|1. Pipe the batter into 2-oz. round moulds.|
|2. For an added twist, sprinkle the financiers with pieces of gianduja, cocoa nibs and orange peel.|
|3. Bake, allow to cool, and remove from the mould.|
The literal translation of the word bouchon is “cork,” but to the foodie and culinarian, bouchon is a rum-soaked, cake-like dessert that resembles the wine cork for which it is named.
This bouchon version, a chocolate financier, is a French cake with a brownie-like consistency, and has evolved from a multitude of predecessors, including savarin, pâte à baba and kougelhopf. The rich, dense batter is made with high quality chocolate, eggs, flour, butter and a few other ingredients, which combine to create a chocolate sensation. Adorned with chocolate pieces, candied fruits or a variety of other toppings, financiers are an impressive alternative to the traditional bouchon.
Legend has it that the financier, or friand, got its name from the traditional rectangular mould it was baked in, which resembled a bar of gold. Others believe that these tea cakes, similar to madeleines, rose to popularity in the financial district of Paris that surrounded the Paris Stock Exchange. With a liquid brown butter or “beurre noisette” center, they were said to have been as rich as the financiers to whom they were sold.
A cousin to the ever popular chocolate cake or brownie, financiers usually contain nut flour. Recently, artisans have begun incorporating non-traditional ingredients, such as coconut or bananas.
Chocolate financiers, yields five dozen
Butter, 625 g
Method: Prepare beurre noisette by heating the butter in a saucepan until light brown, then strain. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the egg whites, the apple compote and the strained beurre noisette. Let rest overnight. Pipe the batter into 2-oz. moulds, and garnish with gianduja cubes, candied orange and cacao nibs. Bake in a 375°F (190ºC) convection oven, vent closed, for about eight to 10 minutes. Let cool, and store in an airtight container or freeze.
The baked pastry can be frozen for several weeks, and makes a wonderful addition to the showcase of any bakery. Another option is to prepare the batter ahead of time and freeze it unbaked; or allow it to sit thawed for a maximum of three days and bake when needed.
|Chef Sebastien Canonne, M.O.F., co-founder, pastry chef and instructor at The French Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago, teaches his students the art of pastry during the 24-week L’Art de la Pâtisserie program. Along with teaching, Canonne has been a coach and member of many pastry teams, including the United States team at the 2002 World Pastry Championship and 2000 National Pastry Championship. Chef Canonne continues to share his passion, enthusiasm and expertise for creating world-class pastry. For more information on The French Pastry School, visit www.frenchpastryschool.com.|