When I was in Paris last month I fulfilled a dream a bought myself financier moulds. I already own a silicon financier mould but I wanted to have sturdy financier moulds made out of stainless steel. I was on the hunt for those financier moulds for a very long time but it was impossible to find them anywhere in Germany. As you can imagine I was very happy when I purchased stainless steel financier moulds in Paris.
Every time it is a special moment when I use a new cake mould for the first time and I am always a tiny bit nervous since I am never sure if I will like the new cake mould. So when I used my new financier moulds for the first time I was nervous but I was excited at the same time. I created a hazelnut chocolate recipe for the inauguration of my new financier moulds and I could not be happier with the result. Traditionally financiers are made with almond flour but I used hazelnut flour instead and I added praline chocolate to the batter as well. This combination is a dream team. I like my hazelnut creation even better than traditional financier that are made with almond flour. The financiers are incredible moist and the nutty aroma harmonizes beautiful with the praline chocolate.
I am also very, very happy with the financier moulds and finally I can make financiers that look exactly the same as in French bakeries.
By the way, the rectangular shape of the financiers resemble a gold bar. There is a legend that the financiers were sold in a Parisian bakery, which was located in the financial district, for the first time at the end of the 19th century. The baker Pierre Lucam of this bakery supposedly paid homage to the bankers who often visited his bakery and bought these little cakes and named them for this reason financiers.I was inspired using hazelnut and praline chocolate as ingredients by the little cake named "Neptune" from the Parisian pastry store Stohrer. This particular cake is made of a chocolate mousse, a hazelnut core and the cake is covered with a praline chocolate glaze ( I have seen this flavor combination in other Parisian pastry stores as well). The cake was so incredible delicious and because of this cake I got a new appreciation for hazelnuts and I want to use hazelnuts more often as an ingredient in baking. Of course I also want to recreate the "Neptune" cake from the Stohrer patisserie. I like almonds a lot, I use it often in baking and I also like to snack on almonds but hazelnuts were never on my mind but this has changed since my last visit to Paris. Hazelnuts have such a wonderful aroma, in particular when they are roasted. It takes a little bit of time and effort roasting and skinning the nuts but it is worth it. You will be rewarded by the seductive hazelnut aroma and taste.
NOTE: Of course you do not need to own financier moulds in order to make this delicious little cakes. You can use a muffin tin or other little moulds as well. Just make sure that you do not fill the batter high. Financiers are very flat, about 1 cm / 0.4 inch high.
Financier moulds come in all different kind of sizes. The financier moulds that I used for this particular recipe have the following measurements: length: 8.5 cm / 3.3 inches, width: 4.5 cm / 1.8 inches, height: 1 cm / 0.4 inch.
Makes 10 financiers, see my note above
- 60 g / 3/8 cup hazelnuts
- 65 g / 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 55 g / 7 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- 20 g / 3 tablespoons pastry flour, sifted
- 60 g / 2 (medium sized eggs) egg white
- 45 g / 1 1/2 ounces praline chocolate, cut into small cubes
- Powdered sugar, for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 150 °C / 300 °F.
- Place the hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast the hazelnuts for 20 to 25 minutes until the nuts are lightly golden color and the skin of the nuts are blistered.
- You can also roast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan (do not add oil) over medium heat and stir constantly, so you do not burn the nuts.
- Place the nuts in a kitchen towel and remove the loose skins by rubbing against the towel. Do not worry if the skin does not come off of all nuts completely; it does not have to be perfect. Set 15 hazelnuts aside for the decoration. Cut these hazelnuts into halves.
- When the hazelnuts are completely cooled grind the remaining roasted hazelnuts.
- Switch the oven to 180 °C / 355 °F.
- Butter and flour financier moulds or a muffin tin.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and heat the butter until it turns into a golden brown color and develops a nutty flavor. Set the butter aside and let it cool.
- Mix ground hazelnuts, powdered sugar, pastry flour and chocolate cubes in a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle.
- Whisk the egg whites lightly until light foam. Add the egg whites to the well of the hazelnut mixture and stir until combined.
- Add little by little the melted butter to the mixture and mix well.
- Fill the batter into the financier moulds. Decorate each financier with three hazelnut halves (see my photos above).
- Bake the financiers for 6 to 8 minutes. Let the little cakes cool completely, remove the moulds.
- Sprinkle each financier with powdered sugar.
- Store the financiers in an air tight container or cookie tin up to a week.
- Bon Appétit!