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Master Financier from Sherry Yard (Spago)

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Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Master Financier from Sherry Yard (Spago) Reply with quote

Here's is Sherry Yard's master recipe for a financier. Sherry is pastry chef at Spago. Her recipes have wonderful flavor and easy to follow. In her book The Secrets of Baking she takes a tutorial approach in which she teaches a basic recipe and then variations on it.

Her note: Once you make this cake, you'll see why I love it so much. It's very nice served on it's own, or with fruit.
If you are baking it in a standard pan, coat the pan lightly with pan spray and line it with parchment, cut to fit the bottom of the pan exactly. A final, light coat of pan spray on the paper helps to keep it from sticking to the finished cake. If you are using an intricately shaped pan, such as a fluted mold, a layer of parchment paper is not possible. In that case, a light dusting of flour over the pan spray will do the trick. Place a tablespoon or two of flour in the sprayed mold, swirl it around to coat the entire surface, then tap out the excess.
It is important that the butter not be too hot when you add it to the batter. It needs to cool at room temperature, but it must remain liquid. If it's hot, your cake will be gooey or clumpy. Melt and brown it about 30 minutes before you begin, so that it will cool sufficiently.

Master Financier

• 1/2 pound unsalted butter
• 1 1/4 almond flour or almond meal
• 3/4 cup cake flour
• 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 8 large egg whites, at room temperature

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the solids separate and brown to a dark golden color, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool at room temperature until it reaches 70 degrees F, about 30 minutes. Don't chill it. It needs to remain in liquid form — but it also can't be hot when you add it to the other ingredients. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Spray a 10-x-2-inch round cake pan with pan spray, line it with a piece of parchment paper, then coat the paper lightly with pan spray.

Toast 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the almond flour in a small baking dish in the oven for 5 t0 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Sift together the toasted and untoasted almond flour, cake flour and powdered sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a large bowl and a hand mixer. Turn the machine on low and mix the dry ingredients for 30 seconds. Add the egg whites all at once and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Add the melted butter all at once. Be sure to scrape in all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Mix for 3 minutes on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl well (butter tends to sink to the bottom). Financier batter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. When using refrigerated batter, be sure to bring it back to room temperature, then stir the entire mixture from the bottom up to the top to reincorporate any butter that might have separated and sunk to the bottom. Beat the batter by hand or with a mixer to warm it up and mix it well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the cake for even browning and bake for 15 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then invert it onto a rack, remove the cake pan and parchment, and cool completely before serving. Wrapped airtight, financier will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.
God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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