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Suvir Saran

Financiers: Tips & Techniques

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

the invert sugar adds moistness to the finished product, as well as helping to emulsify the batter when mixing. Glucose, which is basically the same as corn syrup, may not work as a substitute. Like a said above, I haven't tried it, but it might be worth a shot. I think a light flavored honey would be a better substitute, or you might even try an orange flower honey which might be nice with the almonds.

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JustKay   
Glucose, which is basically the same as corn syrup .........

Does this mean that I can use glucose in place of corn syrup in your marshmallow recipe? As far as I am aware, corn syrup is used in recipes to hinder crystalization as corn syrup does not crystalize. Is this correct? Sorry to digress ....

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Glucose, which is basically the same as corn syrup .........

Does this mean that I can use glucose in place of corn syrup in your marshmallow recipe? As far as I am aware, corn syrup is used in recipes to hinder crystalization as corn syrup does not crystalize. Is this correct? Sorry to digress ....

Definitely you can use glucose. The main difference between the two is corn syrup has a little more water in it so it's more pourable and easy to work with for home cooks. Also, I think commercial glucose is made from wheat rather than corn.

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JustKay   

Oh! Thank you so much for that tip. :wub: Over here, glucose is easier to find and cheaper too!

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akwa   

The first recipe I have for financier is still the best i have found and the most simple:

410g Beurre noisette

450g Egg whites

510g Icing sugar

300g Almond flour

150g Flour

Tamis dry ingredients three times, then incorporate egg whites, finally warm beurre noisette. Allow to rest for a minimum of six hours to develop flavor and texture. Bake at temperatures between 180C and 200C depending on the size of the mold.

Enjoy.

Interestingly this recipe allows for fat substitution. Try substituting 10% of the beurre noisette with a flavored fat of your choice. Voila le nouveau fatciers.

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

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akwa   

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.)

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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.

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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.

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ElfWorks   

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

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akwa   

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

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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 (log)

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chefpeon   
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

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akwa   

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.

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Vikram   

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

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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)

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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.....

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cdh   
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.

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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)

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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)

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:

gallery_23736_355_1100455710.jpg

And Herme's:

gallery_23736_355_1100455633.jpg


Edited by Patrick S (log)

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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.

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tan319   

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 (log)

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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.

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

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FWED   

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 (log)

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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.

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