Friday, January 9, 2009

Six Words: "A Few of my Favorite Things" - Hazelnut Financiers

Finally. It's taken me too long. Feels forever ago that Lucy tagged me for the Six Words Meme, where you condense a description of yourself to just six words. Actually, I can distill it down to one: rather than wrestle with the other five, I've spun the meme to highlight A Few of my Favorite Things. Six, to be exact. Perhaps some of them are yours, too.

Antique French Lace
Belgian Lace

Beethoven Sonatas for Piano
German Music

Stone Flower Pot
Italian Pottery

A Good English Soap
English Soap

Darjeeling Tea
Indian Tea

Tea and Financier
And a French Financier to go with it

Hazelnut Financiers (Financiers Aux Noisettes) - Slightly adapted from Patricia Wells' recipe from her Bistro Cooking, page 230, and online here


1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup ground hazelnuts* (also known as hazelnut flour or meal)
1/2 cup cake flour
6 large unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled in a small saucepan
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Sift powdered sugar, hazelnuts and flour into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour in egg whites, beating with the whisk or a large spoon until they are well mixed. The batter will be wetter than you'd expect, moderately thick and slightly elastic. Pour in melted butter and stir until smoothly blended without any butter separating from the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.

Fill well-greased, small and shallow metal molds (financier, barquette, madeleine or mini muffin) almost to the rim with batter. Support the filled molds on a heavy baking sheet before placing on center oven rack to bake for 7 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and continue baking another 7 minutes. Turn off heat to let them set in cooling oven for a final 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn cakes out of molds as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Place them on a rack to complete cooling. Serve plain or decorated with powdered sugar or a drizzle of melted chocolate. Makes 16-18 petits fours, depending on size of molds. Store in a tightly sealed tin or plastic container. They keep beautifully, if you can keep your hands off them. --

* Ground hazelnuts can often be found in health food stores and metropolitan supermarkets. You can also grind your own in a food processor or blender, but take care not to grind too long or the result could be nut butter rather than a fine, yet gritty meal. Grinding in small batches allows for better control.

Hazelnut Financiers
Baked in traditional financier bullion molds.

Fluted Hazelnut Financier
This post is for Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen Experiments, creator and host of Bookmarked Recipes, the weekly event that highlights recipes we've noted to try from periodicals, cookbooks, TV shows and blogs.

If you'd like to be tagged for this meme, please leave me a comment. I'll be glad to amend this post with a link to you.


  1. Delicate and absolutely perfect. You're a star.

  2. A beautiful international collection of favorite things finished by a subtly sweet treat. Wells' Financiers look like a terrific way to use up leftover egg whites. Susan, I hope you have a wonderful 2009!

  3. Ha nice post! Great photos and amazing financiers . These look awesome !

  4. Your pictures are stunning and your taste is so very elegant. I feel positively uncouth in comparison!

  5. The belgian lace looks great, adn I love Indian tea too:). The financiers look tasty too!

  6. Am going over to Lucy's to check out the meme rules but whatever they are, your post is beautiful.

    If food blogging hadn't revealed to me earlier that financiers were the name of a biscuit, I'd have wondered if Scott was having competition, at the sight of the headline. In any case, flesh-and-blood financiers, French or otherwise, of hazelnut or not, are hardly the flavour of the season!!!

  7. Brilliant take on the list--I love the photos that go with it. And the Financiers remind me of Madelines. Are they closer to a cookie rather than a cake? Or is it mostly the type of pan?

  8. Stunning pics, Susan!

    A very happy 2009 to you and your family!

  9. Your favorite things are some of mine. The finaciers sound divine. I will try them in my fluted molds too.

  10. What a great start to the new year! The photos are spectacular--and such lovely choices! The financiers look great, too, of course (but I think I like the cup and saucer more) ;)

  11. What a good way to do a meme, I never know what to say.

  12. I love the barquette mold! I have already bookmarked this post. That is so interesting that you like Italian pottery. My favorite kind is the bucchero. Your photos are lovely, very evocative.

  13. That's a lovely meme with beautiful pictures.
    I've always wondered why they're called financiers.
    And would you know what barquette molds are meant to be used for?
    I have a dozen with me. :)

  14. Six things in images and thoughts. Well you see, I would have said 'complex' about you too (and some other rather lovely words, too). But one word is, sometimes, more than enough.

    Thing I love about a meme such as this is that there's room for interpretation. As there invariably is when one is restricted. Why is that, I wonder?

    English Soap, eh? Must rootle around here and see if I can find an Australian one to top it (though, I do suspect that the Brits have soap down pat!).

    Thanks. It's fun, this one.

  15. Great photos! This was such a fun and interesting post to read.

  16. Hi...Nice blog...Wonderful pictures and nice explanation.

  17. OMG, Susan, you are amazing... I haven't visited in a while, but each time I do, my jaw drops at your photos and my mouth waters from your recipes.

  18. What gorgeous photos! These Financiers look really delicious!



  19. Can't decide if the cookies, the writing or the recipe has been drooling the most. Glad I saw Kayln tweet about this!

  20. Nice pics! And wud love some financiers with my tea.

  21. Impressively done! Those are beautiful. We'll take a dozen.

  22. Your favorite things are simply beautiful What a lovely post.

  23. beautiful post as usual and a wonderful way to do a meme!

  24. Yup, you win the award for impeccible taste. I love your favourite things.

  25. You love such beautiful things. Loved that name "hazelnut financier"

  26. I love traditionally shaped financiers. So low key but surprisingly complex and delicious.

  27. Dragon - Thanks. You are so sweet.

    Thanks, Laurie! So true. I hate to waste one part of an egg or the other.

    Snooky Doodle - Thanks so much.

    Wendy - Thanks very much! Uncouth, you? Nay. I'd give anything to hike the wild country of Scotland. Outposts are my ideal. These favorites of mine are just one side of me.

    Harini - Thank you! That lace is an antique wedding gown which I wound up not wearing b/c I couldn't find a suitable lining for it.

    Hey, Sra! Thanks. No, not a good time to be dealing with cash these days; hazelnut financiers are probably richer than the average banker!

    Thanks, Ruhama! Financiers are very much like madeleines, but they have a distinctive denser texture with a chewy crust and do not "hump" when baked. They are not supposed to rise much at all. They are technically little cakes. Both cakes are baked in tiny traditional tins unique to their origins, although there's room to adapt.

    Hi, TBC! Good to see you. Happy New Year! Thanks so much.

    Thanks, Courtney. They are divine. The fluted molds work perfectly.

    Ricki - Thanks! The cup and sauce will never derail your diet. : D

    Hi, Holler! Thanks. I have trouble, too, sometimes.

    Thanks, Simona. I am a sucker for bas relief. What better pleasure than the wonders of Italian sculpture? Hope you enjoy the financiers; they are very easy and exquisite.

    Hello, Aparna. Thank you very much. They are called financiers because they are as rich as bankers. Barquette molds are used for miniature cakes and tarts of all kinds.

    Lucy - Thanks always, dear girl. I like (need) the freedom of interpretation where there is wiggle room.

    Thank you, Maris!

    Welcome, Anu! Thanks for your kind words. Good to see you.

    Hi, Toni! Thanks so much. Good to see you. Visit when you can - linger as long as you like. : )

    Welcome, Tea! Thank you very much. I'm glad for your visit.

    Hi, Maggie! Thank you!

    Thanks, Rosa! Very sweet of you. : }

    FJK - Welcome! Thanks so much for the kudos. Kalyn tweeted this? I am more than flattered. Thanks for passing that on and visiting here. : )

    Jyothsna - Thanks. I prefer financiers with tea rather than coffee - a nice, strong cuppa black without sugar or cream.

    Welcome, Duo Dishes! Thank you very much. Good to see you.

    Lori Lynn - Thank you. Hardest part was zeroing in on a select few. I love too many things. ; }

    Dear Nanditha - Thank you. So good to see you again.

    Hi, Giz. Thanks. I like French fries from Burger King, too, but no one believes me. :D

    Thank you, Sandeepa. I love a lot, truth be told. There are many things that make me happy, and they are not all traditionally beautiful and elegant. So good to see you.

  28. love the little peek into your fave things and the lovely photos that go along... what delicious looking financiers :)

  29. Hi Susan
    Guess this is my first time here. U have a lovely space. I am sure that I am gonna visit u often.

    Lovely clicks! I enjoyed seeing the pics of each n every post.

  30. Amazing pictures, Susan. The 'French Financiers' look perfect! I have not heard of them before, nor had them, but your picture makes me want to have a bite...Have an awesome 2009...

  31. I loved the photos---and your interpretation of the meme!!

  32. 3 out of your six are my favourites too but I am not tell which :)

  33. By now, this is my favorite of your post, lovely pictures :)

  34. Glorious photos - what lens are you using, if you don't mind my asking?

    Financiers are wonderful - I'm glad to have discovered them! And the Emperor Concerto is one of my all-time top 3 pieces of classical music :)

  35. I'm not really a cookie person but I must admit those financiers have me yearning.

  36. Please excuse me for commenting so late. I came here from your B&W shot of the teapot for your beautiful tea service.

    Wow. Yes, indeed. Even though I haven't yet tried the financiers, all six of those things are my favourites as well. And you photographed them beautifully.