I know... I'm a little late with this whole rhubarb thing. Let me explain: I've never, ever tried rhubarb before and for the longest time, I didn't even know of it's existence. Ever since I had learned about it, I've always wondered what this mysterious fruit/ vegetable tasted like. This summer, I've been on somewhat of a lengthy quest to try to get my hands on some rhubarb; I searched Farmer's Markets, specialty grocery markets, everywhere (or so I'd thought...).You'll never believe where I found them, I'm still pretty baffled myself. Well, I finally found them at freaking Albertsons! Really?! After all this time, I found them at the regular supermarket? It was like I had been stuck by fate - they magically found me on the last days of Summer and boy am I glad.
I didn't really know what to expect with rhubarb but I was pleasantly surprised with the results - especially in these financiers! I've been eyeing financiers for some time now but never had the opportunity to make them, and I must say, I am quite enamored. The beurre noisette or browned butter smelled so incredibly divine when added to the batter and added this rich, nutty flavor. The poached rhubarb was slightly tart and had the most lovely texture, which I find very hard to describe, so you'll just have to try it yourself.
Since these are gluten-free financiers, it uses rice flour, which can easily be substituted for all purpose, but perhaps this is why I loved these little cakes so much, because they reminded me of mochi cakes, which have a dense and slightly chewy texture. You will definitely see me & rhubarb in the future!
Yields: 12 financiers
Original recipe here.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup unsifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
pinch of salt
4 large egg whites
1 cup poached rhubarb (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 375 F and position the rack in the center. Lightly spray or butter the inside of 12 financier molds or muffin cups with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet, set aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it turns into a rich hazelnut brown color, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes before straining it to remove the little dark butter particles at the bottom of the pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the powdered sugar, ground almonds, flour and salt on low speed until just combined. Add the egg whites and mix until all the ingredients are coming together. Add the brown butter, increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Divide the batter among the molds and divide the poached rhubarb pieces evenly among the top. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.
1/4 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1-inch pieces)
1 tbsn. sugar
Place the water, lemon juice and sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and add the rhubarb. Poach for 2 - 3 minutes then gently remove the rhubarb from the poaching liquid and set aside (they will continue to soften as they cool).