Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Tuesday, 27th April 2010

The Good – Classic Blackberry Financiers, The Bad – Orange Zeppole.  The Financiers have become a new family favourite.  It will make a great addition to our Italian Wedding Cookie Tray.

It’s been quiet around the house the last two weeks, both Matt and Liana have been very busy studying. Matt for midterms and Liana for final exams. I can’t believe Liana wrote her last final exam today.  Her first year at University has flown by, where has the time gone, it seems like only yesterday she was starting junior kindergarten.

A close up photo of 3 blackberry financiers decorated with white icing sugar.

We spent most of the weekend indoors, the weather turned cool again, very windy and it rained most of Sunday.  I can’t wait for spring to finally arrive and stay for longer than a day.  I always get so anxious this time of year.  I can’t wait for the warm weather and I long for summer.  I enjoy long days spent by the pool and evenings by the fire, roasting marshmallows, reminiscing and telling stories, sharing time with family and friends.  Best of all we’ll be back to grilling! My husband did all of the grilling and it’s something I have been working to improve over the last few years.  I can finally say I grill a mean ribeye.  I love to entertain in the summer and the house tends to be full with family and friends.  Everyone tends to be out and about and it seems the impromptu get togethers always seem to be the best.

A close up photo of 4 blood oranges slices on a white plate.

I am looking forward to all the locally grown fruits and vegetables, especially berries. I’m not picky, blueberries, raspberries and my absolute favourite, strawberries.  I remember when I was carrying both of the kids, not a day went by that I didn’t eat a bowl of strawberries with extra whipped cream.

A close up photo of orange zeppoles on top of orange sugar.

Sunday was a good day to do some baking.  I wanted to try something that I had never made.  I love french pastries and I came across an article in the Times, Dining and Wine, The Pastry Chef’s Rich Little Secret, the writer, Amanda Hesser, describes “It’s a simple almond cake, leavened by egg whites, moistened with brown butter and baked into a small mold.  But such simplicity is deceiving:  the classic French pastry called the financier is exquisitely refined.  It is springy, sweet and nutty with an exterior that’s as crisp as an eggshell”.   The description reminded me of an Italian almond pastry that graces almost every wedding cookie tray.  Plus, almonds, pastry, crispy on the outside and light on the inside, how could you resist? If you have never made them, do yourself a favour and read the article (link above). Amanda points out a few key steps that could “make or break the cake”.  She also offers suggestions on what to serve with the financiers.  I look forward to making them again and adding my own little spin, not that the recipe needs any changing, these little cakes are wonderful as is.

A photo of 2 blackberry financiers on a round white plate, with a napkin off to the side and a glimpse of a small pink carnation.

I did add blackberries to the financiers just before popping them in the oven and decided to serve them with blackberry and strawberry compote and sweetened whipped cream.

A photo of 3 financiers on a white plate with 5 blackberries, and a mini pink carnation sitting on top of a white napkin.

In the article Amanda points out that the financiers are best eaten right away, apparently the texture starts to deteriorate rather quickly. I think I will debate that thought because I had more than one today and although they are not as crispy on the outside, they are still quite moist, possibly the fruit made the difference.

A close up photo of Zeppole in a white dish with a pink carnation on a white napkin.

While the financier’s batter was resting I thought I would whip up a batch of orange zeppole for the kids.  I’d been meaning to give Giada’s Orange and Chocolate Zeppole a try, unfortunately I was a little disappointed in the batter, it was very thin and runny. Using a small ice cream scoop I tried to drop the batter in the oil but it just didn’t want to form a ball.  I decided it best to put the batter in the fridge and let it firm up. After an hour or so the batter was still runny, the kids were still waiting, I decided to make the batter again and I added a little more flour.  It did the trick, it was much easier to work with.  The zeppole were very good when first out of the oil and rolled in sugar but they quickly became heavy.  This won’t be a go to recipe for me but if you’d like to give it a go, I have provided the link above.  Let me know if you have better luck!  I couldn’t fault the chocolate sauce, creamy, delicious and very easy to make.

A close up photo of Zeppole inside a pink patterned paper fold.

If you would like to see more photos you can find them in our new Image Gallery.

A little fyi, I will be back to cupcakes on Thursday, don’t miss the Chocolate Lover’s Delight, Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes.  I am still on the hunt for the perfect gourmet cupcake for my niece’s bridal shower.  The first cupcake recipe I tested was the Orange Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream, they are delicious and will be hard to beat.

A photo of 2 financiers on a white plate with a small silver spoon, with a white cup of espresso, a bowl of white cream, and a white bowl of berry compote with a white napkin on the side and a pink carnation.

A close up photo of a bowl of chocolate sauce.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Dolci alla Frutta, Dolci Fritti, Eggs, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fried Desserts, Fruit Desserts, Mini Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (5)

5 Responses to “The Good & The Bad, Blackberry Financiers & Orange Zeppole”

  1. Eddie@CulinaryStudio Says:

    Your baked goods are beautiful! I’m craving one of those financiers.

  2. Grace Says:

    Thanks Eddie, I am a little embarrassed to admit I couldn’t stop eating them, they were so good. I think I ate most myself.

  3. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Waffle Bowls & Chocolate Cups | La Mia Vita Dolce Says:

    [...] am going to bake the Blackberry Financiers over the weekend and freeze them as well.  I’ve decided to use the proper molds when baking [...]

  4. Martha Stewart's Tiny Cherry & Almond Tea Cakes Recipe | La Mia Vita Dolce Says:

    [...] out and I have always enjoyed the combination of fruit and nuts. They are quite similar to the Blackberry Financiers recipe I shared with you a while back.I made a few batches of these small tea cakes, some to enjoy [...]

  5. Gordon Ramsay's Baked Lemon Tart and Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry | La Mia Vita Dolce Says:

    [...] today, Gordon Ramsay’s Baked Lemon Tart.  I was able to use the left over egg yolks from the financiers I baked for the shower and I had some chocolate shortcrust pastry in the freezer.  I’ve [...]

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