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Suvir Saran

Financiers: Tips & Techniques

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I end up buying at least two dozens of these when I am in Chelsea (le Bergamot).

And even before an hour is over, they are all gone.

I would love to learn how to bake them. I did read about them in Larousse... But wondering if anyone has a working, tested recipe to share.

Also what jellies should one use? Would it be ok to use home made jams?

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It can be difficult to grind nuts with home machines without releasing too much oil,which can make a sticky mess.If you grind nuts with some of the other dry ingredients in a recipe,you will do better.Good financiers are made with brown butter.I have a good chocolate/nut financier recipe somewhere,if you want it...

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It can be difficult to grind nuts with home machines without releasing too much oil,which can make a sticky mess.If you grind nuts with some of the other dry ingredients in a recipe,you will do better.Good financiers are made with brown butter.I have a good chocolate/nut financier recipe somewhere,if you want it...

I would love the recipe. Coming from you, it will be one I will certainly enjoy and love.

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Grinding the nuts in your food processor is not a problem as long as you: 1. do it with sugar; 2. do it FAST, so that the nuts do not heat up so much as to start giving up their oil. Then you'll have nut butter instead of flour. Not at all what you want. (You could probably do it in a blender also; the stronger/faster the machine, the better.)

It's best to follow a recipe that gives the measurements by weight (as professional pastry formulæ do). That way you can take the weight of nuts and chop them with the weight of sugar. Volume measures are not comparable. You could start with whole almonds, blanch them, and grind them -- although you still might not be sure just how fresh the nuts were to begin with. If you have a trustworthy source of (fresh) nut flour, it's easier to go with that.

Wish I had a recipe for you, but so far I haven't found one. One note, though: the last restaurant where I saw them made, they were baked in those flexible (silicone) molds. Popped right out perfectly.

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Wish I had a recipe for you, but so far I haven't found one.  One note, though: the last restaurant where I saw them made, they were baked in those flexible (silicone) molds.  Popped right out perfectly.

What restaurant was that??? I love financiers... :biggrin:

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Can one grind ones own almond flour or is it much better made with store bought almond flour?

Nuts can easily be ground at home with an inexpensive nut grinder, like this one from Zyliss. I use mine for all kinds of nuts and there isn't the worry of extruding the oils and making a nut butter as there is with a food processor. The consistancy is very similar to the ground nuts I work with in France, but coarser that the nut flours sold in the US, which are made from dried nuts. The ground nuts have worked fine in all recipes I've used them in, such as a pain de gênes, a genoise made of nuts.

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Can one grind ones own almond flour or is it much better made with store bought almond flour?

Nuts can easily be ground at home with an inexpensive nut grinder, like this one from Zyliss. I use mine for all kinds of nuts and there isn't the worry of extruding the oils and making a nut butter as there is with a food processor. The consistancy is very similar to the ground nuts I work with in France, but coarser that the nut flours sold in the US, which are made from dried nuts. The ground nuts have worked fine in all recipes I've used them in, such as a pain de gênes, a genoise made of nuts.

Thanks for the links.

You know, I make this flourless chocolate cake with ground hazelnuts and I have never had trouble grinding them into flour. I also make my almond pound cake that is quite well known in certain circles in NYC. And again I use my Cuisinart to grind the flour from almonds.

I use chopped peeled almonds for the cake and whole hazelnuts that I toast and process myself.

But these have both always-worked fine for me.

I have only recently learned that one can but nut flours commercially. And so wondered if the result will be that much better.

Both the cakes I make are actually not bad at all. In fact, there are people across the US and in India that swear by these recipes. I have found great popularity for them in my catering. People that eat them fall in love with the cakes. Nothing fancy, homey simple cakes.

Gael Green, a food critic based in NYC has found my cakes "deeply addictive" and other friends have said similar things...

But since I am no pastry chef and rely on recipes from my mother.. From her baking days back in the 70s and 80s, I have never worked with commercial nut flours. They were certainly not available to her in India. She was only a home chef but a prolific one and baking for parties of often over 100 people.

Your nut grinder is similar to what she used in India. Funny! :rolleyes:

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Can one grind ones own almond flour or is it much better made with store bought almond flour?

Would a coffee grinder work?

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Can one grind ones own almond flour or is it much better made with store bought almond flour?

Would a coffee grinder work?

Have you ever used it? I have only every used my Cuisinart. I have personally never ever had trouble using it. But I do hear friends tell me how their nuts become into butter very quickly. Maybe the small quantities one would put into a coffee grinder would make that less of an issue.

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Maybe my Oster spice grinder would be the perfect thing to use..... Never thought of that. I make my date flour with that. Dates are very hard to grind.

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Hunting around the web for some financier recipes and not finding a lot of consistancy with regard to nut/flour ratio. Anyone out there have a great recipe to share?

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Bo Friberg's version (Professional Pastry Chef, 4th ed.)

115g granulated sugar

310g almond paste

170g beurre noisette

3 eggs at room temp

1 tbsp calvados

85g bread flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

melted butter

sliced almonds, lightly crushed

powdered sugar

Brush 20-30 small madeleine forms with melted butter, coat with almonds, place forms on sheet pan.

Place sugar and almond paste in a mixing bowl. Blend in butter gradually. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly, then blend in the calvados.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into wet ingredients. Best to do this manually, as overwhipping will make the finished product dry and crumbly.

Pipe the batter into the forms with a mid-sized plain tip. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes until golden brown top and bottom. Dust a sheet of parchment with powdered sugar and invert forms onto sheet. Let cool, then remove from forms.

=============================================================================

My instructor's version, acquired privately from a French former co-worker:

600g sugar

400g ground almonds

200g flour

500g beurre noisette

550g egg whites

Mix sugar, almonds, flour.

Blend in beurre noisette.

Blend in egg whites.

Pipe into forms, and bake, as above.

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Well I have to admit-I've yet to ever make one myself (just hasn't come up). Regardless, I've been looking around and wanting to do so also and I noticed Payard has a recipe in his book. AND I've had nothing but great sucess with any of his other recipes.

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Does anyone have any recipes for Financiers they can recommend (preferably with weights). I made the chocolate one in Sherry Yard's book (baked in a sheet pan, then layered it in 3 inch rings with chocolate creme chiboust and port-soaked cherries and glazed it with chocolate ganache), but it uses volume and I was guesstimating (turned out fine, but still...). I'm baking this with my three year old, since it is a pretty simple-stupid, dump it all in the KA kind of cake, and she is fascinated by the whole process. There is a chcolate financier recipe in the Bau book, but I'm not sure on how I would substitute cake flour for the cocoa to do something other than chocolate. (I'm also assuming in that recipe that almond flour and almond powder are the same thing). Thanks for any help.

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This recipe is really good, but it calls for Trimoline (invert sugar) which can be difficult for home cooks to buy. The amount is small so you could substitute honey with a slight difference in flavor.

Financiers

110 g powdered sugar (sifted)

40 g almond flour

40 g flour

1 g baking powder

10 g Trimoline

110 g egg whites

60 g butter

Vanilla extract to taste

Brown butter and strain. Mix all dry ingredients together. Whisk in Trimoline, half of egg whites and hot browned butter. Add rest of egg whites. Let rest overnight in the cooler. Pipe into molds and bake at 375 F. If you are making small petit four size finianciers it's very nice to put a raspberry, morello cherry (even better soaked in brandy), or caramelized hazelnut in the middle of each before baking.

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Looks like a nice recipe, Neil.

Thanks! :biggrin:

I'll be trying this out soon.

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This recipe is really good, but it calls for Trimoline (invert sugar) which can be difficult for home cooks to buy. The amount is small so you could substitute honey with a slight difference in flavor.

Financiers

110 g powdered sugar (sifted)

40 g almond flour

40 g flour

1 g baking powder

10 g Trimoline

110 g egg whites

60 g butter

Vanilla extract to taste

Brown butter and strain. Mix all dry ingredients together. Whisk in Trimoline, half of egg whites and hot browned butter. Add rest of egg whites. Let rest overnight in the cooler. Pipe into molds and bake at 375 F. If you are making small petit four size finianciers it's very nice to put a raspberry, morello cherry (even better soaked in brandy), or caramelized hazelnut in the middle of each before baking.

Neil, thank you so much. Couple of questions. Could I also use corn syrup in place of the honey? Is the flour AP or cake? I'm assuming I could still bake this on a sheet pan for say 10-12 min at 350 (I'm using this as an easy "cake" to make with a child and then build mousse cakes). Any other flavorings you have tried besides the obvious use of citrus rinds?

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What perfect timing - I've just started testing recipes for financiers to try to get rid of a glut of egg whites. All the other recipes I've looked at didn't call for any leavening - just powdered almonds, icing sugar, flour (either cake or AP), melted butter and egg whites.

I'm working with the Lenotre recipe right now - they look fantastic and the crust is excellent, but they're too sweet. I'm working on reducing the sugar but when I do that, they peak (kind of like that little hump you get with a madeleine) instead of being nicely rounded.

This is the original recipe:

150 grams unsalted butter

250 grams icing sugar

125 grams almond powder

55 grams cake or plain flour

150ml egg whites

Sliced almonds

Melt the butter and let it cook until beurre noisette stage. Let it cool slightly.

Sift the icing sugar with the flour. Stir in the almond powder. Use a whisk to stir in the egg whites. Whisk in the beurre noisette and stir until smooth.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Spray the tins with pan coating then dust with flour. Invert the pans and tap them firmly to remove excess flour. Fill the pans halfway with the mixture then decorate with sliced almonds. Bake for about 15 minutes or until done.

I reduced the sugar to 200 grams and increased almond powder and flour. They taste great but as I said, they get that little hump. I'm hoping to eventually get both the look and the flavour right.

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Neil, thank you so much. Couple of questions. Could I also use corn syrup in place of the honey? Is the flour AP or cake? I'm assuming I could still bake this on a sheet pan for say 10-12 min at 350 (I'm using this as an easy "cake" to make with a child and then build mousse cakes). Any other flavorings you have tried besides the obvious use of citrus rinds?

I don't think that corn syrup will give you the same results as a replacement. You might try it anyway and see what happens.

I haven't tried baking it in a sheet pan, but I suppose that will work. I would keep the temp at 375. I also haven't tried adding any flavorings since for me the point to a financier is the rich nut flavor, though I have used hazelnut flour with good results.

We used pastry flour, which is inbetween cake and AP flour in strength. I would just go with AP.

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Brewsource.com sells a product called Lyle's Golden Syrup which they list as invert sugar. That might be worth a try at $5.25 for a 10.6 oz. can. I would think that invert sugar used for brewing ale would be no different than invert sugar for baking, right? The composition they list is 49% fructose, 49% dextrose (glucose) and 2% sucrose.

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Lyle's has a very distinctive taste that I don't think would be a substitute for invert sugar. I don't know the differences between the "molines" but the Sweet Celebrations website sells a Nulomoline invert sugar product that I have used in the past in candy filling and has a very neutral taste. Don't know if it is a substitute for Trimoline.

Nulomoline is $6.30 for 2 1/2 lbs. at Sweet Celebrations.


Edited by rickster (log)

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Neil, what does the invert sugar do? Can I use glucose instead? Or omit it? Thanks.

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