The story of how the Financier got its name: Around 1890, the patissier Monsieur Lasne, recreates the original almond based cake once upon a time called Visitandines (the Sisters of the order of Visitandines in Nancy, the region of Lorraine, France). Since his pastry shop was in proximity to the stock exchange, his clientele composed mainly of stockbrokers. This type of clientele preferred to eat something “on the thumb” meaning a cake between the fingers which does not make a mess when eating. In fact, the original shape was oval but inspired by the stockmarket and his clientele he changed the shape of this mini cake to a rectangle to represents a block of gold. And the Financier was born!
- Vers 1890, le pâtissier Lasne remit les visitandines au goût du jour. Comme son magasin était tout prêt de la Bourse, sa clientèle se composait en grande partie de financiers désireux d’avaler sur le pouce un petit gâteau qui ne salisse pas les doigts. Lasne eut aussi l’idée de changer la forme ovale de la pâtisserie originelle pour évoquer celle d’un… lingot d’or. Le financier était né ! WIKIPEDIA
So what’s the difference between Financier and Friand?
Here is a wonderful explanation on one of my favourite blogs: Eat, Little Bird : “The story goes that, in the early 1990s, a French chef working in Double Bay in Australia reinvented the financier by baking it in a metal aspic mould, thus producing a much larger cake which ultimately had more appeal to the Australian public. The friand was hence born, its name simply meaning “little cake” in French.” Text written by Thanh of Eat, Little Bird.
The recipe base of both Financier and Friand are of almond powder, butter, icing sugar, eggwhites and flour. There are of course more modern versions, such as non gluten. Flavour exhange I call it is when you replace the almond powder for hazelnut powder, or pistache powder, or addition of cacao powder …. Anthing you like!
MadCharlotte is loving this particular recipe of Noix de Pecans (Pecans). Pecans are toasted to get maximum flavour then in a casserole are caramelised in a sugar syrup. Pecans are hammered to rough pieces which become the garnish over what is to be a very light, fluffy and moist cake, called the Financier! Friand! 😉