Dec 13, 2010

Financier-Style Vanilla Bean Poundcake

These little "financier"-style "poundcakes" are not true financiers (no ground nuts) and not true poundcakes (eggwhites only, not whole eggs). They may not have a technically accurate name, but you could call them tender, moist, buttery little nuggets of flavor. They don't knock your socks off, but they might cause you to wiggle your toes in delight. I ate one just two hours ago, and I wrapped up the rest to put in the freezer so I wouldn't eat all the rest of them in one sitting.

If you thought last week's cake was easy, wait until you try this one. Jim missed the photogenic slicing and seeding of the vanilla bean. The second step--mixing the dry ingredients, including the aforesaid sugar, turned out to be not very photogenic. Ditto for the third step, whisking eggs, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl.

Had I piped the batter into the financier molds, as recommended, I might have gotten something more photogenic, or (more likely) something a lot messier. You know how I feel about piping. Instead, I used the time-honored glob and smooth method of filling the pan.

Mixing everything together was only marginally more photogenic, and that's just because the Beater Blade made nice designs in the batter.

We had a kazillion inches of snow today. Our neighbor Fred used his snowblower on our front sidewalk this morning, so we took him and his wife a little plate of cookies and cakelets to thank them. The cakes look a little on the pale side, but they were perfectly done. If they'd been browner, they might have been too dry. As it was, they were perfect.

The tasting panel this week was cancelled due to a blizzard. Jim says to tell you that he liked these cakes a lot, although there weren't very many of them (9 because that's the number of openings my financier pan has), and he wishes I hadn't put them in the freezer.


evil cake lady said...

I have been anxiously awaiting your post because I know you have THE PAN. So yours didn't brown much either? I wish I could come over with my cupcake version so we can compare, side by side. Hope the kazillion inches of snow doesn't keep you down!

Lois B said...

They look so nice in the financier shape.

What weather you're having, worse than Poland.

I have a suggestion for your piping issues - the Wilton class at Micheal's. I've only taken the first one, and I'm no longer intimidated.

Mendy said...


Enjoy your cakes in the snow out there! :)

ButterYum said...

I'll make these today - they sound yummy.

Piping suggestion - have Jim put down the camera long enough to hold a zip-top freezer or storage bag open while you pour the batter in, seal bag, clip one of the corners, squeeze the batter into your financier pan, throw the bag away.

Marie said...

I could mail you one of mine, and vice versa, but that might not be a fair test. In Minnesota, we always brag about how fast we get back to normal after a snowfall. Not true.

Poland has terrible winters too, doesn't it?
The Wilton class sounds like a good idea in theory, but I'm not sure I can make myself sign up for something I don't like to do.

The cakes and I are both inside, although the cakes are in the freezer, and I'm not.

I've tried the freezer bag alternative, and had even less success with it. Some things are just not meant to be.

Jenn said...

This cake does sound super easy. Love the last plate of them with the colorful cookies.

Marie, I was going make it yesterday but ran out of time from making pie and decorated sugar cookies. This is my problem, I want to make everything, and forgot there's only so many hours in the day!

Marie said...

They are super-easy--but even a baker has to sleep occasionally. Sounds like did plenty of baking this weekend.

Monica said...

Marie, I need to really get the pan as well, they need to be long, like financiers and not round like cupcakes!

And I took a piping class (and you know know how I hate that) and I got to say, not bad, not bad at all, at least I'm no longer intimidated by that bag and tips.

And yes, they were totally easy to do!

Marie said...

OK, OK. Taking a piping class would be a good idea. I'll do it....eventually.

faithy, the baker said...

I miss baking with all of you! Your financiers are making me hungry. I want a piece too! I'm still here at Tokyo. It's pretty cold here at 9c but not as cold as your place..with snow i guess. :)

Andrea said...

Marie, I highly recommend a basic cake decorating class. I had no experience with piping when I took my first class, and it improved a lot after just the first day.

I did make these cakes on Saturday, but I have been so busy baking and decorating cookies that I haven't had time to post. I will try to get my post up tonight and maybe get some cookie pictures up as well.

Marie said...

We miss you! 9C is pretty chilly, but we've got you beat in MN.

A lot of baking goes on in December! For those whose traditions include cookies as part of their holiday baking, it would be fun if you shared your favorite cookie recipe. Others who don't bake "Christmas cookies"--don't feel left out; share your favorite recipe too.

Hanaâ said...

Marie, these look really yummy and they look "light", not heavy like "pound cake". What's their texture like? Is it like a white cake (butter+egg whites)?
I also took a Cake Cecorating class at Michaels and that really helps. Or we could just get together some time and I'll show you a few basics and very soon you'll be a Piping master :o)

ButterYum said...

Haha... Marie, if you can master the cakes you've accomplished over the past year, you can master the ziplock bag. Woody should give you a lesson the next time you two bake together.

Marie said...

It's a lighter texture than a regular pound cake, but denser than a white cake. It has a fine, delicate crumb.
Yes, I want you to be my piping teacher!

Well, when you put it like that....
I think that Woody has taken an introductory cake decorating class at Michael's, but he considers himself to be a baker, and not a decorator. Lucky for me, or he'd always be at me to learn how to make roses and shells.

Katya said...

i'm a little wary of roses and shells...sorry I've been so delinquent, folks. I'll be playing catchup this week.

ButterYum said...

Okay then, Hanaa should give you a Ziplock 101 class. I hope this will happen, and that you'll blog about it.