At the Fine Arts Restaurant in The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Jim Dodge accents his elegant financier, or French almond cake, with cranberries to add a refreshing tartness.
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1/2 cup sliced almonds (about 2 ounces)
2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus 1 tablespoon, for dusting
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
9 large egg whites
2 sticks ( 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons Chambord or framboise
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or water
Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Spread the almonds on a small baking sheet and toast for about 4 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a work surface and let cool. Crush the almonds with a rolling pin until very fine, but with a few larger pieces remaining. Transfer to a bowl and add the 2 cups of confectioners' sugar, the flour and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold in the dry ingredients, a handful at a time, until no streaks of flour remain. In a large glass measuring cup, combine the butter, Chambord, almond extract and lemon zest. Pour about one-quarter of the butter mixture down the side of the bowl and gently fold into the batter until blended. Fold in the remaining butter mixture in 3 batches, pouring each down the side of the bowl. Fold in the cranberries and spread the batter in the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, or until golden and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Sift the remaining 1 tablespoon of confectioners' sugar over the cake and bake for 5 minutes longer. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, then turn it right side up on a serving plate and let cool to room temperature.
In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries with the granulated sugar and lemon juice. Strain into a bowl. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the raspberry sauce and whipped cream.
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