When it comes to pastry, it's all about learning the basics. The base of a cake, pastry cream, macarons, and tart, for instance, all have different techniques of incorporating ingredients into the product. How complex you make it is just an extension of the basics. At Maison Christian Faure, we learned about folding, whisking, temperature control, and lots more to optimize both texture and flavour; mostly the former. After understanding the simple steps, it's up to the students to create an identity for ourselves.
Putting everything together, one of my simple creations was the Peach Streusel Financier. Financier is an almond cake (not gluten-free) with the flavour coming from the brown butter. It's soft like a sponge cake but doesn't rise much as it only has egg whites.
Generally, you can finish financiers by simply adding fruit inside. You can brush syrup on top and stick some almond flakes or pipe ganache inside. You can even use the financier as a base for individual mousse cakes.
Streusel is a sweet and crunchy crumble topping but like the financier, it can also be used as a base, which is what I did as an experiment to make cheese tarts. This recipe uses hazelnuts as they are dry and give an extra crunch to it. I'm not sure if you can find hazelnut powder but I used a blender to grind the hazelnuts. I made a mistake of breaking the butter a little too small. I should've left some a little bigger like a true crumble.
Sandwiched in-between are sliced peaches to give the cake 3 different flavours and textures with every bite. To save time, I used canned peaches but you could definitely use almost any fruit as long it's soft.
One of the good things about this cake is that you can overcook it as the moisture is solely from the peaches.
I hope these instructions help! I wasn't too happy with some of the pictures that I took so I'll update this recipe as I go.
Peach Streusel Financier (10-inch)
- 85g All-Purpose Flour
- 80g Almond Flour
- 3g Baking Powder
- 75g Icing Sugar
- 195g Egg White
- 60g Brown Butter
- 28oz Can Peach
- Grease the side of a 10" springform pan. Cut parchment paper into a circle and place at the bottom of the pan.
- Mix egg white with dry ingredients.
- In a pot on low heat and using a wooden spoon, cook butter to dark amber and quickly pour into the batter while stirring.
- Pour batter into the pan and spread it evenly.
- Place peaches on top of batter.
- 100g Hazelnut Powder
- 75g All-Purpose Flour
- 75g Brown Sugar
- 75g Butter
- Optional: bake hazelnuts for 5-8 minutes at 350F or until you smell the aroma.
- Grind hazelnuts in a blender.
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Cut butter into half-inch cubes and mix in with dry ingredients until they're coated.
- Place Streusel on top of peaches.
- Bake the cake at 350F for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Do a knife test to ensure the cake batter is cooked (dry).
Let me know what you think! I really like it because it's wholesome. Nothing fancy but just tastes great with all the layers of flavours and textures!
Corey Ma, The Pie Guy