Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sweet Chestnut Financier

Sweet Chestnut Financier

When I was a child, Tenshin amaguri 天津甘栗 (Tianjin sweet roasted chestnuts?) were my special favorite food. They were not available in my hometown, and the only time I could eat them was when my grandparents or parents brought some from Kochi city as a souvenir. The sweet smell of the chestnuts was so tempting, and their taste never disappointed me. I kept eating them and didn't care about my fingers getting dirty from cracking the shells. (Their shells are so sticky from the syrup added during roasting.) When reading my favorite books munching on the sweet roasted chestnuts, I was definitely the happiest child in the whole world. Most of my favorite books from childhood have brown fingerprints here and there, showing how often I had such blissful moments. ;)

Good thing is that these days, they sell peeled Tianjin amaguri in retort-pouch-like package, so I don't have to worry about making a mess on my books or those checked out from the library. But today, instead of munching on them while reading, I threw some of them into food processor to make ground chestnuts. Yes, to make financiers.

Using ground chestnuts in place of almond flour for making financiers was not my idea; it was in a recipe posted on a Japanese recipe site. And the result was a great success! My ground chestnuts were pretty chunky (because I didn't want to spend too much time with the food processor), but I liked them that way. The amaguri chunks -- as well as the golden-brown, caramelized edges -- gave nice accent to the lovely tea cakes. With a nice hot milk tea, the amaguri financiers cheered up my gloomy, cloudy afternoon. (Yeah, I'm still haunted by the bento anxiety, you know.)



K and S said...

looks wonderful!

child-prodigy said...

wow, those looks absolutely delicious! I've never seen these before, I'll have to try them one day.

Anonymous said...

we have roast chestnuts around christmas time (when they are in season here in england) they are lovely and sweet when fresh :)

ChroniclesofChaos said...

Konbanwa Obachan!

Thank goodness for you!
I've been scared off roasted chestnuts for quite awhile and you got me interested again.

I had to make a batch of chestnut puree as filling for my Macarons. I couldn't any in the supermarkets and when I spied a retort-pouch of roasted ones on my kitchen counter, I decided to just mash these and mix with buttercream.

Needless to say, mashed this way without additional liquid, the filling was slightly chunky and too rich when mixed with buttercream.

I then decided NEVER to use roasted chestnuts this way.

Thank you for saving me from never touching this great nut again!

btw... Financiers are my favourite cake-like bakes too!

cookiecrumb said...

So nice, Obachan, and a sweet "back story" too.
I was never really interested in roasted chestnuts until one winter when I was walking through the Kinokuniya Mall in San Francisco's Japantown. Somebody gave me a free sample. It was GOOD. Really yummy.

obachan said...

K & S
Thanks. The photo looks autumny, doesn't it? But it's still pretty hot and humid in the daytime here.

Thank you. I think they are worse trying :)

Roast chestnuts and Christmas time sound like a heart-warming combination. I can picture a fireplace and a Christmas tree...

Tickles' belly flops
Mmmm... mashed chestnuts and buttercream sound a bit heavy to me, too. But there must be many other ways to enjoy chestnuts, so don't just give it up. ;)

I've been to SF once, but didn't have a chance to visit Japantown there. Looks like (I just went through their website) it's a more exciting and could be more "JAPANESE" place than where I live now. Hahaha... Glad to hear that you liked the chestnut. Could be the magic of a free sample, ha? ;)

Anonymous said...

Hello Obachan!
Mmmm hot milk tea and chestnut financiers... love your style. That'll cheer you up for sure! don't worry about the bentos, I'm sure you'll do a great job. By the way, I always have my hot milk with kuro zato from Japan every night and it sure does bring a zest in my spirit!

Anonymous said...

Ah! Obachan! I LOVE your blog! You make the coolest/prettiest food! You inspired me to start cooking again~ I love food blogs! :) Do you have a recipe for the plain financiers? I bought the special baking tins but I need a good recipe for just plain financiers. Thank you! Don't ever stop cooking/blogging!

- Gabriel

Anonymous said...

Your financiers look aweeesome ><, so delicious! You still sound so stressed about your bento job... I guess it would be useless to tell you not to worry... so here's a hug instead ^^ *hug*.

obachan said...

Hello and thank you for always supporting me. I'm still struggling and hoping that someday things will look up. :) Kurozato and milk! That must be a tasty and healthy combination.

Thank you for your nice comment. I'm glad that my blog inspired you to cook. You know, cooking/baking can be so exciting and healing at the same time, and give so much joy to your life.
As for the plain financier recipe, how about this one?

Thanks a million for your warm hug! You don't know how much it helps me keep going. I'm so lucky to have this blog and kind readers like you. :D