March 14, 2010

financier, two flavours

This little almond cake was a birthday treat dedicated to myself on my birthday this year. :) I can't remember when did my mum started buying me a Sara Lee pound cake for my birthday every year, in fact till last year. This year however, I decided to make my own instead.

While writing this post, I began wondering why I don't seem to remember my family celebrating birthdays every year with a creamed birthday cake and candles. So I asked my mum about it and that's when I knew that our family tradition is to have two hard-boiled eggs every year for our birthday, a tradition passed down from her parents. Anyhow, I don't seem to remember it cos' maybe for us kids, only seeing presents and cakes would leave a memorable impression on us. :P

While this doesn't seem to be anything elaborate considering it's a once a year thingy, the whole meaning behind ths simple act is worth mentioning. Still, I was considered much more fortunate as compared to my elder brothers as I did have a few "big" birthday celebrations where my mum would buy a birthday cake and prepared fried chicken wings, fishballs, bee hoon and so on and invited my cousins and close friends. I would then stand at the centre in front of the birthday cake, with my cousins around where we posed for photographs. :)

Slowly as I grow older, birthdays were spent with friends and my mum would just gave me an ang bao. Some years back, she started buying me a Sara Lee Pound cake and this continues. As far as I can remember, a Sara Lee pound cake used to cost $3.50 but today it has gone up to $4.90!

Hey I've been mentioning pound cake but why financier? My first thought was to bake a pound cake but eventually I settled for this financier because of the leftover egg whites sitting in my fridge since pre-cny. I also wanted to try more recipes from cook books which I've been buying but hardly try out the recipes.

The result of this little financier is lovely. It is a dense cake with soft crumbs. I like baked goods with ground almonds because it adds that lovely kind of texture.

I like the original flavour (vanilla) but the green tea flavour taste just as good. This is best eaten delicately with a fork because only then you can savour the texture and it is rather sweet. :D

I'm sharing this recipe from "Okashi Treats" by keiko ishida. Enjoy!

Almond Financier

50g cake flour
5g corn flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
130g egg whites
130g castor sugar (i reduced to 110g and stll taste sweet to me)
50g ground almonds
a pinch of salt
130g unsalted butter
10g green tea powder

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Lightly grease small tins with a little butter and place them on a baking sheet. Sift all dry ingredients (except salt) twice. Add green tea flour if making green tea financier.
  2. Place egg whites into a clean bowl and beat lightly. Add sugar, ground almonds, flour mixture and salt each at a time and mix well without over-mixing. Set aside.
  3. Brown butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking frequently until fragrant and golden brown in colour. Pour butter into a mixing bowl. Place the bowl with browned butter into a larger bowl half-filled with ice water to stop it from cooking further and burning.
  4. Add browned butter to flour and almond mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour better into prepared cake moulds.
  6. Bake financier for 10-15 minutes until they are light and golden in colour.
  7. Remove cakes from moulds and cool on wire rack before serving.
Can be kept in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or 1 month in the freezer.
Step 3 refers to the making of clarified butter. The melted butter actually hardened after I transferred to a larger bowl. I thought the ice water is supposed to stop it from cooking further? Have I done anything wrong? :P


pigpigscorner said...

Now I know what to do with extra egg whites next time. This look fab esp the green tea version.

ai wei said...

welcome back on posting. i love reading ur recipe. same here, used to have saralee pound cake as birthday cake but till years ago, the tradition of celebrating bday and candle blowing just faded...

the financier look like the one selling in sun moulin. would love a try :)

Aimei said...

Hi pigpigcorner, yes its a great way to use extra egg whites. You don't even need to beat the egg whites also. :)

Hi aiwei, thanks! enjoy baking it! :)

sherlyn said...

Sorry, haven been visiting ... busy with dun noe wat .. but here I am ..
This type of cake is new to me, never heard before .. but sure a good way to use egg whites and ya , without beating is a big bonus. But your egg white can keep till now (u say it is from pre cny???)
I once attend the workshop in Mayer, the teacher said that if there is a need to reduce sugar, try 50g in a go, cos 10 or 20g will not make any difference wor.

Aimei said...

Hi Sherlyn, yeah it really doesn't make much difference. I'd learnt also that its ok to reduce by 1/4. So think i'll boldly reduce more next time, especially since my parents can't take too sweet stuffs.

Oh ya for the egg whites, I store in the freezer. Think should be ok for about a month. :)

sherlyn said...

Freezer, one month ... ok now I know. :) Thank you.