Fig, Hazelnut and Buckwheat Financiers and Some Fig and Champagne Sabayon Gratin

Figs have a very sentimental meaning for me. My grandparents’ farm had an enormous fig tree right by their door step that only gave fruit for a very short time every year, but it was a time we anxiously waited for. For that short time, which lasted about a month, we had more figs than we knew what to do with. I remember they were so sweet that my mom would have to ration them so we didn’t overdose in sugar. Green light skin with a rich red brownish flesh. Perfection.

And although we are a million days away from the cool temperatures of fall, I had to indulge in some figs to celebrate the beginning of September. In fact, I had a whole pint of figs for lunch a couple of days ago, skin and all, just like I used to eat them as a kid.

I brought home all the kinds I could find black mission, brown turkey and sierra figs. The brown turkey turned out to be the ripest and juiciest.

I wanted something rich and nutty to go with them, so I made an unconventional financier batter with the addition of hazelnut, buckwheat flour and some lemon zest to balance the richness. The buckwheat almost gives it a chocolate note to the cake, which I thought was perfect topped with the fresh figs and chopped hazelnuts.

For the few figs I had left, I made a gratin with a light champagne sabayon. I know there is no alcohol allowed during pregnancy, but I had to take a bit. A small bite, but oh so worth it!

Finally, I wanted to tell you about a brief interview I did for the UK’s The Times as part of the “50 of the world’s best food blogs”. You can read it here.

And if you are still curious about me, you can read another interview with Nicole Hill Gerulat of “A Little Sussy” as part of her “Friday Features” (one of my favorite weekly columns). You can read it here.

Fig, Hazelnut and Buckwheat Financiers

Makes 4 mini loaves

120 grams egg whites
125 grams sugar
Zest of half a lemon
55 grams hazelnut flour, toasted and cooled
55 grams buckwheat flour
150 grams brown butter, cooled

Fresh figs, quartered
Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook it until the milk solids start to caramelize on the bottom. It will smell like roasted nuts. Remove from heat and strain it though a fine sieve. Let it cool but do not refrigerate it.

Toast the hazelnut flour at 350F for about 5 minutes and let it cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and lemon zest. Add the buckwheat flour, toasted hazelnut flour and whisk. Add the cooled brown butter and whisk.

Refrigerate the mixture for about 4 hours. Place the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe the batter into greased molds. Bake at 350F for about 22 minutes.

Place the figs on top and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

Fig and Champagne Sabayon Gratin

1 pint fresh figs, halved
6 egg yolks
100 grams sugar
150 ml champagne
200 grams heavy cream, soft peak
Maple sugar to caramelize

To make the sabayon, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and champagne together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over a double boiler. Cook the sabayon while constantly whisking until it thickens. Transfer to bowl to the mixer and whip until cool. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Fold the soft peak heavy cream into the sabayon base.

Place the halved figs in a heatproof dish. Spoon the sabayon on top and sprinkle with maple sugar. Caramelize with blow torch or under broiler.

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70 Responses to “Fig, Hazelnut and Buckwheat Financiers and Some Fig and Champagne Sabayon Gratin”

  1. melrose says:

    Lovely, but more than anything else I admire your Photos…if only I could do so…

  2. Both recipes are fantastic! A great way of preparing figs! A pity they are so expensive here…



  3. Pippa says:

    Ooh, my mouth is watering! Figs are very, very scarce here if you don’t have your own tree, but I am still enchanted by their rich perfume and their lovely taste and texture.

    Your photos are absolutely breathtaking, Aran.

    If you’ve registered a lot of hits from South Africa these last days, it’s because I’ve discovered your blog with delight beyond words, and I am still reading!

    You are truly one special ray of bright light! And all the best, best, best for little baby, too.

  4. Congratulations on your pictures. They are outstanding. I am craving for figs, now.

  5. Those look absolutely gorgeous, fab pics yet again Aran! Plus, great interviews! What an amazing achievement…

  6. morgana says:

    Maldición. Tenía un montón de higos pero entre falta de tiempo y de recetas para usarlos, al final no los he podido aprovechar. Qué rabia… La próxima vez iré preparada. Y esta receta estará a la cabeza de la lista. ¡¡ Qué buena pinta tiene todo !!

  7. Christy says:

    ‘There is no alcohol allowed during pregnancy’??! OMG, I missed the announcement!! I’m so sorry, Aran!! I just realised that it was right at the very end of New York Weekend part 1!!!! I’m such an idiot for not noticing! How far along are you? I couldn’t really tell because your dress was a bit baggy in the photo, but I should’ve noticed how your sling bag was hanging off your belly!! Argh, So sorry *hangs head in shame*

    On another note, what beautiful figs!! I could never tell which ones are good and which ones are bland and tasteless—a bit of a hint and a miss with me, really.

  8. I just bought fresh, plump figs at the market – and was wondering what I’ll do with them. Those financiers may be just the thing. And I absolutely love using buckwheat flour in cakes. I have never toasted hazelnut flour before – so here’s to a new baking adventure. Thanks!

  9. Just lovely Aran. Love the use of buckwheat in baking. Have never tasted a fresh fig, and am so envious! have a bunch of dried figs but have no clue what to bake them into. Congrats on being featured on the Times Best 50! BRILLIANT!!

  10. Erika says:

    Me gusta mucho la versatilidad de tus preparaciones.
    Sabés?Cuando yo era chica comía los higos directamente del árbol también! Ahora en Bs As se pueden conseguir a veces en las verdulerías pero de los árboles en la ciudad, ni hablar.
    Sabía por tus fotos anteriores que estás embarazada y aprovecho la ocasión para felicitarte.
    Celebra la vida.

  11. Jamie says:

    Congratulations on making the Times’ Top 50 list! We couldn’t agree more! Case in point, this fabulous fig post. What a luscious way to serve figs, and both recipes are lovely and intriguing. Photos are stunning as usual.

  12. AmyRuth says:

    What amazing and lovely photographs! The very best to you and your little precious bundle. Thanks for sharing a beautiful food near and dear to your heart, I imagine one of comfort. Right? Beautiful.

  13. Hilda says:

    The tint on your pictures is quite lovely Aran, and different from before. I wonder if your little boy was onto something when he changed all the settings on your camera? ;) I just adore figs and a champagne sabayon gratin is such a luxurious way to accompany them.

  14. Such a beautiful post! What a lovely combination of flavors!!

  15. Kitty M says:

    Beautiful photos and styling and delish recipes. Aww makes me think of my gran and grandad too they lived in a house called Fig Tree Cottage :-)

  16. El says:

    Beautiful figs – love the textures and colors.

  17. Like many others, the photos of your figs and financiers are especially beautiful today. I’ve only had one fresh fig in my life, and even that I had to share with my parents. Growing up in Wisconsin and now living in southeast Texas, figs are not readily available; those that are look less than appetizing. Sadly it’s one of my favorite ingredients… someday I’ll plant my own tree.



  18. Aran says:

    Hilda- I think that the figs inspired me to try my hand a purples which is not a color I resort to often but I thought it fit the mood. Thank you for noticing!

    Kitty M_ What a wonderful name! Sounds so romantic and bucolic!

    Thank you everyone!

  19. cindy* says:

    yum. i love figs and they are so pretty too ;)

    i love these photos aran, they look different…maybe the colors? i like…a lot ;)

  20. Tartelette says:

    If you watch Mad Men, you’ll laugh at the smoking and drinking while pregnant and feel fine that you had a bite! Love fruit gratins, they are so good all year long! Hard to believe but fig season is done here, just a couple of states away!

  21. icicle says:

    You had me at “Fig”. They are so rare to find here in Vermont and dear when we do. We make do with dried ones but oh so very not the same!
    Thank you for a gorgeous though vicarious lunch.

  22. Dajda says:

    Oh, this is just too good to be true! I love fresh figs, though I’ve only eaten them fresh when I spent a couple of weeks in Croatia two years ago. Round here it’s impossible to get decent (and reasonably priced!) figs and I have to make do with the dried ones. You made me remember the taste of a ripe fig, thank you!

  23. these photos are amazing aran..looks delectable…i just bought some figs the other day and have been popping them with a little goat cheese like they were well, goat cheese covered figs?
    i wish i was eating yours though..that’s it…i’m moving in.
    beautiful work my friend.

  24. Tracey says:

    AMAZING, as always!! How wonderful that you were interviewed by the Times!!!

    :) T

  25. Seanna Lea says:

    I love figs, but I’m not sure if I have ever managed to have fresh ones. It is just so much easier for me to find them dried.

    So, I have to ask if the recipe can be made with the dried figs… I’m not sure how many places I’d have to go to find good fresh figs.

  26. Aran says:

    Seanna Lee- it really would not be the same without fresh figs. I suppose you could add dried figs cut up into the financier batter. I wouldn’t recommend doing the gratin though. I doubt textures would work together.

  27. Aimée says:

    Off to read your interviews! Congrats on all the accolades.

    And those figs. Oh my!

  28. montague says:

    i am so excited about figs this time of year! one of my most beloved and favorite fruits!

  29. Eralda LT says:

    I love financier. It is hands down my favorite cake ever. And figs! Who doesn’t love them? Yum and beautiful!

  30. i love figs, i love the early ones, the big and juicy (brevas in spain), aran, as always, you nailed it, lovely photos and recipe,


  31. anna says:

    Ooh, this all sounds so good and fall-ish! I just bought and quickly devoured a container of brown turkey figs as well – and I hope there will be many more in the coming fall!

  32. VeggieGirl says:

    So lucky that figs are in abundance where you are!! Not here yet :(

    Lovely creation, as always!!

  33. Ash says:

    I saw some figs in the shop the other day and contemplated on buying them! I think I must now! This looks fab! Great photos!!

  34. i absolutely love it; loving the figs so pretty! and great photos!
    btw, how can i put the continue for recipes… thing? ty!

  35. Eva says:

    Très jolies tes photos ! Miam pour la recette !
    Bisous :)

  36. It sounds and it looks so delicious! It’s very appetizing.

  37. Aw! I just copied your recipe hope you don’t mind.

  38. i truly admire you artwork and photos… fantastic

  39. Aran says:

    Savories & Sweets- I had that changed in the html code by my web designer so not sure how that is done. i have no code knowledge. it’s very sad… sorry i’m not very helpful. did you try looking it up on the blogger help section?

    Thanks everyone!

  40. Marti says:

    I think it is indeed the most bizarre thing to have an alligator in the freezer.
    I always love your photos.

  41. Oh, Aran, what a lovely post..! I want to sink my teeth into a juicy fig if only to go back in time, just for a little while…. Thank you.

  42. I love figs so much, I bought four trees for the property! Still can’t get enough of them. I snuck a bit of wine from time to time when pregnant – just a few sips. I’d get sour looks here, but I was in Paris and was 8 months pregnant, and it was the exact opposite. Everything in moderation!

  43. Aran says:

    Heather- wow 4 trees! That’s fantastic! And yes, everything in moderation!

    Thank you!

  44. fresh365 says:

    Congrats on the honor- the interviews are great! The figs look delicious!

  45. Vanille says:

    Wonderful figs !
    Pure eye candy and one of my favorite fruit

  46. Vana says:

    Aran- love anything with figs in it…I grew up in the Mediterranean and figs are part of diet! Now i live in Midwest and have a hard time finding good ones.

    Love the pictures…as usual!
    Have a great Labor Day weekend!


  47. veron says:

    Such gorgeous photos as usual! I like the way you made the financiers with buckwheat Better not show this to the hubby as he is obsessed with figs.

  48. OMG…SUCH a delicious post…SO jealous you can get your hands on all those FABULOUS figs…
    YUM…thanks for sharing!

  49. Y says:

    Yummy! No figs here yet, so I’ll have to bookmark for later. Very into buckwheat at the moment too. Love that caramelly, malty goodness.

    Congrats on your interviews. I have some Samantha Robinson cups without even realising they were by her. Love the other stuff on the website you pointed out.. looks like I might have to go shopping!

  50. I’ve never tried figs before… they aren’t easy to come by here… you make it look so delicious that my curiousity is piqued to how they taste.

  51. fig?yum why is it that I have never used figs before. this is the perfect time to start. :)

  52. ahk! sorry i must have missed when you said “guess what im pregnant” CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    this post feels very homey. must be the stripes that look like a man’s shirt. yep. a shirt pinned on a clothing line :)

  53. Esti says:

    a husband le encantan los higos… espera a que vea esto… ya ves, ya hemos vuelto…

  54. Kimberley says:

    Wow. So exquisite. I adore figs.

  55. simplesong says:

    i think this might be my perfect little treat … love, love figs.

  56. ChichaJo says:

    Both the financier and the gratin sound heavenly! Having been born in a country where figs do not grow I have only drooled over fresh figs from afar. I was finally able to taste fresh ones during my honeymoon in Spain…love at first bite! You are lucky to have grown up with a fig tree :)

  57. I swear, your childhood was the best! Your figs look perfect and luscious and I love the flavor that buckwheat flour brings to baked goods. And fig gratin! What a perfect table!

  58. I am OBSESSED with figs. So yummy and beautiful!

  59. Gustorante says:

    Che ricetta carina!!! se hai altre idee, novità…. dai una occhiata al nuovo sito “gustorante” e condividi le tue creazione con altri appassionati delle cucina.

  60. Jenny says:

    How beautiful! My favorite snack- figs on toast with goat cheese! A little gooseberry savory jam and you’re really in business

  61. looks so good! yesterday I did taste the new Laduree macarons in Paris with figs. Was gorgeous!
    a bientôt

  62. Looks amazing! And congrats on the Times writeup.

  63. Cakebrain says:

    oh, so opportune! I am currently trying to propogate fig cuttings and your post is making me drool! I’m crossing my fingers so that I have a fig tree by next year!

  64. Danielle says:

    I can empathize with your love for figs, I’ve been addicted since my first bite! Discovered a recipe for fig and goat cheese clafoutis and that’s how I’ve been extending my figs’ shelf life, but your champagne sabayon is definitely something to try out.

  65. I just found your blog this evening and I’m in love with your photographs and styling! You’re extremely talented and the figs are gorgeous!

  66. lee says:

    looks really nice will be giving this a go

    picture cake

  67. RSA says:

    That all looks fantastic. Definitely gonna try to make this at home on the weekend.


  68. Both the recipes are amazing.!! Especially the photos, looks yum. I am definitely gonna try this.

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