It’s the second birthday of the We Should Cocoa Challenge sent forth into the world by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele of Chocolate Teapot. To celebrate this milestone Choclette has asked us to create something chocolaty inspired by a cocktail. I'm not really known for my consumption of cocktails. (Well, except maybe in the Epsom Bar in Dieppe – but let’s not go there. No wait, on second thoughts, let’s….). On the other hand, I’m deeply fond of an aperitif and the aperitif for me is the kir. Fortunately, when I looked at a very official looking web site on cocktails, I found the kir listed.
Mel of Sharky Oven Gloves made lovely kir macarons for We Should Cocoa back in July using the classic crème de cassis and so I thought I’d create something inspired by my favourite alternative ‘kir’: crème de pamplemousse rose (pink grapefruit) with a dry rosé wine. (I'm eternally grateful to Catherine at l’Ombre Bleue chambres d'hôtes for introducing me to this little aperitif a couple of years ago).
This is also a bit of an excuse to use the silicone savarin rings that I bought recently, but these little cakes don’t have to be made in rings – any small mould would do. This is pretty much my standard financier and friand recipe and it can be scaled up and flavoured differently with very little trouble. I filled the centre of the cakes with Greek yogurt, but whipped cream would be even more indulgent if you’d prefer indulgence. I topped the cakes with caramelised grapefruit segments. The caramelised bit isn't essential but it does create a nice contrast of flavours.
This will make 12 cakes using individual savarin moulds of 7 cm diameter.
115 g icing sugar
45 g plain flour
75 g finely ground almonds
4 egg whites
95 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
35 g white chocolate, finely chopped
Zest of ½ grapefruit, very finely chopped
2 tsp crème de pamplemousse rose (or use grapefruit juice or limoncello)
Greek yogurt, grapefruit segments (pink or red, preferably), icing sugar and maybe a little more crème de pamplemousse
Preheat the oven to 170°C. If the moulds you’re using aren’t silicone, then brush them thoroughly with butter.
Sift the icing sugar, flour and ground almonds into a large bowl and mix together. Whisk the egg whites until frothy – don’t overdo it, though, they shouldn’t be stiff. Stir the egg whites into the dry ingredients until they're thoroughly combined, but, again, don’t overwork the mixture. Stir in the melted butter and the crème de pamplemousse or grapefruit juice. Lastly, stir in the chocolate and grapefruit zest.
Spoon the batter into the moulds – they should be around ¾ full. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden and springy to the touch. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
To make the caramelised grapefruit, spread some icing sugar on a plate and move the grapefruit segments around in the sugar until they’re coated (it doesn’t have to be perfectly even). Place the segments in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat until the sugar caramelises on both sides – don’t overdo it or they’ll taste too bitter. Be careful when turning or lifting the segments because they’ll be very fragile.
To serve, fill the hole in the middle of each cake with yogurt (or cream), carefully place a grapefruit segment on top and drizzle with a little more crème de pamplemousse, if you happen to have some.