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.