Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Financiers--oh, my!

The Fiancier pan
Before I jump into the baking project for the day, let me tell you about the project that failed.  We had friends over for dinner on New Year's Eve, and I wanted to make Julia Child's Gateau in a Cage.  (Say it with a French accent and it's more fun).  :-)

Anyway, here's the gist:  you take a small cake layer, then you build a "cage: of spun sugar around it by buttering the bottom of the cake pan, plus a bowl that fits on top of the cake pan.  Once the sugar hardens, you pop off the golden "domes" and set the cake in the base, decorate it, then cover it with the golden dome.

Pouring the batter into the pan. 
I had fun following all the directions until it came time to remove the spun sugar from the cake pan and bowl.  Here in Florida, we enjoy about 90 percent humidity nearly all the time . . . and I forgot about that.  It was a warm day, and I had a window open, so it was humid in my house.  So humid, in fact, that my sugar never hardened.  I managed to pry it off the bowl and pan, but it had no shape.  The bottom part simply sagged on the cake plate, and the top part simply disintegrated when I tried to remove it.

So no cage for this gateau.  But I cut the cake in two, filled it with cream Chantilly, strawberries, raspberry jam, and kirsch syrup, then smothered the top in more whipped cream, strawberries, jam, and kirsch.  The cake was delicious, cage or no cage.

Ready for the oven. 
Tonight I wanted to make something simple, so I dug out the silicone financier (fin-NAHN-see-ay) pan that I bought some time ago. I opened ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKES and found a recipe inside, then set to work.

The recipe uses browned butter, and fortunately, I'd seen Julia make it.  You brown butter (carefully--because one moment it's brown, the next moment it's burnt), then pour the brown butter into the mix without any of the black bits that are left.  The recipe called for egg whites and ground almonds, and I had plenty of both because I've been making so many macarons.

Out of the oven. 
I poured the dough into the special financier pan, baked for about 18 minutes, and out came these adorable little cakes (188 calories each).  They were delicious!  Very light--I could see them served as a dessert powdered with sugar and maybe topped with some strawberries.  But they are a fine snack cake just as they are.

ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKES has several financier recipes, as does David Lebowitz's READY FOR DESSERT.  I can't wait to make another batch.

Happy baking to you!  What are you baking these days?

~~Angie

The finished snack cakes. Delicious! 










2 comments:

Mocha with Linda said...

LOL! I saw this title and thought it was going to be something about bankers and accountants!

We still have a few goodies left from Christmas but I cannot do any more baking for awhile unless it is something only the kids will eat. Gotta drop some pounds and get my man's triglycerides down!

Ruthie said...

Ummm...these look sort of like unfilled Twinkies. Ever thought of filling them with cream and calling them such? Just a thought..........