Financier aka. Friand

Fancy-shmancy
Fancy-shmancy

Hi there!

Well, I’m here again… sorry for the delay , I’ve been experiencing troubles with my connections, but all is sorted and ready.

Last week during my “coffee and magazine time”, I came across an interesting article about a nice little cake called Financier.

The article contained a recipe and it was quite easy , so I prepared it , just to try how it will taste and go with fresh fruit and all sorts of things I eat on a regular basis.

Everything was fine, cake butter done , baking time finished … and out of the oven came a familiar fragrance…

That was the moment when I realized , I was baking friands….

With fresh fruit
With fresh fruit

During my life I’ve lived in many places, but my second home is always be Australia. There I encountered many culinary experiences , many different tastes and methods, but after all these years I just found out that Financier and Friand are the same.

A financier is a small French cake, often mistaken for a pastry. The financier is light and moist, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond flour, crushed or ground almonds, or almond flavoring. The distinctive feature of the recipe is beurre noisette (brown butter). Other ingredients include egg whites, flour, and powdered sugar. Financiers are baked in shaped molds, usually small rectangular loaves similar in size to petits fours  , often topped with fruit jam or dark chocolate squares. .

The name financier is said to derive from the traditional rectangular

Easy , yet amazing!
Easy , yet amazing!

mold, which resembles a bar of gold. Another theory says that the cake became popular in the financial district of Paris surrounding the Paris stock exchange.

The French word friand, which means dainty or a gourmet who delights in delicate tastes, refers as well to minced meat and herbs in puff pastry, a food item unrelated to the baked items called friand or financier.

Friand is very popular across Australia and New-Zealand.

I hope you found my words interesting.

Now , I’ll write down the recipe so you can all try it at home!

Endless possibilities
Endless possibilities

Financier recipe:

Makes 30

50g butter plus extra for greasing

50g plain flour plus extra for dusting

140g ground almonds

160g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

6 egg whites, at room temperature

50g blueberries, washed and dried

Butter 30 x 6cm (21/2 in) financier tins, dust lightly with flour and chill in the fridge until needed.

Gently heat the butter in a small pan over a medium heat until it turns a dark golden brown, then immediately remove from the heat.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl then stir in the egg whites.

Gradually stir in the hot butter until you have a smooth batter. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

Spoon the batter into the chilled tins until they are three quarters full, then pop a few blueberries into each one. Bake for 10–12 minutes until firm and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and dust with icing sugar to serve.

In every season...
In every season…

Good luck! 🙂

Till next time!

Hanna

Mochi Mochi!

Traditional Mochi
Traditional Mochi

Another week passed by, and I found something interesting to share with you All.

I was strolling up-down on the High Street not far from my place and I thought I’ll try something different and eat Japanese for a change.

I had my favorite Takoyaki and some Katsu Curry…but while I was choosing and having a look around I found Mochi…

This wasn’t my first encounter with it but I completely forgot about it. It was like seeing an old friend…

Let me tell you all about Mochi!

Mochi  is Japanese rice cake  , made of a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.

Hmm...
Hmm…

Mochi is a multicomponent food consisting of polysaccharides, lipids, protein and water. Mochi has a heterogeneous structure of amylopectin gel, starch grains and air bubbles.This rice is characterized by its lack of amylose in starch and is derived from short or medium japonica rices. The protein concentration of the rice is a bit higher than normal short-grain rice and the two also differ in amylose content. In mochi rice, the amylose content is negligible which results in the soft gel consistency of mochi.

Okay… enough of the science , let’s continue with how Mochi is actually made:

Cuties
Cuties

Traditionally, mochi was made from whole rice, in a labor-intensive process.

The traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan is Mochitsuki:

  1. Polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and cooked.
  2. The cooked rice is pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (called usu).Two people will alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. They must keep a steady rhythm or they may accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.
  3. The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes.
Ichigo daifuku - with a whole strawberry inside
Ichigo daifuku – with a whole strawberry inside

Mochi can also be prepared from a flour of sweet rice (mochiko). The flour is mixed with water to a sticky opaque white mass that is cooked on the stove-top or in the microwave until it becomes elastic and slightly transparent.

Many types of traditional wagashi and mochigashi (Japanese traditional sweets) are made with mochi. For example, daifuku is a soft round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, such as sweetened red bean paste (an) or white bean paste (shiro an). Ichigo daifuku is a version containing a whole strawberry inside.

Kusa mochi
Kusa mochi

Kusa mochi is a green variety of mochi flavored with yomogi (mugwort). When daifuku is made with kusa mochi, it is called yomogi daifuku.

Mochi not only used for cakes , it can be also made into an ice cream and soup as well.

I hope you enjoyed your meeting with my old friend Mochi.

I promise we will meet more often! 🙂

Till next time everyone!

Hanna