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Financiers

March 14, 2010

Before I got out the door this morning, I turned to my husband and to inquire his opinion of my t-shirt and clam-digger outfit.

Me: Dear, do you think I look ok in a schlumpy sort of way?
Hubby: I think you look ok in an ok sort of way!

That made me smile. It was a sweet moment, somehow. Which set me in a cheery mood the rest of the day – a good state to be in when making financiers, especially since they always call to my mind fond memories of the beautiful little French town of Eze, where we spent part of our honeymoon.

I chanced upon this financier recipe early last year in Small Cakes, the same book from which I got two other awesome recipes for Banana Bread and Lemon Cake. (I only now realize that I never credited the Lemon Cake recipe to this book! Oops.) In the words of the author, financiers are ” traditional French sponge teacakes with a distinctive nutty taste from the beurre noisette.

They really are lovely little cakes, and I decided to make another batch of them tonight for a birthday lunch I’m attending tomorrow. But I managed to make them really small this time, thanks to the adorable baby cake tins I got from Sun Lik on Seah Street. And inspired by the financiers I saw at E’s wedding, I decided to pretty them up a little with some strawberries.

Here’s the recipe, with minimal rephrasing but fairly extensive re-ordering, for your baking convenience.

Financiers
(Taken from Small Cakes by Roger Pizey)

Ingredients (makes about 15 little financiers):
Beurre Noisette
150g unsalted butter
Sugar syrup
100g caster sugar
100ml water
Other
6 egg whites
150g caster sugar
60g ground almonds
60g plain flour, sifted
100g sultanas (I used cranberries because I like the slight sourishness it adds to the cake)
Some strawberries (if you want to decorate)

Directions:

1. Make  beurre noisette by placing butter into a pan and bringing to the boil. Keep boiling till it turns a light brown. Remove from heat and pour into cold pan/metal dish to prevent further cooking (scrape down the sides of the pan so you get all the residue in as well). Leave to cool.

2. Make sugar syrup by placing sugar and water in a pan, and cooking over low heat until clear, stirring continuously. Then boil for a minute or so. Remove from heat and pass liquid through a sieve into a cold pan/metal dish. Leave to cool.

3. Heat oven to 200 degC.

4. Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until they start to foam but are not whipped.

5. Add the sugar and beat. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl, then beat again to ensure ingredients are fully amalgamated.

6. Gradually  add ground almonds and flour, beat rapidly for a short time until thoroughly mixed, then add cooled beurre noisette.

7. Add sultanas/cranberries to the sugar syrup and bring to the boil. Leave to cool. Drain away the syrup and add dried fruit to the mixture, making sure it is thoroughly incorporated.

Some shots of steps 1, 4, 6 and 7 (note that the mixture will look very greasy and runny till you stir through the beurre noisette well):

8. Spoon the mixture into 8 x 3 x 3 cm deep silicone moulds. (I don’t have these so I used my little metal cake tins, or you could also use small bread tins. But be sure to lightly grease the tins first with a little bit of butter.)

9. Place the moulds on a baking tray and bake on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place tray on a wire rack. After a few minutes turn out financiers onto wire rack and leave to cool.
* Be sure to check on your financiers at the 15-minute mark cos they might already be done by then. I took mine out after 17 minutes. If you use small bread tins you’ll probably need the full 20 minutes.

Finally, fix on some strawberry halves using strawberry jam, et voila!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Cons permalink
    March 14, 2010 9:05 pm

    Nice. These cakes are addictive. I could not stop eating them.

  2. March 15, 2010 10:35 am

    Oh Clare, they are DARLING!!! Love what you made. So pretty and summery and just adorable!

  3. mrmultitasker permalink
    March 15, 2010 4:31 pm

    Financiers and Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream (two scoops each time!). YUMMY!!! I’m so glad we still have one of those financiers left… but only till tonight. Haha!

  4. March 16, 2010 4:30 pm

    Love the strawberries on top of the financiers. I am yet to buy these cute financier pans….

  5. March 18, 2010 2:58 pm

    These look fabulous!

  6. March 19, 2010 3:06 pm

    Wow so dainty and cute! I haven’t had a chance to try this out cause i didn’t have a recipe. Thanks for posting the recipe!!

  7. Cons permalink
    March 19, 2010 4:55 pm

    Clare, I think you posted your reply for this post to your previous post. Yeah beside green tea, I tried using japanese brown sugar. So what I did was to substitute the caster sugar with the brown sugar. Some of my friends prefer this to the green tea. Japanese brown sugar…hum…a little bit like gula melaka. that’s the closest I can describe. Been thinking of trying chocolate and maybe lemon or orange zest.

  8. mrsmultitasker permalink*
    March 19, 2010 5:22 pm

    Cons you are so right! I have since rectified the situation =)

    Here are the responses I had posted in the wrong place:
    Cons: Have you made any interesting flavours lately besides the green tea?
    Ju: You are always the sweetest! Thank you =)
    mrmultitasker: xoxoxoxo
    Ellie: You should pick up a bunch if you make it to Singapore in the near future! They’re super cheap…

    And a new response:
    Yan Ee & Jessica: Thanks!

  9. March 22, 2010 1:58 pm

    Hey, I also passed through the town of Eze on my honeymoon!! In the south of France right?!

    I think these financiers are the same as what we call friands here. We have friand trays like muffin trays rather than individual moulds.

    I always think the name financiers sounds like bankers!

  10. July 11, 2010 1:02 am

    your financiers are very very pretty Clare! I wil keep this recipe for next time. Tq so much.

  11. July 21, 2010 12:48 am

    thanks zurin! yours too!

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