Monday, 13 January 2014

Pistachio Lemon and Rapeseed Oil Financiers

Recently, and not for the first time in my life, I bought a cake mould without really thinking what I might use it for. My feeble excuse is that it was in a sale. Although it’s deeper than a classic financier mould, it’s the same basic shape and it made me think of a recipe that I’d seen a year or two ago on the Elle à Table site for financiers made with apricots and olive oil. (The original recipe can be found here)

This recipe is based on that Elle original but, as any TV chef will tell you, olive oil is just so last decade and I used mainly cold pressed rapeseed oil instead. In fact, I used a combination of rapeseed and lemon-infused olive oil but either will work in this recipe. I know that not everyone agrees but I really like the flavour of rapeseed oil in baking. I think it works particularly well with pistachios and so I've used them rather than the more usual almonds.

The pistachios can be ground in a processor but don’t overdo it or the result will be too greasy. This amount gave me nine larger cakes, but if you make smaller, classic financiers then you should get at least twice that number. These light, little cakes will keep pretty well in an airtight container for a day or two and they also freeze well, but I must admit that they’re at their absolute best when eaten as soon as they’re cool.
Pistachio Lemon and Rapeseed Oil Financiers
50 g ground pistachios
50 g plain flour
150 g icing sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, very finely grated
125 g egg white (this worked out to be about 3½ of the large eggs that I had)
80 ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
40 ml lemon-infused olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly butter a large financier or small cake mould.

Sieve the icing sugar, flour and pistachios and combine in a large bowl, ideally the bowl of a stand mixer if you have one. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour the egg whites into the bowl slowly while whisking vigorously. Once the egg white is combined, add the oil in the same way until the mixture comes together. (It may seem quite a thin mixture, but that’s the way it should be).

Fill the moulds at least ¾ full. Bake for around 20 minutes until the tops of the cakes are risen and golden and a knife or tester comes out clean. (Small financiers will take around 10 – 12 minutes).

Allow the cakes to cool in the mould for a few minutes before turning out and cooling completely on a rack.

16 comments:

  1. Have you ever smelled fields full of rape? The stuff stinks - but the oil is a different story of course. Your financiers look lovely Phil.

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    1. Yes, fields of rape are not good to walk through. Best viewed from a distance, I think.

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  2. A person can never have too many cake tins!
    I must confess to being confused about oils. Some rapeseed is really expensive so we use "own brand" olive oil for most things. Oils certainly go in and out of fashion I think.
    Is it that some oils burn at different temperatures, making them unsuitable for certain cooking? I haven't a clue really!

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    1. It's true that different oils have different smoke points and that they break down and become pretty unpleasant after that point and I have heard TV chefs say that rapeseed oil is good because it can withstand higher temperatures than olive oil. That might be true if you compare rapeseed to extra virgin olive oil but I doubt that there's much difference between rapeseed and a lighter olive oil. You're right that oils, like most foods, become fashionable. Rapeseed oil has probably benefited from doubts about the authenticity of Italian olive oils and just from a desire for something new. But it also has the benefit in the UK of being a more local product and of having 50% less saturated fat than olive oil. Although it's really the taste that I find interesting - it just offers another flavour option.

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  3. I actually have some lemon-infused rapeseed oil at home and I love it for making salad dressing... these little buns look so delicious and buttery, even though they're not... love the pistachio inclusion too, very sophisticated.., so yes please!

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  4. Interesting recipe, bet this tastes yummy. Have a good week Diane

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  5. Delicious Phil; I love pistachios and this cake calls for me right away; I must experiment more with rapeseed oil, thanks for the idea.

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  6. I often use rapeseed oil for cooking and salad dressing, but never for baking. I am intrigued. Pistachio and lemon are such beautiful combination and I'd definitely enjoy that financiers with a nice cup of coffee.

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    1. I admit that not everybody likes the flavour in baking but I think the flavour works really well with nuts and in carrot or courgette cakes. Well worth trying for a change.

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  7. I use rapeseed oil in baking, as like you, I like the flavour. These look delicious, and I have a classic financier tin so they're on my list to make. Thanks Phil.

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  8. These look delicious and would give me an opportunity to pull out my financier tins which are as yet unused. Yes I did buy them in a sale, on a whim! I love the idea of pistachios as I am not a huge lover of almond. A new bake for a new year. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. PS Unfortunately can't get rapeseed here in Shanghai. Will make do with light olive oil.

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  10. They sound absolutely delightful. I look to you when it comes to all things Financier and Friandish, so I know these will be good. I quite like the flavour of rapeseed oil in baking too, although it can be overpowering for some things.

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  11. They look very dandy. I never came across a financier tin and would probably produce flat as a pancake financiers knowing my cake baking skills. So I take solace in your pictures.

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  12. I love buying random tins makes for good experimenting! The little cakes look delicious!

    Pistachios are one of my favourite nuts, though have never baked with rapeseed oil I will have to give it a try - only done old fashioned olive oil or sunflower oil - not very trendy at all lol!

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  13. I always love mixing up recipes! I love the idea of using ground pistachios instead of almonds and I'm very intrigued by the flavour they give, with the rapeseed too. I've never baked with rapeseed so perhaps it's about time I tried it!

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