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Suvir Saran

Financiers: Tips & Techniques

92 posts in this topic

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:

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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:

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.

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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

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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?"

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

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 (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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

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.

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?"

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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

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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 (log)

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I use a mini-financier flexipan for - err - mini financiers, with no problem.

No greasing, and cleanup is easy.

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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.

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Don't have a flexipan (being a dinosaur, I'm a bit suspicious of that kind of pan), but I wonder if your problem can be solved by giving your filled pans a sharp tap or 2 before going into the oven?


TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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We did mini financiers - chocolate and regular - in flexipans in school, as well as various flavors now at work, and haven't had the problem you're describing. As jackal10 said above, no butter or spray coating. Are you piping or spooning to fill the molds? We always pipe, which might elimiate bubbles. The only other thing I can think of is to look at the recipe you're using.

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You can't blame your pans for items sticking if your buttering them. Give up using butter to coat any and all pans, in any and all baking recipes. The water content in butter messes with your release. Butter and flouring a pan, also gone! Neither come close to how well a spray on pan spray works. When you buy pan spray always double check on the back label that it doesn't contain water (again water makes stuff stick).

Any recipe author suggesting people use butter for a release coating is also an author that only gives you volume measurments. Both are inacurate.

You can give your filled pans a tap on the counter before placing them in the oven to help release any big air pockets. You can even tap a flexipan.

As for posting photos you must upload your photos into Imagegullet first. You'll find the button for that on the top center part of your page. Plus your images must be 640 pixels or less. Take a look here.

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Here's a picture. It sure looks like air was trapped in the bottom...but I made sure there wasn't.

But thanks for the tips, all. I did whack the pan on the counter to make sure there were no air bubbles as well. I will try again tomorrow, a batch without buttering or greasing the Fleximolds.

Since I live out of the US, you can't get 'Pam' style non-stick spray from pure vegetable oil. You can buy the professional non-stick spray, but it's full of icky stuff.

(At Europain this week, I saw the new Matfer firm polycarbonate [i think] plastic baking pans, they look great.)

David's Financiers


Edited by David Lebovitz (log)

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I sell a lot of financiers! I spray mine, and I use Sysco pan spray, which is my favorite. The flexi pans are Lekue brand

quince, tart cherries, rhubarb financiers-yumyumyum!


Melissa McKinney

Chef/Owner Criollo Bakery

mel@criollobakery.com

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aww, jackal! your tiny financier (with the red on the bottom right) is smiling at us!

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index.php?act=module&module=gallery&cmd=user&user=25486&op=view_album&album=1119.jpg

Okay, thanks all for the suggestions. I made 3 more batches, trying recipes other than mine, not greasing or buttering the molds, and tapping the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles, and still holes.

I think what I should do is make some madeleines (with the hump), fit 'em together, and call it a day!

Dave's final batch, Click: Holy Financiers


Edited by David Lebovitz (log)

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hmmm...what about the oven that you use? Are you using convection? Can you adjust the fan speed or check the temperature? Maybe the fan or temperature are set too high for the mini financiers? Something similar happened when I forgot to prick tart shells that I was prebaking. I think the thrust of heat from the oven coupled with the fact that the steam had nowhere to go caused the shells to have a similar "hole" (even with the bean weights).

By the way, even with the holes, your financiers look tasty!


Edited by melofunk (log)

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I've never had the holy problem, but I always do them in a convection oven. Are your financiers just beaten- in- egg whites or folded- in- whipped- whites? I just do beaten in. The texture is fab, and they stay moist forever & ever, Amen.

By the way David, you wouldn't beleive how many Chocolate Orbit Cakes I have made since scoring the first book! oh and Ginger Cake, by the thousands! It's my favorite--insanely gingery, the way it ought to be!


Melissa McKinney

Chef/Owner Criollo Bakery

mel@criollobakery.com

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I really prefer metal pans over flexipans for financiers and madeleines (especially madelienes- the weight and heat of the metal produces superior results). I too use sysco pan spray; I spray, flour (whack), and spray. I then chill them in the freezer until very cold. I bake them on a preheated sheet tray in a 325 convection. Perfect hump, and they all release just lovely. i sell a lot of them in our Espresso Bar. Hi David- remember me? I ran into you at the Foodland in Honolulu- I work at Neiman Marcus Honolulu. I hope you are enjoying living in Paris! That is where I lived when I went to pastry school (in 89). I love it there! I have some very old heavy weight financier pans (they only need spray). They make the best financiers. I find that flexipans do not create a good crust or hump in madeleines. They come out more "cake like" with a soft surface on the shell side.

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David: Are you baking them long enough? That looks like not a hole from an air bubble, but from where the partly cooked batter has collapsed as they cooled.

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David: Are you baking them long enough? That looks like not a hole from an air bubble, but from where the partly cooked batter has collapsed as they cooled.

That's the bottom you're looking at. I flipped them over for the photo. (The tops looked great.)

The big test was last night, I had some French people try them all (all 9 batches) and they loved them, the taste, that is. So I think I will live with the holes and be happy with the flavor.

Like the Italian cookies, 'Brutti Ma Buoni'... "Ugly, but Good"

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By the way David, you wouldn't beleive how many Chocolate Orbit Cakes I have made since scoring the first book!

Any chance you'd let the rest of us in on this? Which book?

Gosh David I've never seen holes like that before, thats a mystery. I don't really see how what you've coated your pans with could produce that.

How are you placing your batter into your pan? Are you scooping it, piping it...........?

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Any chance you'd let the rest of us in on this? Which book?

David's book: Room for Dessert

He has the Chocolate Orbit Cake recipe posted on his website: link

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