Raspberry and Chocolate Financiers

I know that many bloggers cook, bake, and generally prepare fabulous food and recipes with their blog in mind.  Out comes the semi-professional food photography gear, amazing props, flowers, table settings, and hey presto, a few days of intensive preparation and forethought produce stunning pictures to accompany posts that are thoughtfully written, peppered with witticisms and engaging anecdotes that give you a sneak peak into the author’s life, interests, and passion for cooking.  I love those blogs.

This is not one of those blogs.   This blogger still struggles with being able to time her baking and food preparation to coincide with a photo shoot that can only occur within a small window of opportunity during the course of any given day, weather permitting, so that the combination of camera and lighting won’t destroy what the naked eye can plainly see, and the other senses experience.  Breathe.  All despite some rather nifty equipment.

This blogger refuses to rent or buy fancy schmancy food photography props and doesn’t spend hours lost in homewares stores gushing over tableware and assorted knick knacks that would look just so.  She simply doesn’t have the time or the storage space at home to keep it all.  Her pantry is full of baking equipment, chocolate making gear, kilos of chocolate, shelves upon shelves of ingredients, and more chocolate …

This blogger doesn’t prepare recipes for the blog.  She just blogs them when she can, because they are worthy of being shared, at least she would dearly love to think so.  Sometimes, they’re recipes she’s been making for years, or maybe something she’s only just created and made a few times to make sure it’s fully tested, and reliably reproducable.   But she usually bakes and prepares them to be eaten, by herself, by the family, by friends, at functions … so her photo shoots are generally hurried, not always in the best light, and  largely raw and unstylised.

Her blog posts are not planned, thought through, rehearsed, or proof-read.  She simply writes what comes to mind.

But the love that goes into each recipe knows no bounds … and so it’s with gratitude to everyone who follows and supports this blog, that I’m sharing with you all, this recipe for my raspberry and chocolate financiers.

I love financiers.   Like eclairs, I sometimes dream of opening up a financiers bakery with the aim of making financiers the next big thing.  They are so wonderfully buttery and sweet, and lend themselves to infinite variations in flavour and texture.   Commercially available ones more often resemble stodgy bricks of solid almond meal, with what I can only imagine is a tonne of sugar and shortening, and have little in the way of flavour.  Worse still, they are usually served stone cold.   They are an insult to what is a classic and elegant French almond cake.

A real financier starts with butter, browned to an aromatic and nutty perfection.  Egg whites whisked to a frothy foam and nut meal, flour and sugar folded in.  The flavourings you choose to add are infinitely varied.  Fruit, nuts, chocolate, liqueur, citrus curd, caramel, spices … whatever your heart desires.  The result should be rich but light and buttery in texture.

I love these raspberry and chocolate financiers and they are one of my favourites.  Raspberry and chocolate is such a classic combination and adding a little Framboise ganache on top makes them extra special.  They have been very popular and I hope you love them too.  I wish I could share with you what the eye can see that the camera has not allowed, the wonderful aroma of these little cakes, and their delicate flavour and texture … but technology has not yet come this far.   Perhaps I can persuade you to make them instead and let me know 🙂

I’ve used a variety of chocolates to make these, all with excellent results.  Some of the best include Valrhona’s Manjari, Michel Cluizel’s Maralumi, Willie’s Cacao Madagascan 71, and Felchin’s Maracaibo Intenso 66%.   But any really good quality chocolate would be fantastic.  Enjoy!

Makes 15 standard financiers

Financiers
Ingredients
150 grams unsalted butter, cut into pieces
125 grams almond flour
85 grams plain flour
200 grams icing sugar
200 grams egg whites (6 large)
100 grams raspberries, fresh or frozen
50 grams dark chocolate or couverture, chopped into small pieces

a little extra icing sugar, for dusting

Directions
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
I used silicon moulds so had no need to grease and line them.  If you are using standard financier, muffin, or cupcake tins, brush them with some extra melted or softened butter and dust with flour.  Tap out any excess flour, and set aside.

Place the butter into a stainless steel saucepan and melt over a low heat.  Cook until the butter starts to brown and gives off a lovely nutty aroma.  When browned, remove the butter from the heat and pour in to a dish to cool.

Sift together the almond flour, plain flour, and icing sugar.  Add the raspberries and chocolate to the flour and sugar mixture and toss to coat the berries.  Whisk the egg whites until foamy.   Do not whisk until soft of stiff peaks, as you do not want to create a meringue.  Fold the dry ingredients gently in to the whisked egg whites.  Drizzle the browned butter over the mixture and fold gently into the mixture until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the 15 moulds.  Bake the financiers for about 30 minutes at 170°C, until risen and slightly golden on top.  Remove from the oven and allow the financiers to cool, in their molds.
When cooled, gently remove from the moulds, and place on a serving platter. If not using silicon moulds, gently run a flat knife around the inside edge before easing out the financiers.
Dust liberally with icing sugar to serve or lightly dust with icing sugar and pipe rosettes of Framboise Ganache on top of each financier prior to serving.

The unadorned financiers will keep for several days, stored in an airtight container, at room temperature.  If using the ganache, it is best to frost the financiers before serving.

Framboise Ganache
Ingredients
85 grams dark chocolate or couverture
150 grams cream, 35% fat
20 millilitres Framboise or Crème de Cassis
20 grams butter, at room temperature

Directions

Chop the chocolate into pieces and place in a plastic bowl, suitable for the microwave.  Microwave for about 60 seconds.  The chocolate will not be fully melted.  This step is not mandatory.   If you skip this step, chop the chocolate finely so that it will melt more easily.

Place the cream in to a small saucepan and bring to simmering point.  Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the Framboise, and gently stir with a whisk until the chocolate is melted.  Add the butter and whisk gently until smooth and shiny.

Fit a piping bag with a decorative tip and push a little of the bag into the tip to form a seal.  Fill the bag with the ganache and flatten it on a bench.  I do this to help it cool more quickly and set to a piping consistency.  In warm weather, you may need to set the bag on a tray and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so.

When the financiers are ready, dust the financiers lightly with some icing sugar.  Pipe some ganache on to each financier, and serve.

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25 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Cakes, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Fruit, Tarts & Patisserie

25 responses to “Raspberry and Chocolate Financiers

  1. I confess that I have heard of Financiers, but never knew how they looked like. Now I know, thanks to your gorgeous (yes!) pictures and recipe.
    Thank you for sharing your world, I appreciate it. And I appreciate also the spontaneity – if I may call it that – of your blog posts and images. They always are enjoyable.
    Merci beaucoup,
    Merisi

    • Thank you Merisi!
      Well, they look different depending on which financier molds you use. I love the rectangular ones but don’t have them so I use the oval shaped ones. Either way, they are delicious 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I spent the weekend freaking out over a mass of photos that just didn’t seem good enough to showcase these gorgeous little cakes. Drives me nuts even after 2 years of doing this. I should have learned my lesson by now 😀

  2. love and passion shows and you go on teasing the world with your hearth adventures. I am bookmarking this recipe

  3. I love this blogger. Even if she isn’t buying really fancy food props for me.

  4. Gladys

    Hello from Canada,
    I have just found you! Your recipes are making me quite hungry! I am suffering greatly! But I am glued to reading the instructions for these mouth watering luscious treats!

    I am so very interested in making these…they do sound spectacular! I was wondering… Could I substitute Vital Wheat Gluten Flour for the plain flour listed in the recipe? It seems to be such a small amount… I want to keep these as low carb as possible!

    I can exchange the icing sugar with home made powdered xylitol, which is my ZERO carb sweetener of choice.

    Your Framboise Ganache sounds absolutely fantastic! You have just blown me away!

    Regards,
    Gladys

    • Hi Gladys!
      I’m so glad you found me and that you love the site 🙂
      Oh those financiers are amazing!
      with regard to making them low carb, I honestly don’t know. When I make proper financiers, I don’t try to make them healthy or change them in any way, I just go all out with the butter, sugar etc 😀
      If the flour you mention is generally OK for baking in all other recipes, but particularly for lighter delicate cakes, then it is likely to work OK (I’m not familiar with it, unfortunately, so cannot comment). The alternative is to substitute the flour with more almond flour.
      If you do this, I would recommend pulsing the almond flour in a food processor until it is very fine and silky in texture. That would be low carb and probably better than other flours?

      For the xylitol, again, i have little experience with it as sugar polyols make me ill so i never use them. If you have had success in substituting xylitol for icing sugar in other applications, I assume it should be OK here too (not sure if you need to adjust quantities when substituting with sugar, it’s been a long time since my foray into the xylitol sweetener world!)

      Framboise ganache is pretty awesome 🙂 I love raspberry and chocolate.
      It’s a lovely ganache too, not hard, very creamy and lush. I hope you enjoy it!!

      • Gladys

        Good morning.
        My thoughts on the Vital Wheat Gluten Flour was that it is very high in protein and very low in carbs. I do use it to make cream puffs (pate a choux) and there is absolutely no difference in the finished baked puff… Except now they contain about 5 carbs each! and are ready to fill with whipped cream and berries!

        Xylitol is a natural sweetener… If you remember your high school chemistry… Glucose is a 6 carbon atom… Well, xylitol is a 5 carbon atom… Not calorie free but ZERO carb! It measures 1:1 just like sugar. It tastes like sugar, and is a larger crystal than sugar…. But I blend it in my Ninja blender to turn it to powder…with which a frosting can be created! I prefer it to Splenda, for this chemical contains 25 carbs per cup and I do not want to add all those carbs to my baking! I am sorry that xylitol makes you ill, it has helped me immensely!

        Sadly, many former low carb products have been changed by their producers… Take Kraft Philadelphia Cream cheese… Twelve years ago, it contained 0.5 carbs per ounce. About eight years ago the formula was changed to 1.0 carb per ounce… Today it is 1.0 carb per tablespoon. In short, what was once a fabulously low carb cheese with 4.0 carbs per 8 ounce brick now contains 16 carbs, for that same brick! a cheesecake with three bricks of cheese starts off with 48 carbs simply from the cheese…when it used to be 12! We are being ripped off by food manufacturers who lessen the quality of the products they sell to us, whilst prices soar!

        This is why I no longer use Splenda, in terms of counting carbs…it is far too expensive! Especially when adding it to a cheesecake! Because I do remember the ‘good’ old days when a cheesecake WAS low carb… I no longer bake them!

        I am also attempting to bake with whey. So far only one cookie has been perfected… An Almond Cookie… The taste and texture is perfect… You would never know it is all whey and a simple meal replacement at 0.5 carbs per generous sized cookie! This could also be turned into a peanut butter cookie….but one must hunt for the lowest possible carb count peanut butter! I have just found one with a carb count as low as almond butter! It was a long and tedious hunt!

        I will make these…I do not have a financier baking pan, until I read your recipe, I never knew one exists… May I substitute a muffin mold? I just received a kitchen scale for Christmas…so measuring will not be a problem.

        I will take notes and let you know my outcome … Mad Kitchen Scientist back at work! It is the new year… Resolution is to discover ONE new recipe a week…one that I will make again and again in years to come!

        Regards,
        Glad

      • That sounds great!
        For all my low carb recipes I use Natvia when i need a granulated sweetener. Erythriol is the only sugar polyol that seems to pass through the GI tract without any absorbption at all and therefore does not cause problems … stevia blended with it makes a good, almost calorie free and zero carb alternative.
        When creating some low carb recipes, I think you need a balance between the desire for extremly low carb counts and taste and texture. Some recipes (eg cheesecake) are much more aligned with being low carb than others.

        Some one asked me to make a low carb and low fat high protein panettone. I said sure, but it won’t be anything at all like a panettone because what makes a panettone what it is, is all that fat and carbohydrate 😀

        I’m curious to know what the high protein flour you use is made from…is it a type of lupin flour or a blend? You might love lupin flour as it is very high in protein and low in carbs. I have bought some and am going to be playing around with it for some recipe ideas.

        You can definitely use cupcake liners and muffin tins for the financiers!

        And good on you for getting a kitchen scale! Every baker should have one 🙂

        When you make your financiers, I hope you will post some pictures and tell us about it on the Facebook page. It would be fantastic if you could!

  5. Gladys

    Santa waited for the sale of the most modern sleek kitchen scale…it is as thin as a bone china plate, it takes no cupboard space as it stands vertically in the cupboard!

    Here is the info on the Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, made of wheat!

       
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size: 1 tbsp (9g)
    Servings Per Container: about 31

    Amount Per Serving

    Calories 35 Calories from Fat 0

    % Daily Value*

    Total Fat 0g 0%

      Saturated Fat 0g 0%

      Trans Fat 0g  

    Cholesterol 0mg 0%

    Sodium 0mg 0%

    Potassium 5mg 0%

    Total Carb. 3g 1%

      Dietary Fiber 0g 0%

      Sugars 0g  

    Protein 5g  

    Vitamin A 0% • Vitamin C 0%

    Calcium 0% • Iron 2%

    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

      Calories: 2,000 2,500

    Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
      Sat Fat Less than 20g 25g
    Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg
    Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
      Dietary Fiber 25g 30g

    The most accurate information is always on the label on the actual product. We periodically update our labels based on new nutritional analysis to verify natural variations from crop to crop and at times formula revisions. The website does not necessarily get updated at the same time. The values on the website are intended to be a general guide to consumers. For absolute values, the actual label on the product at hand should be relied on.

    From Arrowhead, the brand I use!

    **********

    The sweeteners you mention are not available here in Canada… I am always on the lookout for something new to try!

    Good Stevia is also hard to find… The only ones I have purchased taste so awful that I do not want to use the packets. It is not sweet at all! Your Natvia is not sold here… I wish it was.

    You are absolutely correct… I do not want my low carb baking to taste different or have a different texture than baked goods full of sugar and flour! And that is indeed difficult sometimes!
    And I understand your panettone quandary completely!

    I do not embrace a facebook account and have no knowledge of how to post a photo with its realm. A techie I AM not! Also using this quite useless iPad… There is no ability to learn, for an iPad does not perform that task! ( iPad = junk = waste of
    money! )

    But I will report back on the outcome of this baking adventure, to be sure!

    And perhaps you may be interested to publish the low carb results… Should they be delicious!

    Regards,
    Glad

    • Gladys, I would steer clear of that flour in my own baking for two reasons: it is a wheat flour and so I can’t have it, as it contains fructans plus there is a great deal of processing and mucking about to essentially change the nature of wheat flour to make it low carb. My preference would be to use naturally lower carb flours in my baking such as coconut, almond/nuts, and lupin etc.

      But I’m curious to see how it all turns out. Please know that they won’t be quite the same especially as the xylitol acts differently in baked goods to sugar (as you well know) and so the result will be different in both texture and flavour.

      Feel free to email me with your results, Gladys and if you are happy with them, I am more than happy to share them with everyone here and on FB on your behalf!

      Looking forward to it! Kitchen adventures are the best 🙂

  6. Gladys

    I must live on another planet… Kindly, what is lupin?
    I have attempted a cocoa cake made with almond flour, however, it was grainy and tasted almonds…to MY surprise!
    I never baked that again! I was not fond of the texture.

    I have made very delicious coconut pancakes… But nothing else! I am afraid all will taste coconut! I exaggerate and enhance the coconut taste in the pancakes by adding a few drops of coconut extract! I may as well, for the faint taste is already there!

    I am not allergic to wheat… I am simply counting carbs extremely strictly… I eat 20 or less carbs a day. I do not make cream puffs more than a couple of times a year, if that, when I have company and want to impress. (Gee, who would eat them more than that?… Not me!) Today my carb count is 4 grams and I have not had dinner… Yet… New York Steak and Caesar Salad is on the menu! I make the dressing myself… All ZERO carb! it has been a great day… Ultra, ultra low carb!

    But I am looking for dessert recipes which are above average in elegance, prestige, flavour and texture…. And very low carb! Gee, I am giggling, I don’t want much…do I? In short, all I want must be a cut above! And I confess, I am a great cook… But a novice baker…poor mom, she never taught me! She was a fabulous baker and never used a recipe…ever!

    I am off to the kitchen…

    Thank you so much for your time, thoughtfulness and insight!

    Regards,
    Glad

    • Gladys, if you substitute your xylitol for the brown sugar in this recipe, it will be ultra low carb.
      I recommend that you use 100% cacao chocolate that will meet your low carb requirements, or possibly a good 99% or 85% minimum as the worst case (from a carb point of view). This cake is extremely decadent and rich and good for entertaining.

      http://chocolatechillimango.com/2011/02/20/le-400-the-chocolate-cake/

      There is also this one, however I am unsure as to whether xylitol would work well here given the structure of this cake, but you could try.
      http://chocolatechillimango.com/2011/07/21/mayan-mousse-cake-bliss/
      again you should use a higher percentage cacao chocolate to further reduce the carb content, if you wish.

      I would suggest a chocolate mousse is a simple dessert that is elegant and wonderful and naturally low carb if you use a low carb, non-sugar sweetener. As in this one: http://chocolatechillimango.com/2011/06/05/chocolate-mousse/

      Cheesecakes are another very good option of course.

      It’s actually quite easy to make very low carb desserts that can be quite special. But you just need to choose which ones to modify. My panettone example is a good one of something that is ludicrous to attempt only because it would never be close to the real thing (ie if one chooses low carb, one must reject certain foods).

      Lupin flour is made from lupin beans. It is very filling, high in protein and naturally low carb. I recommend you google the name as there are quite a few recipes for lupin bread on the internet. it’s becoming popular as a nutritious low carb addition to baking. I am not sure of its limitations as I have yet to try it myself.

      I am curious .. what did you not like about the almond flour? simply the texture or the flavour? almond flour has a neutral flavour in baking so is actually a wonderful thing to use. you should purchase a good one and I still recommend that one pulses it in a food processor until it is very fine and silky before using in cakes etc. This will give a finer texture and lighter result.

      I love making cakes, cookies and other baked goods with almond flour!

  7. Gladys

    Oh, my there are not enough words of gratitude I could possibly express herein to thank you for the links to your chocolate creations! I am speechless, and I thank you!

    I use Fry’s Cocoa in my baking… It is a Cadbury UK product… ZERO carb. Sometimes I use Lindt…85%, If I need chocolate chips. But I have never seen Valhrona for sale… Only heard its name on US airwaves.

    Although the almond flour was commercially prepared and as fine as baby powder, the resulting cake was “grainy” …maybe it was me! I confessed to you… I am not a baker! I had attempted grinding my own many moons ago… But the cuisinart produced a moderately coarse meal… Not flour! Perhaps I should try it again! I am up for suggestions! How does one substitute almond flour for wheat flour? 1:1?

    Indeed, I will google Lupin Beans…Thank you! It just may be the next low carb “wonder ingredient!” Typically, beans are high in carb… Is it a legume? The only legume I use is Eden Brand, Organic Black Soya Beans imported from Clinton, Michigan, USA. For Chili Con Carne… Very high in protein and very, very low carb. Delicious!

    Ok… I confess, I will leave you to try the Lupin Flour first…sure, go ahead, tell me about a product you have not yet tried! With my poor baking skills… I may not be the best judge of this! Not at all! You can hear me giggle, right!?

    Thank you for you care and knowledge,

    Regards,
    Glad

    • Valrhona is a specialty couverture and very expensive. They do not make a 100% chocolate bar though .. the highest is the Abinao at 85% (it is wonderful).
      For the 100% I generally use Willie’s Cacao or Pralus. The former is extremely good and comes in single origin cylinders that you can grate.

      Yes, in substituting almond flour for wheat flour, it is a 1:1 ratio for volume in general. however, depending on the recipe, you may need to adjust the moisture or fat levels in a recipe (not the financiers as the amount is so small). As almonds contain more moisture and oils, that will affect how it behaves during baking.
      It is probably best if you buy the almond flour and then grind it in the food processor in order to make it finer still as i suggested.

      I don’t know if lupin flour is a wonder low carb ingredient but it got my attention as interesting due to some very good reports about low carb breads made with lupin flour. Worth investigating, for sure 🙂

      It’s my pleasure, Glad.

      happy baking and a happy new year! 🙂

  8. Gladys

    Good morning Viviane,
    I forgot to tell you WHY I am so interested in superior baked recipes…
    My sweetheart had NEVER believed in low carb diets… Believing the HYPE that they are not healthy…bad for your kidneys…etc… Which is they info nutritionists seem to promote, if you ask me, it because they believe their jobs may be on the line…if they do promote a low carb lifestyle!

    As a matter of fact, he and I have been separated by HIS employment for a tew months. The very week he left, when he called, the first words out of his mouth…was “do not go on a high protein diet, please!” I did not disclose I had already begun! A few ladies here in my condo building all embarked the same week (by chance) on different diets… I knew this was the catalyst I needed to compare the low carb results with someone on 500 calories MD supervised with daily shots! (cost $855. For two months!)

    For the first time in my life I ate three times a day… Counting carbs… Religiously…. My girlfriend did not know I was watching her… I did not do anything extraordinary … I walked about an hour a day… At the end of two months… I had lost 25 pounds. She starved on 500 calories… And lost 15 pounds. By the end of the third month I had lost 30! Then had a chance to see my sweetheart … I got all dolled up…wore a new suit, and had my hair cut and restyled…and HIS eyes popped out of his head when he saw me!

    Then my best girlfriend, in Toronto was ordered to see a new MD. She is severe diabetic, and suffers from other serious overlapping ailments. Dr. Poon, put her on a diet…that cures diabetes. HE is, his MOTHER is, and SISTER is diabetic…and he cures the disease with diet…a low carb diet… 20 grams of carbs a day, max. And he takes his patients off insulin…. Completely. Dr. Poon is on the web, anyone can read about him!

    So, my sweetheart, hearing this, and seeing what I have done in such a little time, is now believing. He wants to eat like this but is very afraid that there will be nothing SWEET to enjoy… I have set out to prove that there are lots of “goodies” but until now have simply not bothered… and my guy loves to eat… Every three hours… Even midnight and 3 a.m. If he is up! So it is my mission to change our household and embrace this lifestyle completely. Ten, years ago or more, the sweeteners were not available, the almond, and coconut flours were a mystery…the low carb world has evolved and progressed…for the better!

    Ah, the Financiers… I baked a batch… What an experience to weigh ingredients…I was having fun! The ingredients combine so easily… And I used silicone muffin forms … Popped them into oven…and not until they had baked and I took the pan out of the oven did I realize that …. Ooops, I had forgotten the raspberries! I laughed at my silliness…I laughed so hard I was in pain, doubled over crying! However, the fruitless baked muffin was truly superb! Now I can imagine how delicious it may be with fruit! (I hope you are heartily laughing by now!) This said, I KNOW this will win my sweetheart’s heart and Valentine’s day IS coming! Plus convert him to better health!

    For this I thank you!

    Resolution is to discover at least ONE new recipe a week… Being either dessert or main course…to add to my repertoire!

    Happy new year!
    Glad

  9. Gladys

    Ok…a coconut protein bread!!! Sounds delicious! When are you posting this lusciousness? My sweetheart loves the Financiers even without the fruit… Which means it was truly delicious! So imagine how over the top it will be without the fruit!?

    I am not eating bread of any kind at the moment… This would be a pleasure and a treat!

    Thanks,
    Regards,
    Glad

  10. Eva

    this looks amazingly delicious….yum.

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