MANDARINS are a colourful blast of sweetness through the winter months. They are both convenient and tasty. Easier to peel than an orange and, for me, the perfect size for a nice citrusy blast. They are also great in baking.
While very similar to an orange they have their own unique taste, there are subtly differences. They are also a nice size for making the caramalised slices to top the custard tart below. After making the financiers you can use the left-over egg yolks for the custard. Admittedly you will create a few more spare egg whites which perhaps you can use to make meringues or add them to an omelet. By using just the white of the egg in the financiers it gives them a beautifully light texture and a slight crispness to the exteriour while keeping soft in the centre.
Financier buns are usually made in their own specially shaped rectangular tins, which resemble gold bars, hence the name. Here I have made them in a fluted bun tin, which gives a nice finish. You can use a more simple round bun tin if you wish. Remember to both lightly grease the tin and then dust flour over the butter. This will help to ensure that the buns do not stick and is important when you are not using bun cases.
Chocolate and mandarin work very well together. The zest gives a gentle hint of citrus to the cake. If you are making caramalised strips of peel to decorate the financiers you may want to keep some aside for the chocolate cake. The peel will last for a week or so in the fridge.