Courtesy Neil Robertson, Canlis
(One of four local chefs we challenged to make NW-centric sweets recipes.)
Financiers are French tea cakes that bake in special molds (available at amazon.com). For his intricately wrought but delicious version, Robertson kept his ingredient amounts confidential, but provided us with ingredient names and instructions. If you like a challenge, use in conjunction with your favorite financier, mousse, and sorbet recipes to create a restaurant-quality last course.
Invert sugar syrup
Nonfat milk powder
Tartaric or citric acid
Ice cream stabilizer
Combine powdered sugar, almond flour, baking powder, and invert sugar syrup in a mixing bowl. In a heavy saucepan, brown butter over medium heat and add to dry ingredients. Fit an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and slowly add egg whites, beating well after each addition. Chill overnight.
The next day, pipe batter into molds. Top each mold with fresh raspberries and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. Remove from molds while still warm, cover with plastic wrap and let cool.
Create a coffee infusion by pouring boiling water over ground coffee and letting steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a saucepan and add glucose, egg yolks, and nonfat milk powder. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened.
Bloom gelatin by softening in liquid according to package instructions. Pour into bowl and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt chocolate until it liquefies. Add chocolate to gelatin and whisk until combined. With an electric mixer, whip cream until very soft peaks form. Fold cream into coffee mousse. Pour into a piping bag and chill until cold and set.
Combine sugar, pectin, and cocoa in a small bowl. In a saucepan melt together butter, glucose, and chocolate over low heat. Add water and whisk, then add sugar mixture and whisk again. Bring to a boil, then pour into a heat-proof container and chill. Spread very thinly over a silicone-lined sheet pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before scoring rectangles with a pizza cutter. Let cool completely, then break apart on score lines.
Heat heavy cream in a saucepan to 180 degrees. Add tartaric acid or citric acid and stir to combine. Pour into a container and chill for several hours until cold and slightly thickened. Drain in a coffee-filter-lined strainer overnight.
Mix together sugar, powdered glucose, and ice cream stabilizer. Heat water in a large saucepan and whisk in sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and add to mascarpone. Emulsify with a stick blender. Chill overnight before blending again and processing in an ice cream maker.
Bring port to a boil in a saucepan and reduce by half. Stir cornstarch in a small amount of cold water and whisk into reduced port. Bring back to a boil to thicken. Pour into a squeeze bottle and chill.
Place financier on plate in rear left quadrant. Pipe coffee mousse onto cake. Top with chocolate tuile and scoop of mascarpone sorbet. Draw a streak of port reduction in front of cake.