A PERFECT CONCOCTION | Pecans, ground sumiyaki coffee powder and a shot of nespresso add subtle warm undertones to the traditional financier.
I love how baking brings out the perfectionist streak lurking deep within me. This Valentine’s day, me and my (single) girlfriends decided we’d get our hands dirty and do some baking.
To challenge ourselves, we set an ambitious goal to master the basic vanilla soufflé (which we managed to achieve). I also added another to our baking agenda for the afternoon – to recreate Ottolenghi’s famed Coffee Pecan Financiers that sells likes hotcakes at his restaurant NOPI in London.
Still missing Paris a lot, I was keen to make financiers again, but this time, I was set on making an adaptation of Ottolenghi’s Coffee Pecan Financiers from his well-known restaurant NOPI. Not too fond of anything too sweet, I reduced the icing sugar quantity by half and did away with the coffee pecan cream that often accompanies these little bars of gold.
Coffee and Pecan Financiers
TIME: one hour | YIELDS: Makes 12 financiers
- 100g pecans
- 150g unsalted butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g plain flour
- 65g malt powder (or Horlicks)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground coffee beans
- 8 egg whites (300g)
- 2 shots of espresso (60ml)
- pinch of coarse sea salt
- Roast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Spread the pecans for both the financiers and the cream out on a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the oven for 12–15 minutes, until they have taken on a bit of colour. Use the flat side of a large knife to lightly crush them. Set aside half of the pecans for the financiers and half for the cream.
- To make the financiers, put the butter into a medium saucepan and place on a high heat. Once it starts to foam, cook for 3–4 minutes, until it turns golden-brown and smells nutty. Strain through a muslin- (or clean J-cloth-) lined sieve and set aside for about 15 minutes, to cool slightly.
- Place the icing sugar in a large bowl with the ground almonds, flour, malt powder, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and ground coffee. Mix together and set aside.
- Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk to form soft peaks: this should take about 3 minutes if you are whisking by hand and just 1 minute with an electric whisk.
- Fold the whites into the dry ingredients by hand, followed by the espresso. Next pour in half the browned butter, continuing to fold by hand as you pour in the remaining butter. Finally, fold in the pecans.
- Bake the financiers by preheating the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7. Grease mould of muffin tray or financier tray. Spoon in the mix until three-quarters full and bake for 10 –12 minutes, until the cakes are golden-brown on top and only just cooked through: a knife inserted should come out with a tiny amount of mix on it.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 5 minutes, before removing them from the tray. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a cup of tea if desired.