Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Financiers: Tips & Techniques

French

  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#31 Wendy DeBord

Wendy DeBord
  • legacy participant
  • 3,653 posts

Posted 22 May 2004 - 06:27 AM

I don't recall ever reading anyone rest this before, that's interesting. Do you rest it at room temp.? Covered or not?

#32 akwa

akwa
  • participating member
  • 430 posts

Posted 22 May 2004 - 09:52 AM

Resting at 4C or roughly 40F, with plastic wrap "a piel" or touching the surface of the base, is useful for both flavor and body. I tend to rest again, after piping in molds, but this time in the freezer. (Baking from the freezer provides a crisper crust, due to h20 evaporation, and ensures that the center arrives a point after carryover cooking time. Otherwise the center is dry when the outside colors.)

#33 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 22 May 2004 - 04:18 PM

In school we let the batter rest in the cooler over night, usually in disposable piping bags so the next day we can just cut the tip and go. However, we were also told that if you're in a hurry you can let it rest at room temp for a couple hours and get close to same benefits.

#34 Wendy DeBord

Wendy DeBord
  • legacy participant
  • 3,653 posts

Posted 23 May 2004 - 07:42 AM

Wow, I can't wait to use those tips. As I said this is the first I've read about that. Soooo I could make my batter, pipe it in my molds and then freeze them for an extended period of time, then bake them off fresh. Nice.

#35 ElfWorks

ElfWorks
  • participating member
  • 135 posts
  • Location:Austin

Posted 23 May 2004 - 10:28 AM

this is the recipe i use. i got it off of the net three yrs ago and i love it. i cant remember the site they came from, but my notes say that it is an adaptation of a patricia wells recipe.



FINANCIERS WITH CANDIED ORANGE

1 2/3 C xxx sugar
1/2 C unbleached AP flour
1 C almonds, toasted (at 450* for 5 mins) cooled and ground to fine
3/4 C egg whites
3/4 C unsalted butter melted and cooled
3 T candied orange rind
2 T candied ginger

1 T soft butter for molds


preheat oven to 450*
combine sugar, ground almonds and flour and then sift.
stir in unbeaten egg whites til completely blended and then add the butter, orange and ginger. stir til well blended.
butter molds and fill to rim. place on thick baking sheet and bake for 7 mins. reduce oven to 400* and bake another 7 mins. turn off oven and let financiers rest in oven another 7 mins.

remove from oven and unmold when completely cooled.


lisa
"Animal crackers and cocoa to drink
That is the finest of suppers, I think
When I'm grown up and can have what I please,
I think I shall always insist upon these"

*Christopher Morley

#36 akwa

akwa
  • participating member
  • 430 posts

Posted 25 May 2004 - 08:17 AM

Wow, I can't wait to use those tips. As I said this is the first I've read about that. Soooo I could make my batter, pipe it in my molds and then freeze them for an extended period of time, then bake them off fresh. Nice.

this is the best way to have maximum efficiency at your station, prepare bases in bulk and bake a la minute
warm regards

#37 ComeUndone

ComeUndone
  • participating member
  • 155 posts
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario

Posted 25 May 2004 - 01:08 PM

What kind of qualities should I look for in an excellent financier? I've tried a number of recipes and there are some significant differences:

- melted butter vs. beurre noisette (for the flavour, I suppose)
- stir everything with egg whites vs. cook egg whites with almond and sugar until hot to touch then stir in flour and butter (what is the purpose of heating the whites with almond and sugar?)
- toasted almonds or not (again, for the flavour)
- to rest or not to rest?

I baked some financiers over the weekend. Inspired by Neil's suggestion, I made one recipe with almond and another with hazelnut. I was pleasantly surprised by the hazelnut version. This may be a little over the top, but I think I'll put a little dab of Nutella in the middle of the batter next time so I'll have double hazelnut financier!

I used the recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets.

Edited by ComeUndone, 26 May 2004 - 12:32 AM.

Candy Wong
"With a name like Candy, I think I'm destined to make dessert."

Want to know more? Read all about me in my blog.

#38 chefpeon

chefpeon
  • participating member
  • 1,796 posts
  • Location:Tinytown, WA, USA

Posted 25 May 2004 - 06:04 PM

Invert sugar
Definition: Invert sugar is created by combining a sugar syrup with a small amount of acid (such as cream of tartar or lemon juice) and heating. This inverts, or breaks down, the sucrose into its two components, glucose and fructose, thereby reducing the size of the sugar crystals. Because of its fine crystal structure, invert sugar produces a smoother product and is used in making candies such as fondant, and some syrups. The process of making jams and jellies automatically produces invert sugar by combining the natural acid in the fruit with granulated sugar and heating the mixture. Invert sugar can usually be found in jars in cake-decorating supply shops.



Based on the above definition of invert sugar, would it be possible to make your own?
Or is it more complicated than that?

Inquiring minds wanna know. :unsure:

:wub: Annie

#39 akwa

akwa
  • participating member
  • 430 posts

Posted 26 May 2004 - 08:21 AM

Yes you can make invert sugar, though generally the cost is low enough from commercial producers not to justify the labor.

However, if you are interested, in Angelo Corvitto's book Ice Cream Secrets, just released by Group Vilbo in Spain, there is a strong recipe and explanation.

Good luck.

#40 Vikram

Vikram
  • participating member
  • 358 posts

Posted 27 May 2004 - 03:30 AM

The bakery at Auroville, the international community in South India, close to Madras, produces a several classic French recipes adapted to local ingredients. Their version of financiers are made with cashews rather than almonds and are totally awesome. I'm going to Madras next week and consumption of cashew financiers is high on my list of things to do,

Vikram

#41 chromedome

chromedome
  • participating member
  • 989 posts

Posted 18 July 2004 - 05:06 PM

A quick question.

At my school, we piped financiers into small dome-shaped flexipan molds (about the size of a Muppet's eyeball, or half a ping-pong ball) and then piped a fruit filling into them. These were a nice little petit-four for the Friday buffet, but I know this is not the traditional way to make them.

So...what is the traditional "form factor"? What kind of pans or molds are normally used?

(PS: like Neil's school, we refrigerated our batter overnight)
Fat=flavor

#42 chromedome

chromedome
  • participating member
  • 989 posts

Posted 18 July 2004 - 05:07 PM

The bakery at Auroville, the international community in South India, close to Madras, produces a several classic French recipes adapted to local ingredients. Their version of financiers are made with cashews rather than almonds and are totally awesome. I'm going to Madras next week and consumption of cashew financiers is high on my list of things to do,

Vikram

Gee, I have two bags of cashews on hand from the little Punjabi store down in the South End. And a couple of litres of egg whites in my freezer. Hmmm.....
Fat=flavor

#43 cdh

cdh
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,234 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia area

Posted 18 July 2004 - 06:06 PM

A quick question.

At my school, we piped financiers into small dome-shaped flexipan molds (about the size of a Muppet's eyeball, or half a ping-pong ball) and then piped a fruit filling into them. These were a nice little petit-four for the Friday buffet, but I know this is not the traditional way to make them.

So...what is the traditional "form factor"? What kind of pans or molds are normally used?

(PS: like Neil's school, we refrigerated our batter overnight)

They're meant to look like little gold bars... a play on their name... a snack for the banker who just couldn't get the bullion off his mind. So small rectangles is the answer.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

----- De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

#44 TurtleMeng

TurtleMeng
  • participating member
  • 149 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 25 January 2005 - 09:56 AM

I think I am getting addicted to the site. :cool:

A couple of weeks ago I made the chocolate financier from Sherry Yard's book. I adapted a little and made it in a 6-inch pan (proportinally adjusted the ingredients) as a trial. As it came out, it looked nice, had a good height, and I handed husband a warm slice with creme fraiche. He ate it. I tried it. Hmmm, decent, but really good? I don't know. The next day I tried it again. Now cool, it tasted denser, beginning to taste like a brownie, and withouth the creme fraiche I would not even eat it.

Is it (1) me (2) the way financier is (3) not-good-enough chocolate (Trader Joe Pound Plus)

And also, Sherry Yard says the financier batter can be made ahead and kept in the fridge. I love the idea, but want to know if you guys all agree.

Which, brings up my next question (now I've been told they are welcome :rolleyes: )

What makes this cake rise?

It's made of egg whites, so that's the only levener. But you know you can't keep a souffle batter for a long time. It deflates. For the financier you beat the whites with all the other stuff. The batter is not a "fluffy" batter, like beaten whites or beaten whole egg foam. It amazes me this batter even increases its volume once baked.

I plan to make a regular (non-choco) financier soon. If it still tastes that dense (and if that's the way it is), I don't know what to do with it...make the cute savarin mold ones and pipe cream onto them I guess...but not a huge cake sliced up then, no one would eat it.

(just as an aside, since I practially live in "China outside China" in this part of LA, I cater to the Chinese likes. Most of them grow up eating light and fluffy cakes, like chiffon. The "American" cake (i.e., supermarket kind) is unthinkable. Too sweet. Frosting? Ugh. Whipped cream, mousse, custard are the norm. A cake tasting like brownie would get polite nods from my friends)
"Mom, why can't you cook like the iron chef?"

#45 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 25 January 2005 - 10:42 AM

I think I am getting addicted to the site.  :cool:

A couple of weeks ago I made the chocolate financier from Sherry Yard's book.  I adapted a little and made it in a 6-inch pan (proportinally adjusted the ingredients) as a trial.  As it came out, it looked nice, had a good height, and I handed husband a warm slice with creme fraiche.  He ate it.  I tried it.  Hmmm, decent, but really good?  I don't know.  The next day I tried it again.  Now cool, it tasted denser, beginning to taste like a brownie, and withouth the creme fraiche I would not even eat it. 

Is it (1) me (2) the way financier is (3) not-good-enough chocolate (Trader Joe Pound Plus)

View Post


Its just a matter of personal taste. I've tried both Yard's and Herme's chocolate financiers, and though I liked Herme's better, I will not make either of them again. They are to me like brownies, only not as good. On the other hand, my wife loved them. I havent used Trader Joes chocolate, so I cant say what impact it may have had, but I used Valrhona and Callebaut for mine, both of which I love, so I know that chocolate quality was not to blame.

Here's Yards choc financier:


Posted Image

And Herme's:

Posted Image

Edited by Patrick S, 25 January 2005 - 10:44 AM.

"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#46 claire797

claire797
  • participating member
  • 1,164 posts

Posted 25 January 2005 - 11:28 AM

Wow. Thanks for the review and pictures. I love Secrets of Baking and have had my eye on the financier recipes. I've hesitated because it just didn't seem like the overall results would be worth the output. Not that it's incredibly complicated, but toasting the almond meal, whipping the egg whites and dealing with pan size adjustments just gave me pause.

Now if someone comes in and says the financier is worth it, I'll go ahead and try it. Just seems like there are too many better recipes.

That said, I LOVE that book and thing Sherry Yard is a genius.

#47 tan319

tan319
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,074 posts
  • Location:southwest usa

Posted 25 January 2005 - 12:40 PM

One time I got all excited about Financiers, made a lemon/blueberry one.
The sous chef tasted it and said "WOW! GREAT muffin!"
So, there you go.

Edited by tan319, 25 January 2005 - 12:41 PM.

2317/5000

#48 claire797

claire797
  • participating member
  • 1,164 posts

Posted 25 January 2005 - 01:13 PM

One time I got all excited about Financiers, made a lemon/blueberry one.
The sous chef tasted it and said "WOW! GREAT muffin!"
So, there you go.

View Post



Aww man. That means I have to try one. I guess the secret is finding the perfect recipe (of course).

#49 FWED

FWED
  • participating member
  • 250 posts
  • Location:Snohomish Wa

Posted 25 January 2005 - 02:31 PM

About a year ago Nightscotsman posted a recipe for Financiers. It came from his instructors at the French Pastry School. It uses browned butter, either almond or hazelnut flour, a small amount of baking powder, and trimoline (or honey). It's a very traditional French cake.

I have used this recipe several times and have found the flavor delightful. I would not call it a light cake and yet it's not as heavy as a pound cake.

The flavor comes from the browned butter and almond flour and it's long shelf life is due to the fact that air is not beaten into the butter or the egg whites. The only leavening is a small amount of baking powder. I think that the addition of chocolate, while tasty, would overpower the lighter flavors. Its also interesting to note that this recipe also calls for letting the batter rest overnight in the refer.

Nightscotsman could give us the recipe again if it can't be found in a search.

Edited by FWED, 25 January 2005 - 03:15 PM.


Fred Rowe

#50 nightscotsman

nightscotsman
  • participating member
  • 3,068 posts
  • Location:Las Vegas

Posted 25 January 2005 - 03:03 PM

Recipe here. It is best to let the batter chill overnight to let the starch cells in the flour and ground nuts absorb moisture, but if you're in a hurry, resting for an hour or two at room temp is almost as effective.

#51 chefpeon

chefpeon
  • participating member
  • 1,796 posts
  • Location:Tinytown, WA, USA

Posted 25 January 2005 - 06:52 PM

I just went through a "Financier Phase" a couple of months ago.......there was a thread on Financiers and I just decided to "follow along".
My opinion.....
They're just not that good to me. I baked several recipes, liked some better than others, and
served them different ways.....with fruit baked in the middle, assembled as petit fours, layered with chocolate, etc. Any way I presented it was "just ok". Not anything to write home about.
I probably won't make them again, unless someone requests them.

And to think of it, in my career as a PC, I've NEVER had a request for them.
There must be something to that. :wink:

#52 mdhl

mdhl
  • participating member
  • 29 posts
  • Location:new york

Posted 25 January 2005 - 07:09 PM

And to think of it, in my career as a PC, I've NEVER had a request for them.
There must be something to that. :wink:

View Post


On the contrary, financiers have been a hit in my history.
Plus it's the only cake that really tuns my sweet tooth on.
It's all about the language.
You're average diner doesn't know what a financier is.
Make one properly, call it an almond cake, and they'll tear through it.
And by proper I mean small.
Baked into something as large as your standard mini cake ring, it'd sink like a stone at the bottom of you stomach.

#53 tan319

tan319
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,074 posts
  • Location:southwest usa

Posted 25 January 2005 - 07:19 PM

claire797.
Neils recipe is very good, I tried a few at the time of that thread and his stood out(of course :biggrin: )
I just mixed some lemon zest(microplaned right over the bowl) and some blue berries.
I wonder if what would put it over the top, concerning chefpeons observations, would be some Plugra.
Of course she may have already gone down that road...
In 'Bouchon', Thomas Keller says that a great financier shoud practically drip butter down your chin :shock:
2317/5000

#54 TurtleMeng

TurtleMeng
  • participating member
  • 149 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 25 January 2005 - 09:01 PM

I will not make either of them again. They are to me like brownies, only not as good.


Patrick, it is encouraging to see I am not the only one. I always think something is wrong with me when things turn out "nothing to write home about".

I still don't know how this cake ever rose since the Sherry Yard recipe has no baking powder.

Sherry made it sound like such a magic thing plus the batter can be kept there waiting to be baked in the fridge, I thought I could throw genoise out of the window. Well, guess not.

A while ago my husband and I had dinner @ the Restaurant in Bel Air, the dessert was this half-muffin looking thing with some cream on it, it tasted like a (very ordinary) MUFFIN. My husband kept saying "famous and popular restaurants don't necessarily serve good food..."

Now I think that was a financier. And PLEASE don't take offense if you know the PC there or ARE the PC...it's just a personal taste issue.

BTW, what almond flour does everyone use? I actually had to do with TJ's almond meal, which is very coarse (and not a flour), and I sifted so many times to get the fine part. I do not own a nut grinder and have not been able to find one. Probably can live without it anyways.

I will try the recipe metioned in this thread. I have to use those cute little molds.
"Mom, why can't you cook like the iron chef?"

#55 Patrick S

Patrick S
  • participating member
  • 2,233 posts

Posted 25 January 2005 - 09:21 PM

I still don't know how this cake ever rose since the Sherry Yard recipe has no baking powder. 

View Post


Cakes can rise to some extent even without baking powder. Baking powder releases CO2, but vaporized H2O itself can act as a leavener, because gasses expand when you heat them. Gas cells in whipped egg whites for exmple expand when the air inside them is heated. At the same time,the heat causes chemical changes in the dough to occur which harden the structure of the cake, so that when the cake cools, it retains the puffed-up structure when the cake cools and the pressure in the air cells drops, rather than reverting to it previous low-temp structure.

Edited by Patrick S, 25 January 2005 - 09:23 PM.

"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#56 TurtleMeng

TurtleMeng
  • participating member
  • 149 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 25 January 2005 - 09:33 PM

I still don't know how this cake ever rose since the Sherry Yard recipe has no baking powder. 

View Post


Cakes can rise to some extent even without baking powder. Baking powder releases CO2, but vaporized H2O itself can act as a leavener, because gasses expand when you heat them. Gas cells in whipped egg whites for exmple expand when the air inside them is heated. At the same time,the heat causes chemical changes in the dough to occur which harden the structure of the cake, so that when the cake cools, it retains the puffed-up structure when the cake cools and the pressure in the air cells drops, rather than reverting to it previous low-temp structure.

View Post


Thanks. I guess the whites beaten with all dry ingredients result in a more stable batter, hence it does not deflate and can keep, in contrast to a souffle batter.

I just like to think about the chemistry. A genoise, on the other hand, is very fragile (i mean the batter) after the dry ingredients are folded in. I wish I could ride the magical school bus and see these molecules, but before that I will be happy just eating these cakes.
"Mom, why can't you cook like the iron chef?"

#57 FWED

FWED
  • participating member
  • 250 posts
  • Location:Snohomish Wa

Posted 25 January 2005 - 09:43 PM

A couple of things of note.

I buy my almond flour from Bob's Red Mill in Oregon. They sell on the internet also. I have found that sometimes the almond flour and chopped hazelnuts from Trader Joe's to be on the stale and almost rancid side of old. Probably not big sellers. I keep the flour,double wrapped, in the freezer between uses and always check it by taste and smell at room temperature be for using it

I can also recommend that, if you are letting the batter rest in the refer, it is best to let it come to room temp before baking.

I have also talked with Nightscotsman and he told me to use pastry flour in his recipe. The type of flour is not indicated in the original recipe.

Fred Rowe

#58 David Lebovitz

David Lebovitz
  • participating member
  • 146 posts
  • Location:Paris

Posted 19 April 2005 - 11:54 PM

I've been experimenting with various Flexipans and am making chocolate financiers, and each time I get these huge 'air pockets' on the bottom. It's as if there was an air pocket under each to begin with which expands as they're baked (but there isn't, since I made sure there were no air pockets before baking.) The finished financiers end up with a giant air bubble underneath them.

(See photos in later post.)

I've never used Flexipans for cakes, since I like the 'crusts' and heft of metal pans but these seems much more practical for small cakes.
Any suggestions?

-David

Edited by David Lebovitz, 20 April 2005 - 09:28 AM.


#59 jackal10

jackal10
  • participating member
  • 5,036 posts

Posted 20 April 2005 - 12:00 AM

I use a mini-financier flexipan for - err - mini financiers, with no problem.
No greasing, and cleanup is easy.

#60 David Lebovitz

David Lebovitz
  • participating member
  • 146 posts
  • Location:Paris

Posted 20 April 2005 - 12:05 AM

hmmm. I am lightly buttering the pans (perhaps the water in the butter is steaming them up?) but even with the small amt of butter, there is some sticking. I never trust the term 'non-stick' since I've had too many disasters as a result.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: French