French Fridays with Dorie: Orange Blossom Financiers

I know, I know… this is not this week’s intended French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Ispahan Loaf Cake.  While I love to read about recipes with backgrounds as rich as this one – the Pierre Hermé cachet and the Persian rose connection – procuring all the ingredients and actually getting around baking it seemed a little daunting.  It didn’t help to see that the opinion was split between the group on this recipe’s success.   To keep the “desserts with floral notes” and Middle Eastern twists, I chose to swap the rose syrup and essence for an orange blossom syrup.  I also scaled back the recipe and the loaf cake turned into mini bundts, hence the orange blossom financiers name.  Financiers, like the Ispahan loaf cake, are made with ground almonds, sugar, eggs, flour and butter.

I had orange blossom water in the house because I used some during the holidays to prepare tembleque, a traditional Puerto Rican cornstarch thickened coconut pudding.  In addition to food preparations, orange flower water is also used as a mild relaxing aid.  Back when I was sixteen, my driving instructor – a crazy lady who would say “I love you!” every time  you did something right – told my mother to give me a little before heading out to the DMV for my drivers’ test after flunking it the first time.  I had a bottle around while in college too – a little splash in a glass of water helped soothe nerves before oral presentations that required Power Point presentations and suiting up.

For the financiers, I made a syrup using 4 parts of orange blossom water to 3 parts of sugar.  Since I didn’t have an actual flower extract, I used a few drops of orange extract when mixing the syrup with the milk. Instead of layering raspberries between the cake batter, I used orange segments.  It took around 30 minutes to have the little cakes fully cooked.  I started checking them for doneness at the 20 minute mark, taking the cue from the madeleines recipe.

The orange blossom financiers  were a hit before they were even out of the oven.  They smelled great, baked up quickly and were pretty tasty.  The floral notes were there but did not overpower the taste of the cake.  The cake was also moist, and maybe a little dense, but I blame that on an egg white beating mishap.  The yolks in my eggs broke and I couldn’t salvage pure whites.   Although I got some volume out of the tainted whites, they did not puff up and form peaks.

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking club where on a weekly basis, home cooks all over the world post their interpretations of a selected recipe from Around My French Table – Dorie Greenspan‘s award winning cookbook.  

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Author:Adriana

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

19 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Orange Blossom Financiers”

  1. March 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I did NOT like the rose version, the flavors were too strong and, in my case, the color too vibrant. The orange ones sound much more my speed. You are definitely getting a lot of use out of that mini-bundt cake pan. Everytime you share something baked in it, it looks so enticing.

    • March 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      It definitely deserves its own blog tag. I had no idea I would get so much mileage out of it. 😉

      If it is any comfort, I think your cake looks adorable. I’m sure that’s not exactly the descriptor you were going for, but now we know what happens when frozen berries are used.

  2. nana
    March 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    They look adorable and so tasty. Great job.

  3. March 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    I reckon orange blossom is a fair trade for rose – and your financiers are picture perfect.

  4. March 23, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    You are so clever…beautiful little cakelets or financiers. I should try this with my oranges…you’ve got me thinking. Your cakes are beautiful and have inspired me. Glad you made the changes.

  5. March 24, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    Adriana, what perfectly adorable Orange Blossom Financiers – I love that creative idea and the wonderful mini Bundt pans that you used -nad, of course, that very pretty serving platter!
    Have a great weekend!

  6. March 24, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    I love these! So cute! I’m going to look for orange blossom water when I’m in Puerto Rico later this year. I would love to have it on hand to bake with and to give my daughter when she gets anxious.

  7. March 24, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Lovely mini-cakes. I would not have thought of putting orange blossom water here, but such a great idea!

    • March 24, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      I really wanted to stay within the flowery theme… it was either that or a strong hibiscus tea syrup, but that didn’t seem close to this week’s assignment.

      I just came back from the Pierre Hermé website and am kicking myself in the shins for not doing something that resembled the Satine collection of sweets (orange/mango/passion fruit). That’s something to look forward to when my passion fruit vine starts producing fruit.

  8. Amy andrews
    March 24, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Clever! I didn’t want to mail order 50 bucks worth of rose so skipped, but your creativity inspires me! Nice!! 🙂
    Amy

  9. March 24, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Your little cakes are so beautiful, Adriana. I am not sure that I like floral notes in my cake after trying the Ispahan cake, but I do have a bottle of orange blossom water that I have never opened and will have to give it a try sometime. When I bought my rose syrup the store also had pomegrante syrup which I thought would be fun to try and I think I would really like the hibiscus syrup as we drink jamaica daily.

  10. March 28, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    I definitely have to explore this “floral” flavoring concept. I actually do like orange-anything in my food so I am sure I would like your delicious financiers. Don’t you just love the bundt form – such a great shape for a dessert? I hope you will try the Ispahan Loaf Cake because I think it’s something that would appeal to you.

  11. March 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Just beautiful, Adriana! We should all bake these one Friday!

  12. March 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Your mini cakes are just beautiful! I love the look of the orange slices and garnishes. So interesting about the orange flower water – I just might have to try it sometime.

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  1. Friday Tasty Links - April 12th, 2013 | Great Food 360˚Great Food 360˚ - April 12, 2013

    […] suggested in the book’s Bonne Idée.  I’m taking a “bye week” – the Orange Blossom Financiers I made a few weeks ago are still fresh in my […]

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