I was talking with a friend of mine tonight, Ken, an artist who is currently living in…somewhere in South East Asia. I lose track of his travels. I actually had to say to him, “Remind me, which country are you in right now?” (It’s Cambodia, btw.) Anyway, as I’m chatting away with him on Facebook, I’m also popping in trays of delicious French financiers into the oven, and pulling out (and sampling!) more trays of these golden-domed treats.
What are these delicious, buttery things I write of? Well, the origins of financiers are a bit murky. Some say that they are called financiers because of the financial types who used to eat them on their hurried coffee breaks; the buttery almond treat could be held in a hand and quickly gobbled in between weighty financial transactions. Others say that the financier is named such because when baked in the traditional shape, they resemble gold bullion bars.
How did I find this out? Two words! Well, three, actually. Dorie Greenspan. And Wikipedia! My baking group is baking Matcha Financiers from Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi cookbook this week, and she talks about the origins of the treat in her recipe intro. And then I wikipedia’d it too, because that’s how I roll.
Dorie takes the traditional financier recipe and gives it a bit of an Eastern twist, with the introduction of Matcha powder. I, of course, having no matcha powder or the inclination to go shopping for any, replaced the Matcha tea in the recipe with ground Earl Grey Green tea, of which I had plenty. Hey, it’s green! Close enough? Eh, it’ll do.
The recipe calls for only egg whites to be used, which makes the financiers all crisp and light, despite the heaviness of the almond flour that is also used. The way I look at it, the low-fat egg whites balance out the caloric effect of the butter that is added into the batter mixture.
Once the batter is all mixed up, into the fridge it goes for an hour, before being baked until golden and crispy. And this time I actually did let it rest for an hour in the fridge, as I was using the oven to bake some oatmeal bread. I was running around like a headless chicken in the kitchen tonight, trying to make dinner, lunches for tomorrow, oatmeal & Greek yoghurt bread, plus these financiers. And then given that I had so many egg yolks leftover from making the financiers, I decided to make some lemon curd. Hey, in for a penny, in for a pound! And in this case, a load of dishes. Which I plan to leave for tomorrow. Or the DH. (Possibly both.)
What do I think of the financiers? Well, given that I’ve never had them before, it’s hard to know why they don’t knock my socks off. Is it the addition of the Earl Grey Green powder instead of the Matcha powder? Or is it just that the flavour isn’t what I was expecting? Maybe both. I think if the butter had been browned the way that it often is, I might like it more. Or if the tea flavour was either stronger, or not present at all. The faint bergamot flavour of the Earl Grey Green tea is nice and all, but…it’s just too vague. I like my treats with some oomph! And/or chocolate.
I’m typing this post while sitting on my couch with my laptop, as I often do, taking a break from my kitchen-chicken ways. Hanging on the wall across from me is a framed print of one of Ken’s watercolours. I have to say, having real art on my walls makes me feel so grown-up! (Because mere age isn’t enough to do that on it’s own, obvs.) Using tea in my baking also makes me feel grown-up. Next time, though, I think I’ll use one of Dorie’s Bonne Idees, and add in chopped chocolate to the batter. Chocolate Everything may not be a terribly grown-up flavour profile, but it is one that I’ll happily nom on. Don’t worry, Chocolate, you’ll always be my favourite!
Next Post: Parmesan & Paprika Potato Wedges. Or another Dinner Roll Odyssey Post. Mmm, carby carbs! All I need now is some chocolate. 🙂