Ladurée’s Financier Pistache
It feels good to be back in baking again, after an almost month-long hiatus. Been busy with a trail of Asian delights from Cantonese claypot rice to Hainanese Pork Chops, and not to forget a couple of Asian desserts along the way. Quite a walk down memory lane to prepare dishes which I’d learnt to prepare years back, but have not gotten a chance to reprise them over the last year or so, well since the passing of my mother actually. So it felt really warm and nostalgic to get in touch with my culinary roots again, with dishes that ignited my love for food and cooking many moons back. But life has to move on, so here I am back again, having fun once more with flour, eggs, butter and sugar! First off with a simple petit four, Ladurée’s Financier Pistache…
Financiers are really delicious little french teacakes which I’d taken quite a personal liking for. I prefer them over madeleines actually and hence make them more often than the latter, though the two are methodically not very dissimilar. Prior to trying out Ladurée’s recipe, I’d made Pierre Hermé’s Financier Carré Blanc and Sadaharu Aoki’s Financier au Mâcha Salè before, both of which have their hits and misses. So the hunt for the perfect financier recipe goes on. And Ladurée’s recipe book “Sucré” has been severely under-utilised since I’d gotten it last year. I’d made only one recipe from there, Ladurée’s Tartelettes Croustillantes Abricots ou Cerises. And it was such a beautiful recipe that I’d wish I’d the time to make more from the lovely book. Alas the “wait” is finally over…
Ladurée’s Financier Pistache (makes about 20 large financiers or 40 small ones) adapted from Ladurée’s recipe book “Sucré”
125g beurre noisette * (from 150g of unsalted butter)
55g icing sugar
50g cake flour
60g ground pistachios*
1/5 tsp baking powder
140g egg whites, appro. 4 eggs
25g pistachio paste
100g whole pistachios, coarsely chopped
*modified components from original recipe
The day before, prepare the financier batter.
First prepare beurre noisette. Place 150g of unsalted butter in a light-coloured base saucepan and heat to melt and brown butter. Strain thoroughly, measure out 125g and set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, sift icing sugar, cake flour, ground pistachios, baking powder and give the dry ingredients a good mix to incorporate.
Add egg whites, one at a time, stirring thoroughly with each addition to enjoy that the egg whites are well homogenised with the dry ingredients mixture.
In a small bowl, thin the pistachio paste with a small portion of the above batter concoction and return the more fluid pistachio paste into the remaining batter, together with the lukewarm beurre noisette. Mix everything thoroughly and cover bowl with clingfilm.
Store batter in fridge for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight.
The next day, bake the financiers.
Preheat oven to 210C.
Grease pistachio moulds evenly with melted butter or canola oil spray and pipe in rested financier batter until the moulds are 80% full.
Sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts
Bake for 7-8 min. Leave to cool down before demoulding.
Serve with tea.
I’d made several modifications to Ladurée’s original recipe, most notably with the replacement of unsalted butter with beurre noisette. It requires an additional step of clarifying the butter to separate the milk solids from the lipids and subsequently browning it. The product lends such a wonderful nutty aroma to the financier is it almost a sin not to use it!
Next, I’d replaced the ground almond in the original recipe with more ground pistachio, making this teacake an “all pistachio experience”. And of course, über green sicilian pistachios were used, but you already know that don’t you? :) Since this is a Financier Pistache after all, might as well right? :)
Lastly of course, is the embellishment of the teacake batter with more chopped pistachio. The crunchy bite from the roasted nuts lend a lot of texture as well as all that lovely nutty and smokey aroma, making the flavour profile more complex, and definitely more alluring!
I’d used a mixture of standard sized moulds for the classic financiers, as well as a silicon one for the small financiers. Ironically, I prefer the silicon one as they seem to look better to me. The metal ones also tend to produce financiers which seem to brown too much on the sides. The silicon ones, on the other hand are more evenly baked! As much as I hate to say this, but unless you are looking for financiers with a slight crisp on the exterior, silicon moulds seem to work really well…
Overall, I quite enjoyed this financier, whose textures are somewhat of a hybrid between Pierre Herme and Sadaharu Aoki’s versions. Light and delicate but not too soft and fluffy. The robust flavours from pistachio paste and ground pistachios were really wonderful and I would definitely reprise this “all pistachio experience” if I were to make it again!
Pierre Hermé’s Financier Carré Blanc
Sadaharu Aoki’s Financier au Mâcha Salè
Ladurée’s Tartelettes Croustillantes Abricots ou Cerises
Pierre Hermé’s Madeleine Vanille
Ladurée – Macaron Citron & Macaron Framboise
Macarons from Pierre Hermé and Ladurée – a Sneak Preview