Financiers

Financiers

By
From
The Italian Baker
Makes
8

However much I enjoy making fancy cakes and bakes, I am just as fond of simple treats. The satisfaction that comes with successful baking is of course priceless but, more than that, I love the romantic, nostalgic feel of homemade cakes. They bring back memories, celebrate tradition and are part of our culture, passed through families from generation to generation.

I found this recipe for financiers, little French cakes, in an old baking book a friend bought for me, and I have adapted and simplified it to make it simpler and more homely. If you would like to follow the more traditional recipe, using beurre noisette, then see the Note opposite. You can also make them a bit more posh by serving them with warm custard and raspberries, adding blackberries to the middle of the batter, or dunking them in silky chocolate ganache once cooked. But, if you are like me, you will appreciate them with a simple dusting of icing sugar and a good cup of tea.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
75g butter
2 tablespoons butter, for greasing
50g plain flour, sifted
50g ground almonds
250g icing sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1/2 teaspoon almond oil or pure extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter and use to brush the insides of a financier mould or moulds (or you can use mini loaf tins, or tartlets tins).
  2. Melt the 75g of butter and set aside to cool. Sift the flour and ground almonds into a large bowl, add the icing sugar and whisk to combine using a balloon whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites just enough to break them up and make them a little frothy. Add these to the flour mixture with the melted butter, vanilla and almond oil and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared moulds or tins and bake for 15–20 minutes or until lightly golden.

Note

  • If you’d like to follow the original French recipe for using beurre noisette (brown butter), melt the butter for the cake mixture in a small saucepan as light in colour as possible (so you can see when the butter reaches the right stage). Let the butter melt and bubble, without stirring, but swirling the pan every so often. First you’ll see foam creating on the surface, which will drop down and transform into bubbles. The milk solids will drop down the bottom of the pan leaving clarified butter on top. Continue to swirl the pan and you’ll see the butter changing colour rapidly and start to brown. Be very careful at this stage to avoid burning and, as soon as it is brown, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool to room temperature before continuing with the recipe as above. Discard the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Tags:
baking
cakes
biscuits
Italian
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