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aprilmei

Financiers - searching for the ultimate recipe

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Searched the threads and can't find much info about financiers. Until I tasted them in Chablis last year, I never thought much of financiers. But the ones from this bakery in Chablis (sorry, don't know the name of it!) were so good I'm still dreaming of them. They came in several flavours: regular, hazelnut and pistachio with brandied cherry. Does anyone have the ultimate tried-and-true recipe?

TIA

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Working on one right now. Will report back.

If anyone's interested in being a guinee pig, let me know, and I'll share notes. Hard to test all the versions myself without clogging few remaining arteries.

I'm using a Michael Laiskonis recipe as my starting point.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

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I'd be interested in making some. I did a great chestnut one last week for my tasting dinner.

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Here's a recipe I've had success with:

Makes 2 dozen Financiers.

3 large egg whites at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, stirred with a fork to eliminate any lumps

2/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds

1/3 cup all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat a conventional oven to 400° Fahrenheit and brush 24 2-inch rectangular or oval tart pans with melted butter.

Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until thick, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the almonds and the flour, mixing on low speed for 15 seconds, just to blend. By hand, with a wire whisk or rubber spatula, gently fold in the melted butter just until it is mixed in.

Fill the tart pans about 2/3 full and place them on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 7 or 8 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a wire rack, letting the Financiers cool in their pans for about 5 minutes. Gently invert each pan to remove the Financiers and let them cool completely on the wire racks.

You can make these with other types of nuts, also.

Eileen

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I always thought the essence of the financier was brown butter. I suppose you could make a version with plain melted butter, but why would you want to?

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Working on one right now. Will report back.

If anyone's interested in being a guinee pig, let me know, and I'll share notes. Hard to test all the versions myself without clogging few remaining arteries.

I'm using a Michael Laiskonis recipe as my starting point.

I'll share my working notes too. I'm working on this with my friend in France, the one I tasted those ultimate Chablis financiers with - she and I are going for the same goal of really moist (but not greasy), dense but delicate financiers. I'm surprised at the variation in recipes: I had always thought of them as having ground nuts, confectioners sugar, egg whites that are just mixed in (not whipped, I mean) and beurre noisette, but Eileen's recipe uses plain melted butter, my friend's recipe has whipped whites that are folded in gently, Pierre Herme's chocolate financier recipe uses unmelted butter and whole eggs.

Am testing Ducasse's recipe today, will report back. Need to scale it down by a lot!

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Here's as good a starting point as any... this is Gaston Lenotore's, who presumeably invented the financier. And there are pictures!

Formula is ...

Flours: 100% (almond 70%/AP 30%); Sugar: 136%; Egg White: 80%; Brown Butter: 125% (be sure to account for water that will be boiled off ... most butter is 81% fat).

This will be very rich and very almondy. It won't have much leavening (low quantity of egg white).

Unlike most cake recipes, financiers seem really robust. You could probably vary any of these proportions quite a bit without things falling apart.

Due to a badly transcribed recipe, I made a batch with 50% too much butter last night(!) They held together fine. And were delicious. But a bit over the top (my girlfriend kept saying, "gimme some more of that grease cake!")

edited to add: Here's an older gullet thread.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

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Here is one that I like. I browned the butter, substituted pecans for the walnuts and used Strohs rum for the brandy. They were extremely tasty.

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I have never even heard of a financiers and I am trained in Pastry....I must have been in chocolate too long and now I am out of the loop. haha. Either way I would love to hear more opinions and recipes on this pastry so I can try it out myself. Thanks for the info so far...

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Wow, paulraphael, how did I miss that other thread? Thanks for finding it.

The Ducasse financiers were good; I've sent it to my friend to test. I'll test some other recipes once I can store up a good supply of egg whites - need to make some ice cream or custard.

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Wow, paulraphael, how did I miss that other thread? Thanks for finding it.

The Ducasse financiers were good; I've sent it to my friend to test. I'll test some other recipes once I can store up a good supply of egg whites - need to make some ice cream or custard.

I've had good success with almond financier cake using Suzanne Goin's Recipe in Sunday Supper at Lucques Sunday Supper at Lucques. Usually serve it with lavendar or vanilla ice cream. Doesn't last long around here.

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A few posts back I linked to Gaston Lenotre's recipe. And in the same post I linked an egullet thread that also includes Lenotre's recipe. Predictably, they're not the same recipe :) So for now there are two versions of The Original to consider.

For anyone curious, I posted my current recipe with notes and variations here.

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this is from my work, try it and tell me what you think.

SPICY FINANCIER

Ingredients:

160g Ground almonds

100g Soft flour

300g Icing sugar

250g Beurre noissette

240g Egg whites

4g 4 Spice

Method:

Make the beurre noissette: Heat your pan till hot and add butter, cook until brown and has a nutty aroma.(whisk constantly)

Mix the almonds, soft flour, icing sugar and 4 spice together.

Add the egg whites.

Add the beurre noissette and mix.

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this is from my work, try it and tell me what you think.

What's "4 spice?"

If it's some kind of ground spice, I think you'd get much more flavor out of it if you incorporated it in the butter (maybe after it's cooled just a bit) than if you put it in with the dry ingredients.

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paul in england we buy it like that, we also use 4 spice, tbo i`ve never really looked at what spice`s are in it, should do really.


Edited by formula400 (log)

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four spice (quatre-epices)

a quick google search ended up with: pepper (white or black), nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger

not in equal quantities.

eta: sometimes cloves are used, omitting either cinnamon or ginger

places like penzeys sell it pre-mixed and pre-ground


Edited by alanamoana (log)

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I just tested this one again, using the smallest amount of butter and no other tweaks. It came out really well. I don't have any financier sheets so I made a cupcake in a pyrex ramekin and a 9" round in a cake pan.

For the cupcake I tried a two temperature method that I'd read about ... started on 400°, let it rise, then turned down to 325°. For the round, I did it all at 325. This was in a small convection oven. Both took about 25 minutes.

The two temperature approach supposedly gives an especially crisp outside and moist inside, but I didn't find any significant advantages.

The recipe had a nice moist consistency, good density, and good melt-in-your-mouth character. The higher butter variation would be more decadent, but hardly necessary. I'd only consider this for baking smaller forms. I can imagine using a higher proportion of almonds, and possibly toasting them before grinding.

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Here's the Ducasse recipe, it was originally x 8 and for that amount, he called for 8 vanilla beans, which I find excessive. He also doesn't call for salt (!) but I added it in anyway. It's from the Grand Livre de Cuisine for desserts and pastries:

30 grams almond flour

30 grams flour

90 grams icing sugar

(salt)

80 grams egg whites

80 grams beurre noisette (I started off with 100 grams; I'll try 110 next time)

1 vanilla bean (I used paste)

Ingredients are mixed in that order and baked initially at 220 degrees Celsius then reduced to 200. I used metal financier moulds, about 8cm long. Sprayed them with pan coating. They had a really nice crust and were moist. I will try reducing the sugar next time (as per paulraphael's recipe, his uses 125%, this one has 150%) and I'll also toast the almond flour. But wouldn't reducing the sugar make them less moist?

I've seen some recipes that whip the whites to soft peaks then fold them in. That would make them lighter (right?) so might try that. Would it make them peak? These rose slightly but just enough to completely fill the moulds (I filled them about 3/4 of the way).

I sent this recipe to my friend in France and she says she likes them better than the ones we ate in Chablis (except she says they weren't purchased in Chablis but Auxerre). Says they're not as heavy.

Has anybody made financiers with those egg whites you buy in a carton? Usually I have loads of whites on hand from all my other baking/pastry/ice creams but I'm really low on them at the moment.


Edited by aprilmei (log)

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Ingredients are mixed in that order and baked initially at 220 degrees Celsius then reduced to 200. I used metal financier moulds, about 8cm long. Sprayed them with pan coating. They had a really nice crust and were moist. I will try reducing the sugar next time (as per paulraphael's recipe, his uses 125%, this one has 150%) and I'll also toast the almond flour. But wouldn't reducing the sugar make them less moist?

I haven't found the reduced sugar to make things less moist. Most of the recipes I've found (including the French ones, oddly) seem a bit too sweet. If moistness becomes an issue you could try substituting invert syrup for some of the confectioner's sugar.

I've seen some recipes that whip the whites to soft peaks then fold them in. That would make them lighter (right?) so might try that. Would it make them peak?

Haven't tried that or seen it recipes, but why not go for it? I'd be curious to know if interferes with the final shape. It might be good for other uses of the batter, like cakes, if you're going for a lighter consistency.

I actually haven't been making proper financiers ... I'm interested in other uses of the batter, since it's so delicious. But I realize there are some issues peculiar to getting the things to rise to the right shape in small molds.

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