By Ian Farrell
SAN FRANCISCO, 9 FEBRUARY 2010 Considering current banking
circumstances, its hard to imagine that something sweet and modest could
ever have been named in honor of financiers. But master pastry
chef Ian Farrell shares with us his recipe for just such a
Le Financier is a traditional French tea cake similar to a
sponge but made with almonds and brown butter. It was created for the
financiers on the floor of the Paris stock exchange as a little snack.
It's a dry cake so they wouldn't get their hands sticky while working.
Another theory is that it is named after the traditional rectangular
shape which looks like a bar of gold.
Ian Farrell: Chocolate Fiancier
Photo: Josephine Leung
almond flour with the skin
all purpose flour
brown butter, melted
Combine all sifted dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Add egg whites and vanilla.
Stir in melted brown butter.
Stir in honey.
Spray desired mold with baking non-stick spray. Pipe
mix into molds filling two thirds full.
Bake @ 350 F for 25-30 mins without convection.
To make brown butter, melt 7 ounces of butter in a pot.
Continue to boil butter being careful not to let it boil over. It will
froth up and gradually start to brown. Lower heat to medium and cook the
butter to a deep brown color. Take off heat. Remove froth from the top
and carefully spoon the liquid butter into another bowl. Discard the
brown pieces in the bottom of the pot. You can use it straight away or
keep it in the refrigerator like regular butter until
1/2 vanilla pod
(or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
3 sheets gelatin
Soak gelatin leaves in 2 cups of water for about 5
minutes. When softened, remove from the water and place in a small
Place sugar in a pot and add enough water to make a
thick paste. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down the sides of the pan.
Cook over a high heat until it caramelizes and turns a deep amber
Remove from heat and very carefully add cream
slowly. When cream is added, return to a boil stirring constantly to
dissolve any caramel.
Remove from heat and add butter. Allow to melt.
Whisk in gelatin.
Line a baking pan with plastic wrap and strain
toffee onto the pan. It should be about a 1/4 inch thick.
Allow to set for 2 - 3 hours in cooler.
Star Anise Poached Asian
1/2 vanilla bean cut crossways in half
3 medium size asian pears peeled, quartered and
Combine sugar, 2 tablespoons water, star anise,
cloves, cinnamon stick and vanilla in a large pot. Stir over low heat
until sugar dissolves and then continue to cook over high heat until it
begins to caramelize and turn to a brown color. Take off heat. Being very
careful, add remaining water slowly and return to a simmer.
Add pears and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes
turning pears once during this time.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a bowl.
Boil syrup on a high heat until thick and syrupy. Pour over pears and
allow to cool for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Place Financier cake on a plate. Cut toffee into
desired shape with a knife or cookie cutter and place on top of the cake.
Chop pears into large pieces and place on plate. Pour a little syrup onto
the pears. Serve with a little vanilla ice cream and finish with some
cocoa nibs or a chocolate cocoa nib tuile.
A native of Kilkenny, Ireland, Ian Farrell
is Executive Pastry Chef at Oracle Corporation where he turns out a line
of cakes, pastries and signature truffles for the software
giant's campus cafes, French- style patisserie and executive dining
rooms. Chef Farrell also offers classes throughout the year on baking
and chocolate making.
BOOK TIP: All titles are chosen by
the editors as being of interest to Culturekiosque readers.
Written by Paule Cuvelier
and Cathy Selena (contributor)
Photographs and styling by Natacha
Hardcover: 2 Volumes, 192
ISBN: 978-2-08-030055-3 (2-08-030055-5)
CAN Price: $36.00
Volume 1 of this elegant 2-volume work, The
History of Chocolate, documents how the discovery and
cultivation of the cocoa bean among the pre-Columbian Aztecs and Mayans
developed both as a drink and a form of currency.
"When Hernan Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City) a
rabbit cost ten cocoa beans, while a slave was worth a hundred...The
most ancient calendar inscriptions record the exchange value of cocoa
beans. To be a banker at that time was one of the most coveted positions
Cocoa's subsequent transformation into a valuable
commodity led to the establishment of Europes finest chocolate houses and
its acceptance at all levels of society.
The second volume, The Taste of Chocolate,
is devoted to the appreciation of chocolate and includes tips on the
optimal conditions to savor it and how to find suitable pairings, whether
fruit, cheese, wine or spices. It also explains the terms used by the
professionals defining garniture, couverture, or
ganache, for example and the specialist techniques used in
preparing the basic material into fine confectionary.
Fall of Lehman
The Treasures of the
Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya
Splendour of the Medici Art and Life in Renaissance Florence
Mural at San Bartolo, Guatemala Tell Story of Myths and Kings
Preclassic Maya City Discovered in
Archaeologists Discover Ancient
Maya Masterpieces While Excavating a Sacred Ball Court in Guatemala
Treasures of Sacred Maya
The Tomb of the Red Queen: