Friday, 10 April 2015

Financiers

Financiers are French Petit Fours which I thought I would try from the latest book I bought, Patisserie and Baking Foundations from Le Cordon Bleu.  The recipe is actually quite simple, though it does have something I have never tried before, trimoline, also known as invert sugar.  I had to find out what that is and how to make it, and I found a site Chefeddy.com which gives very simple to follow instructions on how to make it.  So I now have a nice batch of it in my fridge to use with other recipes.  Having read lots of other recipes for financiers which dont use trimoline, and also read up on it a little I think you can substitute glucose or corn syrup, which will give the same sort of soft texture.  Whether the flavour will be quite the same I don't know.  But these little delights are more about the almonds(or hazelnuts) and the beurre noisette than anything else.

I had never made beurre noisette either, and I must say the aroma that comes off the butter as it boils and browns is just wonderful.

The recipe I followed from the book also says to refrigerate the batter overnight, and one video I watched also said the same.  However many other recipes don't seem to do that at all.  I am guessing that leaving it overnight allows the flavour to intensify and it will also let the melted butter in the batter solidify somewhat.

Many recipes also seem to add fruit or nuts to the top of the batter after it has been piped into the moulds.  Some seem to cook the batter for a few minutes and then pop the fruit on, so that it doesn't sink.

For me though I decided just on the nice, straightforward financiers.  My book recipe said to use hazelnuts, powdered or ground, but since I didn't have them and since I read on wiki that almonds are the usual nut used, I decided on almonds. 

Yet another first with this recipe is my use of silicone moulds, as I couldn't find any specific financier molds made of metal.  For me that is a shame since that is what I would have preferred.  Having said that the moulds worked quite well, so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much.

The financiers turned out quite well, though I left them slightly longer than the 10 minutes prescribed, to let them brown and cook right through.

They do taste good and are slightly crispy on the outside and moist and soft in the middle. 
When stored in an airtight container the outsides will moisten very nicely.  These financiers have become very firm favourites, as have my chocolate version.

Financiers
Ingredients:
  • 120g plain flour
  • 270g ground almonds
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 305ml egg whites
  • 100g trimoline(invert sugar)
  • 340g butter
Method:
  1. Sift the flour, almonds and icing sugar.  If using ground almonds and it is not fine enough to sieve mix it into the sifted sugar and flour.
  2. Add the egg whites and trimoline to the dry ingredients and mix until a smooth dough is formed.
  3. In a small saucepan melt the butter and cook until it starts to colour.  Once the butter solids have turned a dark golden colour take of the heat.
  4. Add to the dough and stir it in immediately.
  5. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic film and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220c.  Lightly grease the moulds and place them on a baking sheet.
  7. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.
  8. Pipe into the moulds, filling them about two thirds full and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from the moulds and place on a wire rack to cool.


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