I acquired this recipe when working with chef Nuno Mendes in the kitchen of East London's Loft Project.
Based on a traditional financier, it is the perfect pairing of savoury and sweet.
I would make the batter a few hours before guests arrived and prompted by the ring of the front door bell, popped the trays in the hot oven.
Guests would then be greeted by the aroma of baked sweetness wafting around the room, opening the appetite as much as the aperitif itself.
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 ground almonds
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp orange zest, finely grated
4 egg whites
1 chorizo sausage
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Measure the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, mixing with a whisk to eliminate any lumps. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until you reach soft peaks.
Make a slit down the length of the chorizo sausage and peel away the skin, then roughly chop the meat. Add to a hot, dry frying pan.
Fry until the juices ooze out then tip the meat onto a chopping board (try to keep the red juices in the pan) and chop finely. Add to the dry ingredients, along with the butter and the juices from the pan.
Gently fold in the egg whites until well incorporated. Add a grind of black pepper.
At this stage you can set the batter aside until using. When the guests arrive dollop the batter in mini silicon muffin molds. Give them about 12 minutes in the oven, removing them when they are golden. This should make around 18.