Friday, February 25, 2011


I attended accounting classes many years ago. It almost drove me insane. I sat at my chair, back rigid, knuckles white from squeezing my pen and my eyeballs glued to the whiteboard as the lecturer rummaged with numbers and rattled incessantly. Then I blinked. And I lost everything.

Each time I crawled out of that class I felt beaten up. My back hurt, my fingers numb, my eyes dry and mostly my mind and spirit beaten to a pulp. That's what accounting and finance did to me. I'll never forget and forgive finance.

So financiers .....the name in itself brings me to little hell. I would never dream of making them. Eating them. Smelling them.The word conjures up in my mind thin bespectacled men in severe black suits squishing little cakes with thin lips, legs crossed and a cane in one hand. Ready to beat the pulp out of me. Totally devoid of humour, heart and humaneness.

BUT of course one must never runaway with one's imagination. So once I made these Cherry Cupcake 'Financiers' my mind made a complete turn around. I discovered them to be wholly decent., interesting and cute. But these little ingots I topped and made prettier and gooder with slices of plum. That took the severity off the financiers instantly. I LOVE my Financiers. They good.

Btw....I managed to get through my accounting papers by the skin of my teeth. And with my mind intact. I think.

I also decided to make these because dear Sarah-Jane of had gifted me a silicone financier mould. The mould was so cute and each cell produced a perfect single-sized serving. It was really neat!! Ejecting the financiers was effortless. All I had to do was to let them cool a little and then I simply nudged them out from the bottom. 

I greased the moulds with my finger and dusted them with flour before using. Nothing stuck. The little cakes came out as good as gold freshly minted.

I also let the financiers bake half way through before inserting thin slices of plum on the top. This ensured that they would not sink in and disappear. I think they looked as beautiful as they were delicious. The browned butter added so much flavour and scrumptiousness. And of course because they are Financiers they are rich.

The recipe ~

These little cakes are dense, firm and moist from the ground almonds with a rich nutty buttery flavour from the browned butter. Financiers are not light sponge cakes as I first thought them to be. But even without any leavening agents with the egg whites being simply stirred in they did rise a little above the mould because of the mould's narrowness. I had filled the mould right to the top with batter. But since they rose a little I will in future fill the mould just short of the top so that they will come out perfect and even on the edges and look like real gold ingots. Just for fun.

I got this recipe from Dorie Greenspan's blog through Chez Pim. 

Adapted from Paris Sweets, Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops
Makes 12 cookies

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces; 180 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 cup (100 grams) ground almonds
6 large egg whites
2/3 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour

Put the butter in a small saucepan and bring it to the boil over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally.  Allow the butter to bubble away until it turns a deep brown, but don't turn your back on the pan - the difference between brown and black is measured in seconds.  Pull the pan from the heat and keep it in a warm place.

Mix the sugar and almonds together in a medium saucepan.  Stir in the egg whites, place the pan over low heat, and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, heat the mixture until it is runny, slightly white and hot to the touch, about 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour, then gradually mix in the melted butter.  Transfer the batter to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the batter to create an airtight seal, and chill for at least 1 hour.  (The batter can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Butter 12 rectangular financier molds (these were tested in 3-3/4 x 2 x 5/8-inch [10 x 5 x 1-1/2-cm] rectangular molds that each hold 3 tablespoons), dust the interiors with flour and tap out the excess.  Place the molds on a baking sheet for easy transport.

Fill each mold almost to the top with batter.  Slide the molds into the oven and bake for about 13 minutes, or until the financiers are golden, crowned and springy to the touch.  If necessary, run a blunt knife between the cookies and the sides of the pans, then turn the cookies out of their molds and allow them to cool to room temperature right side up on cooling racks.

I followed the recipe to a T and they turned out PERFECT. These are little cakes you must try.


CaThY said...

This is so pretty & delicious! :)

Unknown said...

cute..looks too tempting..yumm

ann low said...

I love this pretty cakes. I'm bookmarking it. Thanks for sharing :)

Federica Simoni said...

le foto sono bellissime...verrebbe da mangiare lo schermo!!complimenti!!

La Table De Nana said...

They are so cute..I have that photographed them beautifully!

The Sweetylicious said...

it look so lovely and delicious! (:

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Yum they look good. I'd love to try making financiers one day.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

You are too funny, Zurin! And your financiers are indeed PERFECT - flat and domeless - the way it should be. Beautiful.

Sarah-Jane - said...

those look awesome Zurin. I love the slices of plum and I ADORE financiers.

Financiers are an all but forgotten little cake, but they so easily steal the limelight.

I'm glad you were pleased with your parcel and it has cheered up my best blogger friend :-) It's certainley got you baking again !!!

Linda said...

These look wonderful Zurin...I have Paris Sweets and love the book!
I am really loving all of those moulds you got...
Does she ship to the US?

Unknown said...

Yum, I am loving financiers. It looks great.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Zurin, I have thte same dislike for numbers. To date, my own finances are still in a mess! Financiers, as we know, are different and these ones, embellished with plums must be lovely!

Zurin said...

Hi Everyone:)) Thank you for dropping by and for you always kind comments. It is much appreciated.


Oh yes Sarah-Jane ships her products world wide. Do drop by her website. It has great products!

Su-yin said...

These look lovely. Huge fan of using almonds in baking, I think it makes for better textures! Definitely bookmarking this. Now to get myself a financier mould...

Zurin said...


Thanks so much for the gifts. Love them!Im on a roll :)

Through My Kitchen Window said...

I'm glad Financiers don't represent such frenzied fear any longer. Or at least it's nice to discover a good Financier.

I must say, when I think there is nothing left to discover in the world of cake recipes, you have really peaked my interest with this mixture. Very different and most intriguing. It sounds very, very moist too. Your pics are lovely. But then, what's new. Mariana.

Cakebrain said...

I have that exact silicone mould! I want to make financiers now...thanks for the inspiration!

Angie's Recipes said...

Your financiers turned out so beautiful and perfect!

Bakericious said...

looks lovely and delicious.


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