Saturday, February 13, 2010

Raspberry-Almond Financiers

Tomorrow, around 1.3 billion Chinese from around the world usher in the most important event of the Lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year. Let me take this opportunity to wish all my Chinese friends and readers:

恭喜发财, 万事如意!

May the Year of the Tiger bring good fortune to all of you!

As a last minute thought, I decided to bake some Financiers for prosperity and good fortune. Nothing like celebrating CNY with some edible "gold bars", don't you think?

"A financier is a ... light teacake, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond flour, crushed or ground almonds, or almond flavoring. The basis of the cake itself is beurre noisette (brown butter), egg whites, powdered sugar and flour. The name "financier" is said to derive from the traditional rectangular mold, which resembles a bar of gold. (Wikipedia)

But wait, let's not forget Valentine's Day, which is all about love, hearts and romance. Again, let me wish all my friends and readers a year filled with love and happiness! What is wealth and abundance if you don't have love?

So, I was randomly surfing for a Financier recipe when I came across these Raspberry-Almond Financiers at Martha Stewart's. Oh, perfect! They are befitting of both occasions.

As you can see, I made two versions - a gold bar for prosperity, and a few bébé ones with hand drawn hearts for love.

I watched these Financier cupcakes instantly transform before my eyes. From ordinary to extraordinary. All with a dollop of jam. I also watched my bébé Financiers instantly disappear before my eyes.

Now you see it ...

... now you don't! ;) Not bad eh? I was carrying him and taking photos at the same time. Mommies are amazing multitaskers. :)

One thing about this recipe though, is that it didn't yield a light teacake. In fact, the texture was quite dense. Are they supposed to be airy like sponge cakes? How is that possible without leavening agents and/or prolonged beating of the eggs? There was also no "dome", which I see in other Financiers. Ah well, it was my first time making and eating these, so I didn't quite know what to expect. Next time, I will try out the Green Tea Financiers from Shirley's blog. Her version looks so much more like the light teacakes as described in Wikipedia. :)

Still, I got my "gold bars" and sweethearts. :) What more can I ask for?

(from Martha Stewart)
Makes 45

- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 cups sliced blanched almonds (6 1/2 ounces), lightly toasted and finely ground (I used ready ground almonds)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), pureed and strained (1/2 cup) (I used jam instead)

1. Preheat oven to 170 degree celsius. Coat mini muffin tins with cooking spray, or line with muffin cups like I did.

2. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add honey, and whisk until combined. Remove from heat.

3. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine almonds, sugars, flour, and salt on low speed. Raise speed to medium-high, and add egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low, and add warm butter-honey mixture in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to high, and beat for 45 seconds.

4. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each halfway. Spoon a scant 1/2 teaspoon raspberry puree near one edge of each cup. Draw a skewer or the tip of a paring knife through puree toward opposite edge of cup to form a heart shape.
* I omitted the raspberry puree. Instead I sent the batter straight into the oven for baking.

5. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in tins on wire racks. Using a small offset spatula, carefully unmold financiers, and transfer to rack. Financiers are best served warm or the same day they are baked, but they can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 days. If desired, serve or package financiers in decorative paper liners.
* As soon as the Financiers were baked, I allowed them to cool. Make sure they are really cool before you decorate them. Warm up some raspberry jam (any jam you like, actually) so that it liquifies. Gently drop a small dollop onto a Financier, and with the blade of a butter knife, coax the jam into a heart shape. When the jam cools, the shape will set. Don't use too much jam and you'll do fine.

Love or money? Why, have both!


  1. Hi Ju,
    The heart is so pretty! It stands out in the little cup. Happy lunar new year and Valentine's Day to you and your family!
    Your boy(?) is so adorable! :)

  2. Thanks, Jane! 恭喜发财 to you and all at home! :) Yes, that's my son. My youngest. :)

  3. I teared up upon seeing the photo of your son! OMG!! How precious!! It makes me want to have, wait. That feeling went away again haha.

    The financiers look amazing!! Do they have a nutty taste?

  4. Ju,

    The little hearts look like rubies. Pretty.

    Have a wonderful Lunar New Year celebration.

  5. oh the hearts are so beautiful! iwas wonderign how u did it and hten I read and then I thought I was so unimaginative!! lol...of course!!! i must try thr hearts one day...n the financier looks precious! as precious as ur baby!! happy new year JU!!! n to ur family xxx zurin

  6. What a lovely way to bring Valentines Day and the New Year of the Tiger together! Happy New Year!

  7. Hi Ju, Happy New Year to you and may the year of Tiger bring you more good food, good luck and good wealth! Financiers are usually baked in boat shaped or bar shaped molds but your cup cake version looks adorable - reminds me of the Japanese Madelines. The Financier is actually a dense sponge.Spongy but not really airy. So don't worry too much. Thanks for the shout out.

  8. Happy New Year to you and your family, Ju! Your pictures are fantastic! And please don't even get me started on that cake... all I can say is, 'I want!'

  9. your cake look so cute!! Gong Hei Fatt Choy and HVD to you and family!!

  10. I will have good fortune if I could eat these tasty morsels!

    Happy Chinese New Year, Ju!

  11. wow che meraviglia!!! chissà che buoni!!! ciaoooooo

  12. I noticed the heart shaped mouth too♥Happy Happy CNY to you..may your year be blessed with everything you hope for and more.
    It's such a pleasure to know you.

    Tes financiers sont très beaux.. Bébés et grands:)

  13. Gong Xi Fa Cai! I love the heart shapes. Very cute indeed.

  14. Ju,
    Those little cakes absolutely yummy! Happy Valentine's Day to you and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  15. Hi Ju
    For a moment, I wondered how you shaped the heart shaped jam? Clever idea....using the butter knife. It is so sweet and lovely..the ribbons, plates....great pic always!

    Happy New Year and Valentine's Day.

    Love or money...I want all! Who doesn't want?


  16. Almond and raspberry are so tasty! Lovely combination and lovely cakes. HCN to you and your family!

  17. Happy Lunar New Year and have a sweet Valentine's Day!

  18. Happy New Year to you and your family!!! Light or not, these look yummy - you always manage to make everything look so mouthwatering and crave-worthy!

  19. Che meraviglia questi dolchetti, Fantastiche anche le foto.mi ero persa il post precedente , ho ammirato i piatti e con quanta maestria sono preparati. Un abbraccio Daniela.

  20. Whoa!! Little did I know financiers would make such an ideal treat this Lunar New Year & Valentine's! Killing two birds with one stone!! You're just so creative & brilliant, Ju!!

    Here's to wish you, once again, a Happy Tiger Year! Hope you're gonna have a blast this festive season!!

  21. They look so lovely and inviting!
    Happy Chinese New Year!

  22. Happy New Year :-)

    These are so pretty !

    My little boy (15 months) has already discovered cupcakes too, and can demolish a cake scarily fast !

  23. Xin nian kuai le, wan shi ru yi! :D i love those little drops of jam in the form of hearts. Very pretty! Send me some financier love my dear x

  24. Hi Ju, kong hei fatt choy to you and family. Have a great Tiger year. You stay young, stay beautiful and keep a song in your heart, Lee.

  25. They looks gorgeous - what a wonderful way to celebrate the New Year than with those delicious "gold" bars - I am sure that this will bring you lots of prosperity and love in the new year! Happy New Year to you and your family. PS Loving the heart shaped topping!

  26. 祝你虎年龙精虎猛!万事如意!情人節快乐!

  27. Happy New Year! Those financiers are beautiful!

  28. These Financiers are so appropriate for today! Happy CNY to you and your family :)

  29. happy new year to you all your relatives ;;enjoy the celebrations !! Pierre from Paris

  30. The photos are so perfect... what a lovely recipe...and model!! Happy Valentine's Day!

  31. I wish you so much things !
    An happy new year, a very nice Saint Valentine's Day and to can read your recipes every day, they are so gorgeous !

  32. happy cny and valentine's to you too!

  33. What great photos of your family... Enjoy the day and have a great New year!

  34. WOW! They look AMAZING -- dome or no dome. And the little one is adorable. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  35. Those raspberries hearts are so cute and they look so difficult to do but good to know that they're easy! :D Happy Chinese New Year Ju! I hope it's filled with lots of luck and love!

  36. Those look so buttery and delicious and the little hearts on top are a nice touch. Happy New Yea!

  37. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy Chinese New Year, give me some financiers....

  38. Oh they look so moist and delicious!

  39. I wish you a wonderful Year of the Tiger, then, with plenty of good recipes and perfect photos ... just like last year ... ;o))

  40. Happy belated Chines new year!!

    Waw,...these little treats look amazing & so beautiful too!

    Dear ju,

    I just gave you an AWARD!! Yeah!!!

  41. So cute! I always assumed that financiers were the savory counterpart to madelines, but they sound just as good sweet!

  42. Happy Chinese New Year, Ju! You got me with the financiers, and then pulled me in hook, line and sinker with the little devouring mouth!

    Love your hearts!!


  43. Ju, what gorgeous cupcakes! I love this idea. And the photos of your son. Awww...

    Financiers here are denser than you'd expect if you call them sponge cakes. I think it's the almonds in there that do that. They're also made in small molds, which might be why they have the bulge in the center...

    Happy New Year!

  44. Wonderful hand drawn hearts!!!

    I think financiers are made in much smaller molds, something like Gradenia's twiggies.

  45. Adorable little Financier and Martha's recipe is a good one! Love the little jelly hearts too..very cool idea. I might just try it for St. Patty's Day.