two more. Fill your molds 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full, as the cakes will rise a bit but not excessively. 
Bake about 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 


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