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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Financiers

A dessert that will enrich your day ;-)
This recipe is featured on RecipeNewZ

RecipeNewZ - great recipes, desserts, mains, cooking, baking
Adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme

Taste 4 (out of 5)

2 (out of 5)

- 60 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped (365 cal)
- 2 large eggs (140 cal)
- 75 g sugar (290 cal)
- 60 g finely ground hazelnuts (180 cal)
- 75 g butter or margarine (540 cal)
- 60 g lukewarm water
- 30 g all-purpose flour (110 cal)
Total: 10 financiers, 1625 calories, 160 cal/financier

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and butter and flour 10 financier molds (relatively flat molds with capacity of about 3 tbsp of water).
2. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, heat on high for 30 second, mix the chocolate with a spoon and repeat about 3 times, until the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature. You can also melt the chocolate in double broiler, but I find the microwave faster.
3. In a mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the eggs and the sugar until slightly fluffy, then add the powdered hazelnuts and continue beating until mixed and pale in color.
4. Add the butter in 4-5 chunks. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl as you are working.
5. Add the water and lastly, the chocolate, and continue beating until the mixture is homogenous.
6. With a rubber spatula gently mix in the flour.
7. Using a small 2-2 1/2 tbsp capacity ice cream scoop, pour the batter into the prepared molds and bake them in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a financier comes out clean and the cookies are slightly springy to touch.
8. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool in the molds for about 3 minutes, and then unmold them by inverting them onto the cooling rack. Serve at room temperature.
9. It’s best to serve financiers immediately, because they become a bit sticky when you store them in the refrigerator.

1. These cake-like cookies are pretty tasty, soft and somewhat reminiscent of chocolate gateau. But I guess I had super high expectations from a combination of hazelnuts and dark chocolate, so I give in only 4 on taste.
2. I have never eaten “real” financiers, which are supposed to be made with almonds, and not hazelnuts, and without chocolate. And I also tweaked the original recipe quite a bit, so I don’t know if what I got is even called financiers :-).
3. Most recipes call for roasted nuts, with skins removed. And up to this recipe I have followed those instructions. But now I decided that since I love raw plane nuts more than roasted, why not keep them raw and skin-on in baking as well. I have not had the same recipe with roasted nuts, but I suspect I would not have felt the difference. And I saved 20 minutes roasting and cleaning the nuts.
4. Dorie Greenspan’s book says that financiers are called thus, because they were first made at a pastry shop near la Bourse (stock exchange) in Paris, whose main customers were rich financiers. The original financiers were baked in small rectangular molds, and since they were goldish (as they did not have chocolate) they resembled bars of gold.

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Monday, September 12, 2011


Easy and delicious homemade Indian flatbread for the Secret Recipe Club
Paulchen’s Foodblog

Taste: 5 (out of 5)

Difficulty: 2 (out of 5)

- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting (1820 cal)
- 11/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek
- about 11/4 cups water
Total: 1820 cal, 3 naan breads, 605 cal / naan

1. Line a baking sheet. Put the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl and add enough water to make a soft, but not sloppy dough. Add the ground seeds, then divide the dough into three pieces and put on the baking sheet. Let rest for 1 hour.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and, using a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a circle, 10 inches / 25.5 cm in diameter, and let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Heat a skillet to a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Shallow-fry each naan until browned on both sides. After removing naan from the pan, lightly butter it on both sides to keep the surface soft then set aside to cool slightly before serving.

- My Secret Recipe Club assignment for September was Paulchen’s Foodblog. It’s a great blog with many delicious recipes, but the part that instantly caught my attention was the Bread Baking Babes tab, under which I found lots of bread recipes. And since I’ve been thinking about making naan for some time now, it was the natural choice.
- This was a very tasty naan and really simple to make. The original recipe suggested using caraway seeds, but I did not have those, so I used fenugreek. I am sure many other spices will work equally well, like curry powder, turmeric, coriander, etc.
- I have made naan before from my beloved 5 minutes a day no knead dough. It tasted great, but that was a very wet dough, so it was a bit difficult to shape. This dough was really pliable and easy to work with.
- We had this naan with a homemade paneer in tomato-yogurt sauce, and a nectarine lassi. Yum!

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