Thursday, April 14, 2016

Teatime in Paris! - Almond Financier Teacakes

Last Thursday I had a house call from TEATIME IN PARIS cookbook author, Jill Colonna of Mad About Macarons fame.
It's not 'cos' I happened to paint the Paris pastry map endpapers, but I love this cookbook.
Jill knows all the little tips and secrets to making baking easy for idiots like moi. I can't even ice a cake, though I can paint one and eat it.
I'm making almond financiers while Jill gives instructions. First things first. Weighing out the ingredients on my balance (scale).
Only a few days later I spotted this adorable ladybug balance in Pylones window. Drool, drool.
Next up making the 'beurre noisette' (burnt butter). A few days before I overheard girls chatting in Galeries Lafayette by the Liberté pastry counter, "Oh you must taste my financiers! You must brown the butter first. Then they're divine, best ever!" Naturally I reported back to Jill only to find out we were going to do just that and the recipe is on page 31.
Jill said when the butter begins to 'chirp' it's done. Who knew?
I had big plans to add in apricot jam, honey, raspberries, lemon zest, you name it into the financiers. Hmm..
I feel if you happen to have a French whip among your kitchen whatnots you should use it. When in France. Jill said a plain old spoon would do fine to mix up the batter.
Financiers are mostly ground almonds with just a 1/4 of regular flour. Is there anything you cannot add lemon zest to? Next time I'll use two lemons (untreated please).
The batter gets to rest and cool on my roof.
Time to fill the flexipan molds. No butter required. Yay! Jill said to lose the spatula.
Drop in the dough with either a pastry bag or 2 spoons.
Jill also suggested it was not a good idea to eat the raw dough. Who says? I've been doing it since I was a kid and nothing's happened. OK, its why I don't bake much. Eating uncooked dough doesn't leave you with many financiers.
I wish I'd gotten a shot of Jill's face when I liberally threw on top the almond slivers helter skelter. Ha!
I did not have a nice flat baking pan for my teensy oven. Jill said just fold over several layers of tin foil and use as a base. Voila.
Aren't they gorge? I'd no clue I could bake but Jill's Teatime in Paris makes it easy to bake real French pastry. If I can do it so can you.
Frankly I'd recommend losing the raspberries, pretty as they are. The cakes were too moist in my opinion. Just almond slivers on top make a crunchier crust. I like the mini 'gold brick' size best. You can eat more cakes and feel less guilty.
I felt obliged to taste Angelina's financier the other day for comparison. Heavy and a tad soggy. Much easier to make them yourself using Jill's recipe!
Here's the Special Offer!
The first 5 buyers of Jill's book on Amazon get the Paris tea Salon map sent to them.
Buy the book and subscribe to the Paris letters or maps (6-12 months) and get an original watercolor of Jill's financiers + the tea map.
Next batch of almond financiers will go to Ms. Piggy who lives in a houseboat on the other side of the Seine.


Wendy said...

Your Paris map idea, started last Spring, was indeed, a great idea! The Tea Salon map I got yesterday is so full of details, with teapots, addresses, china, Bear and my personal favorites-cats!

La Table De Nana said...

I love this post! Sneak peeks into Paris baking products..the two of you..your art..
Your rooftops♥
I tell ya it doesn't get much better than this..baking in Paris w/a friend..a cookbook author/an aquarelliste.soon to be author..and the rooftops.
I agree w/ Wendy the maps are amazing.
I actually printed ou a recipe of Jill's yesterday..I'll post when I make them and thank her properly:)

La Table De Nana said...

Oh Bear..I am so sorry I left you out of my comment..shame on me.
Tu es la vedette.

The Sabbatical Chef said...

I couldn't resist the book! I hope I am one of the first five. I love to make financiers. Browning the butter is always a little scary for me. I always think I am going to burn it. I love the look of the almonds on top. Will try that next time.
Merci, Carol!

Jill @ Teatime in Paris said...

Carol, I absolutely love this post - thank you for reliving our fun baking afternoon chez toi and for all of your kind words about the book.
Oh, and I've fallen in love with that posh ladybird scale - "well spotted" (haha) although our plain ones do the job nicely. I wish I had a rooftop like yours to help with cooling the batter and hearing the church bells peel too. Perfect for baking! Now that you've proved you can make them better than me, let's hit the next chapter. Merci x

Angelina at Petite Haus said...

I confess, I couldn't resist the book either. I already have the Mad about Macarons book. Just got some new French tart pans for my birthday so I'm sure there's a tart recipe to try in there! I love that scale, wish I had that one instead of my boring OXO one!

Bill said...

I'm adding the book to my list of things to get as soon as we have the money. I already have Mad About Macarons. Your pastry map is fantastic! :-)

FoodWalker said...

Those financiers made me hungry this morning. Must get those baking pans and have at them. Good for a dessert buffet. I agree about the raspberry.

Barbara Lilian in France said...

Loved this post. See you can cook/bake I admire you for even attempting to bake in that minuscule oven. you can now add 'Patissiere' to your CV

Louise said...

Who could resist such Paris booky temptation? Especially with such gorgeous endpapers. I've just ordered it - but not from Amazon- their shipping to Australia is ridiculous. I seriously want that Pylones ladybird balance too. I think I need to make the trek to Paris again sometime soon. Gorgeous photo of Ms Piggy- now I can be jealous of the lifestyle of a Parisian pig.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Hi Sabatical,
Please send me an email re the tea salon map

Parisbreakfasts said...

Hi Louise,
Please send me an email re the tea salon map

Lynnette said...

Loved this post...have had Jills book a while and made a few things..thhe financiers and Palet Bretons this week....everything turns out well because they are fabulous recipes!The rooftop photo is great! Regards Lynnette.Australia.p

Kathy H said...

Love almonds!! Looks totally delicious!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Jill figures out the best short cuts. Who knew baking could be easy? I didn't. Yay!

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

Like minds.....I made Pot de crème and wondered what to do with my egg whites... I just made Financiers yesterday and plan to post about them soon. I wish I had had Jill's book for all the little tips really improve them. I will be on the lookout for chirping butter now. I agree with the sans raspberry; they are pretty, but the almonds taste better. I like the little pan. I used a couple other types, but they are delicious in any form.

Loved this post.

Frances said...

Carol, how wonderful to have this wonderful baking expert make a house call! The resulting financier tea cakes do look scrumptious...I like anything that involves almonds. The chirping butter tip is definitely one to remember.
I made some very basic sugar cookies last week, so now am in a baking state of mind. I have a madeleine pan unused for decades. Might just have to get it down from the top shelf where it's winking at me.

Vivian Swift said...

Well now I have heard everything: a pig living on a houseboat. I want to visit that cocoon and feed him financiers during cocktail hour.

Christina | Christina's Cucina said...

What a lovely result! Your pastries look perfect! Yes, I agree, Jill's book is brilliant for step by step mastery to French fancies! Wish she lived close enough to me to come give me a lesson! Lucky you! :)

BF said...

Makes me want to get out my baking tins...

Nikon said...

Bear reading a book with a pink cover makes for an eye-grabbing photo, Carol. He looks so engrossed, too :)
The photo essay is a story well told - especially with some drawings thrown in.
I love your photos!

Louise said...

Oh really? Wow. I'm so excited, I just thought it was an Amazon thing. I'm away at the moment and my computer won't send email while I'm not home (it's loyal like that). Thanks so much for including me Carol- I'll email you in a few days.

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

Just call me Miss Piggy :-)

Annabella Bray said...

J'adore les financiers! I would love to try yours one day Carol :) I am very lucky to have a Frenchman here in Brisbane, Australia who makes them for his petit etal au marche. I'm not sure though if Ms Piggy needs a whole tray of them! Elle est un peu grosse, n'est-ce pas? and many thanks for my beautiful envelope full of Paris maps and watercolours - they are now tastefully arranged on my previously blank and boring wall :) Merci!

Jeanie said...

Well, I'm definitely skipping over to Amazon! I need another cookbook like a hole in the head but these look so good I have to check it out! (With or without Paris map!)