After what seemed like a ridiculously long break from baking, but was in reality only three weeks, I’m back on my Puff the Bakery pastry course, and it’s time to make financiers.
My forced break was mainly due to the unbearable heat we’d been blessed with just lately, so I waited for the first 26C day that came along and ran into the kitchen. It felt good to be back.
I’m now in cake week on my course, and whilst I’m waiting until the weather really cools down until I make the sticky toffee pudding cake, I thought I’d try something I’d never heard of before, the financiers.
I learned that financiers are a small French cake, made with almonds and browned butter, and have very little flour in them. Although I’m not a big fan of the almond taste, the browned butter completely sold me. I first discovered it making a frangipane tart for this course, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
The recipe was so simple, in fact the only time-consuming thing was browning the butter and that took a maximum of 10 minutes. I was about to say how adding honey and dark brown sugar only enhanced the nutty texture, but I’ve just realised that I should have used ground almonds instead of chopped. No wonder it tasted nutty! It didn’t harm the financier at all though, yes it would have been a lighter cake with the ground almonds, but the combination of ingredients worked so well with the nutty texture, it’s hard to imagine it any other way.
I had a bit of an issue getting these out of the tin, and they’re mean to be flat on top, not domed, so I went back to make another batch only to have the same doming happen. I’m not sure what I’d done wrong, but honestly, I didn’t care – they tasted amazing! I add raspberries to some, but I think I prefer them without. The browned butter combined with the dark sugars made everything taste so rich and decadent that it overpowered the raspberries a bit.
Tasting one of the financiers you would never guess how little time it took to make, they’re so simple but taste so deeply luxurious that they’re now going to be one of my essential recipes. Of all the things I’ve learned so far in my pastry course, the financiers are the one recipe that I’m glad to have in my back pocket: yes I know how to make more fancy and flashy things, but when I can make these in under an hour, I can’t help but be impressed.