Often, things in life seem to happen in a series. Don’t you agree? Good or bad. It’s part of the cycle of life, and it’s funny to observe how it works.
For me these days, it’s all about books. Great ones.
Like this beautiful crafts book, called Handmade Zakka and Craft by Tuesday. All in Japanese. In its looks. In its language.
It happened quickly and spontaneously.
In the same way Jo approached and asked me to contribute to her book, Tomo Togawa in Japan asked whether I’d be willing to contribute to the book that he and his wife Chiyo, a graphic designer, were going to write. They are known as Tuesday.
I said Yes. Because I loved their style and approach to design. Because I love Japan. And names like Lotta Jansdotter, Yumiko Sekine, Marisa Shimamoto, and Tetsushi Inoue & Kristina Detwiller. All inspiring me.
Tomo’s idea was to incorporate snapshots of eight artists, with each one of us showcasing our craft, inside the book. In the same style Yumiko’s Around Fog Linen book–Tomo designed it–looked.
Tuesday‘s book is just lovely: Light, fresh and clean. Somehow looking to me like a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian styles.
Inside the book, you’ll find inspiring sources for all sorts of crafty design ideas: whether it’s using paper and fabrics to create cards, tree ornaments, clothes, pillow. Their book is really for anyone who likes to create beautiful things for the home. For adults and children alike.
My contribution to Tuesday’s book was my Millet with steamed spring greens and its lemon vinaigrette recipe, along with the following recipe for these Chocolate and Hazelnut Financiers.
Which reminds me of another financier recipe I recently contributed to Williams Sonoma new baking cookbook entitled Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw, on exclusive sale right now in Williams Sonoma stores, and released everywhere, like Amazon, in February 2012.
When I was telling you there were a lot of books in my life right now….
I cannot help it. I love financiers. Of all flavors. Shaped like a muffin or a rectangular. Baked with chocolate; vanilla; almonds or hazelnuts.
La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life
Or even pistachios and aromas of cardamom, a recipe you’ll find inside my cookbook. I baked two batches of these over the course of the past two days. Every single one of them is gone–granted we had crowds at home.
But ahhhhh these chocolate financiers…with fragrant hazelnut and the earthy aroma of amaranth.
Chocolate always makes us happy.
Chocolate always makes Lulu happy.
It’s a family matter. One that keeps us snug and cozy together. In chocolate haven.
“We are chocolate and financiers addicts!” we like to sing in chorus.
Perhaps you can become one of us too.
And join in.
Thank you Tomo for thinking about including snapshots of what I do inside your book. I am honored to be amongst such a great crowd of people.
Below is the list of the eight artists featured in Handmade Zakka and Craft:
Lotta Jansdotter : Surface Designer (Brooklyn, U.S.A.)
Jenny Hallengren : Photographer (Stockholm, Sweden)
Meiko Takechi Arquillos : Photographer (Los Angeles, U.S.A.)
Tetsushi Inoue & Kristina Detwiller : Furniture & Textile Designer (Oita, Japan)
Béatrice Peltre : Food Writer, Stylist and Photographer (Boston, U.S.A.)
Hello Sandwich : Designer, Artist, Crafter (Tokyo, Japan / Sydney, Australia)
Marisa Shimamoto : Photographer (Tokyo, Japan)
Yumiko Sekine : Shop Owner (Tokyo, Japan)
Makes 8 muffin-size financiers
- 7 tablespoons (100 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (100 g) hazelnut meal
- 2 tablespoons (20 g) amaranth flour
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) cocoa powder
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 cup (70 g) Turbinado sugar
- 4 large egg whites (beaten with a fork until lightly foamy)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and have 8 muffin molds ready (You can also place paper cases inside muffin molds); set aside.
- In a small pot, melt the butter. Cook until the butter has a nice hazelnut color and smells like hazelnuts. Let cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the hazelnut meal, amaranth flour, cocoa powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse into a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl and beat in the egg whites.
- Pour the butter inside the egg/flour batter, working quickly.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Divide the batter between the molds and bake the financiers for 20 minutes, or until the blade of a sharp knife comes out dry when inserted in the middle. Let cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar, if you like, when serving.
Pour 8 financiers de la taille d’un muffin
- 100 g de beurre non salé
- 100 g de poudre de noisettes
- 20 g de farine d’amaranth
- 10 g de poudre de cacao
- 1 pincée de sel
- 70 g de sucre roux
- 4 grands blancs d’oeuf
- 1 càc d’extrait de vanille pur
- Préchauffez le four à 180 C, et préparez 8 moules (ou caissettes) à muffins; mettez de côté.
- Dans une petite casserole, faites fondre le beurre. Cuisez-le jusqu’à qu’il prenne une jolie couleur noisette et qu’il sente la noisette. Laissez légèrement refroidir.
- Dans le bol de votre robot, mélangez la poudre de noisettes, la farine d’amaranth, le cacao, le sel et le sucre. Pulsez jusqu’à l’obtention d’une poudre fine. Transférez dans un bol et mélangez avec les blancs d’oeuf émulsionnés à la fourchette.
- Versez le beurre dans cette préparation, et mélangez énergiquement.
- Ajoutez la vanille.
- Divisez la pâte entre les moules et cuisez les financiers pendant environ 20 minutes, ou jusqu’à ce que la lame d’un couteau insérée au mileu en ressorte sèche. Laissez refroidir et saupoudrez de sucre glace au moment de servir, si vous le souhaitez.