Citizens – behold today’s recipe for a classic recipe of the French canon and a personal favorite of the mighty TFD!
Financiers (formerly known as a visitandine) are a small French almond cake, flavored with beurre noisette, usually baked in a small mold.
Light and moist with a crisp, eggshell-like exterior, financiers also traditionally contain egg whites, flour, and powdered sugar. The molds are usually small rectangular loaves similar in size to petits fours.
The name financier is said to derive from the traditional rectangular mold, which resembles a bar of gold. According to another tradition, the cake became popular in the financial district of Paris surrounding the Paris stock exchange, as the cake could easily be stored in the pocket for long periods without being damaged.
As noted on completefrance.com:
A version of the financier has existed since the Middle Ages, when it was known as the visitandine, after the order of nuns in Nancy and Lorraine who prepared a small round cake with egg whites, butter and almond. The visitandine fell out of fashion after the Renaissance, however, at the end of the 19th century the pâtissier Lasne, who set up shop next to the Bourse, the Paris stock exchange, resurrected the recipe. To please his banking clients, he changed the shape to that of an ingot and renamed the golden cake ‘financier’.
Tips for the perfect financier:
The almonds should be ground very finely and sifted to give the cake a delicate crumb; some pastry chefs toast the almond powder to give a deeper flavour.
Icing sugar adds to the melt-in-the-mouth texture.
My Citizens, this recipe from the unmatched chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin is one that is well worthy of you and one that I could not hope to improve upon – I hope you will enjoy this sweet treat as much as I do.
Battle on – The Generalissimo