Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FINALLY: Apple Caramel Charlotte

Phew! Last week's Heavenly Cake Bakers' project was this gorgeous, delicious, two day project, seven page recipe Apple Caramel Charlotte. I was out of town but there was no way I was going to skip this cake. Especially since Cookie has been bugging me about it since she found out it was coming up.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

September 27, 2010
Name of Cake: Cookie's #1 Favorite Fancy Cake. Ever.
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: a biscuit-lined pan filled with apple caramel bavarian cream, topped with poached apples and glazed with an arrowroot-apple glaze

I pretty much cleared my calender for the weekend in order to make this cake. After Cookie and I went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, where I fell in love with a llama, it was time to get to work.

First up, bake the biscuit.

Eggs, egg yolks, and sugar are beat to the ribbon stage.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

Egg whites are whipped to stiff peaks. The little bit of flour is folded into the ribbon and then the meringue.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

This is all baked in a sheet pan and, once cooled, cut according to the recipe template.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

The strips are spread with a thin layer of apricot jam (or in my case, lekvar from the Chocolate Apricot Roll). An 8-inch round is cut and all the cakes are stuck in the freezer. Eventually, the strips are cut into little stacks, which are lined up on their side around the edge of a 9 inch pan. This is a pain in the ass, because all the strips kept falling down. The cake round is fitted into the bottom, and this is stored in the refrigerator or freezer until the bavarian cream is made.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

In the meantime, poach the apples.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

The apples poach in a liquid that includes water, sugar, half a vanilla bean, and Calvados or apple brandy. I didn't buy any of that, because a while back friends gave me a little bottle of homemade pear cordial. I thought that would be a good option.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

The baker got a little shot, too, and then I went to bed.

Day two was all about the caramel bavarian cream. This is made up of several parts.

Bavarian cream, part one: The whipped cream

I decided that the whipped cream could hang out in the refrigerator until all the components were ready to be combined. So I did that first.

Bavarian cream, part two: The apple caramel custard

This takes three saucepans.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

The saucepan on the right is most of the poaching liquid, coming to a boil. The saucepan in the back left are egg yolks. The pan in the front left is sugar and water, waiting to become caramel. The hot poaching liquid is poured into the caramel and after bubbling furiously, is slowly stirred into the egg yolks. This pan of pre-custard is cooked until it thickens. This is strained to sort out the odd cooked egg yolk, and left to cool (oh, somewhere in here gelatin is added, of which I only had 6 grams instead of the called for 10).

Apple Caramel Charlotte

The recipe recommends cooling the custard over ice water or in the refrigerator, but I opted to just leave it out on the counter while I made the meringue.

Bavarian cream, part 3: italian meringue

I love italian meringue. Egg whites whipped to stiff peaks are combined with a hot sugar syrup, which makes the meringue glossy and pretty.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

At this point the meringue must cool down to about room temperature. After about 20 minutes in the refrigerator, the meringue was ready. The custard had cooled down by this point too. The meringue is folded into the custard, then the whipped cream. This billowy, very delicious cream is poured into the cake form and refrigerated for at least half an hour.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

The apples are sliced thin and arranged around the top of the cake like a rose.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

A glaze of poaching liquid and arrowroot is made and painted on the apples. It was about now that I noticed I forgot to scrape the vanilla seeds into the poaching liquid. Drat! Had I remembered to do that, the bavarian cream would be dotted with vanilla seeds. I scraped the seeds into the glaze, which gave the rose a speckled look.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

Then the cake hangs out in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Monday morning I had a slice of cake for breakfast. Excellent. Creamy. Caramelly. So soft and light. The apples were a bit too crunchy--I should have poached them longer--but it was a nice contrast in texture. I called Cookie and told her the charlotte was excellent; I promised her I would bring it over later that night.

Apple Caramel Charlotte

I must admit that the three of us ate 2/3 of the cake that night. Cookie has declared it her most favorite cake I've made EVER, and that of all the fancy cakes I've baked this is her top pick. She is looking forward to eating it on her birthday.

This was a very involved cake, and very intimidating upon reading the recipe. However, broken down into steps it isn't hard at all, just time consuming. But so, so worth it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

I know, chocolate what? Chocolate-zucchini, sure, but a chocolate cake made with condensed tomato soup? Can we say eew? We can, but not about this cake which was a big hit. V-8 should take up the cause; I can just picture the commercial now with a family enjoying the cake and the little vegetable servings count above their heads clicking up a number. This could be a great way to sneak some veggies into kids at a birthday party. They would be none the wiser.

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

Aug 31, 2010
Name of cake: Chocolate Whaaaa?
Occasion: HCB, and welcome sweet little abigail
Constitutents: two 9 inch layers chocolate-tomato soup cake filled and frosted with tomato soup ganache

I made this three weeks ago, and I should have written the post then. Now, it is all a blur. Which means it must have been a really easy cake to put together.

First up, I made the ganache as it needs to cool for at least an hour. Unfortunately, I ran out of 62% chocolate for the ganache and wasn't about to go back to the store. Digging around in my cupboards I found some 70% chocolate which I deemed "good enough." I think about 1/3 of the ganache was the darker chocolate, and I blame my too-hard ganache on that fact only. I wish it had been creamier, but alas.

Next, the cake. This is a butter cake, with all the liquid and the salt replaced by the can of condensed tomato soup. Since there isn't any water to make the traditional cocoa paste, the cocoa power, eggs, vanilla, and soup are combined into a goopy chocolate mixture.

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

The dry ingredients--flour, sugar, baking powder and soda--are whirred around in the mixer for a bit before the butter (3 sticks!  Does that seem like A LOT of butter?) and half the goopy chocolate mixture is added and beat furiously for 90 seconds. The rest of the chocolate mixture is added in two parts, and the cake is ready to be baked!

I must have been out of cake flour because I substituted with 85% bleached all-purpose (265 grams) and 15% potato starch flour (47 grams).

Rose calls the batter "thick and fluffy" which when I first read didn't pay much attention to. All her butter cakes have a thick and fluffy batter so I didn't get why she felt she needed to mention it here, in the middle of the book. However, this batter really is thicker than most of her butter cake batters. It was also delicious.

Okay. When I read the instructions for filling the cake pans, it says: "...being sure to press the thick and fluffy batter against the sides of the pans, and smooth the surfaces evenly..." Reading it tonight it is obvious the batter is supposed to be smoothed flat in the cake pans, but when I was scraping the batter into pans I thought this phrase meant I was supposed to build the cake batter up the sides of the cake pans a bit. WOW...what recipe was I reading?

But that is what I did. I made sure there was more batter on the sides than in the middles:

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

I remember being confused by these instructions but I did it anyway. The cake figured itself out despite my bumbling and baked flat and evenly:

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

Filling and frosting were pretty uneventful, except that the cake was really crumbly which made me worried it was dry. Oh yeah, and the ganache hardened up pretty quickly. The cake in the book has pirouettes circling the cake like castle turrets, but I decided to keep it simple. Earlier I had gone to the Decorette store to buy a cake box and a few little pink sugar flowers.

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

I needed a cake box as I was giving this cake to my friends, Greg and Char, who had given birth to their second baby girl that morning! They were going to be in the hospital for a few days with a lot of visitors and lovely nurses coming in and out, so I thought it was a good place for a chocolate cake. Especially one with a mystery ingredient.

I dropped the cake off that evening but didn't stay to visit (or try the cake). Nor did I tell them it was full of tomato soup. A couple of days later I was able to stay for a proper visit and try out the cake (and hold the baby!). Char loved the cake, and asked if it was mexican chocolate. Her friend Kelly also loved it and warned Char's nurse that tasting the cake would make her cry. Char's room was very popular with her nurses, who came in when they could for cake.

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

They only had a few plastic knives for cutting, so the cake was looking pretty shaggy. I sawed off a piece and found the cake to be crumbly but very moist. The texture was similar to a chocolate cake donut--dense but soft and tender. I used Scharffenberger cocoa powder and the taste was rich and full, with a little zing just like Rose said. It was really good! Char was leaving the hospital the next day so she let me take a chunk home (for breakfast) (and photos).

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

I can't believe I liked it so much. Joelf and Cookie were also surprised that a cake full of tomato soup could be delicious. I could definitely see myself making this for a party!

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marble Velvet Cake

This is my second Heavenly Cake Bakers Free Cake Week submission, because yes, I am a little crazy. It all started out like this: I wrote the Pistachio Cake (Free Cake #1) post last week (it published yesterday), and at the end I counted out how many cakes Marie has baked thus far, how many the HCB have baked thus far, and then how many I have baked. And I was ten cakes short of the HCB, who are 21 cakes short of Marie! This left me all worried about all the cakes that I wouldn't get to with the HCB, and would I ever do them if there wasn't a deadline to get them done? So after Marie posted the Last Cake, Next Cake post for the Golden Financiers (in which she listed the 21 cakes she baked before the group started), I really got to thinking about all the cakes I haven't baked yet, and how maybe I should do a second free cake since the Pistachio Cake is long gone, and how I didn't want to get left behind in this cake baking thing. Then Joelf called to let me know his family was indeed blowing through town for a night and that really got me thinking that if I did bake another cake I could give them a large chunk of it to take with them, and they were going to see Char's family so I could give Joelf a chunk of cake to give to the Kammers, and the Jellos are looking after their nephews and niece this weekend and I could pass a chunk on to them, and once I realised I wasn't going to be stuck eating a whole delicious cake myself IT WAS ON. I baked another cake.

Marble Velvet Cake

September 11, 2010
Name of Cake: Marble OMG THIS IS SO GOOD Velvet Cake
Occasion: HCB, and I won't be stuck with the whole cake!
Constituents: One thick, rich, delicious sour cream bundt cake

This is certainly a quick and easy cake. Prepping the ingredients took maybe 20 minutes, and mixing the cake took just about two. Baking took an hour but all that required of me was putting the cake in the oven and wandering off, so hardly worth mentioning.

Rose really goes to town with this sour cream bundt, as the batter uses only egg yolks (six to seven of them!), a cup of sour cream, and a little over two sticks of butter. That, my friends, is a lot of fat. It makes this cake dense, rich, and truly velvety. She wasn't just using pretty words when she named this a Velvet Cake.

Most marble cakes I have had are poor excuses for a marble cake; the brown parts that were supposed to be chocolate batter were just brown parts with no chocolate taste. Not so with this cake. The chocolate batter had a delicious flavor that made me wish there was more of it--maybe next time I'll do a chocolate cake with yellow marbling. The chocolate batter is simply melted 60% chocolate incorporated into 1/3 of the yellow cake batter.

The marbling technique is pretty simple. About a third of the yellow batter is plopped down into the bundt pan, then about a half of the chocolate batter is spooned on top. Don't worry--this batter is so thick the chocolate won't be running into and messing up the yellow. Another third of the yellow batter is laid down on top of the chocolate, then the remaining chocolate and the remaining yellow.

My bundt pan is really pointy at the top, so I couldn't really fit 1/2 of the chocolate batter up in there without creating a thick layer that would look more like a big chocolate stripe (which isn't a bad idea, come to think of it). So I used about 1/4 of the chocolate, closer to half of what was left for the second chocolate layer, then did a third chocolate layer over the last yellow layer to use up all the chocolate batter.

A regular tablespoon (not a measuring spoon) is plunged into the unbaked cake and rolled over itself ("like a wave," Rose says) six or seven times through the batter to create the marbling. That part was fun and I would have liked to do it ten to fifteen times but that would create a big messy looking cake.

The cake is then baked for almost an hour, which I used to start and frog (rip out) a knitting project a couple of times. Sigh.

My cake had risen a bit past the rim of the pan at the end of its bake, and didn't shrink upon cooling. I turned the cake out with no problems except that a little corner of the cake broke off and, bummer, I had to eat it. It was SO GOOD.

I skipped the ganache glaze even thought Marie loved it, mostly because the cake wasn't cool enough to support it by the time Joelf and his brother came over. Joelf's brother Allie (the baker of the family) was very much taken with the cake. As were we all. It was so moist and rich, tender and melt-in-your-mouth. All the sour cream-vanilla goodness with a little chocolate thrown in. The cake was a little dense, but only in the best kind of way.

I sent them on their way with a good 3/4 of the cake, which I was a little sad about but mostly thankful. If this cake was left with me I would be eating it all day. I can't wait to make it again.

marble velvet cake
all i have left

Here's a link to Marie's Marble Velvet Cake post. This was her first time using the beater blade, and it gave her "hope for this country yet." Plus, she has great process photos which in my velvety cake making rapture I totally forgot to take. What can I say, I was too busy licking my fingers and the spoons and bowls and etc.

Bonus!
Every time I hear the word "marble" I think of "marble columns." Behold:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pistachio Cake

This week the Heavenly Cake Bakers are enjoying Free Cake Week, which gives us a chance to catch up with Marie, who baked 21 cakes before the group bake through began. Every time Marie mentions that we are more than halfway through the book, I nervously compare the number of cakes I've baked versus the number of cakes the group has baked, versus the number of cakes Marie has baked. I need to stop obsessing, I know.*

I baked the Sicilian Pistachio Cake, which the Bakers made back in March. I have never been a fan of pistachio desserts so while everyone else baked this cake I slyly decided to bake the cake from the week before, which I had missed as I was visiting my sister and The Bacon.

IMG_1944
and here's The Bacon!

In all fairness I did intend to bake this cake. I found some shelled pistachios, blanched and peeled them, and was so thoroughly grossed out by this experience that my baking attempt ended there.

As you probably know from reading my Montana post, Joelf came back to Portland with Cookie and I for a visit. I told him to pick the free cake and I would bake it up for him. Of course, he chose the Pistachio Cake. Sigh.

Pistachio Cake

August 28, 2010
Name of Cake: The Rubbery Nut Cake
Occasion: HCB Free Week and Joelf is in town
Constituents: one 9 in layer sour cream pistachio cake with golden neoclassic buttercream encrusted with pistachios

It is hard, I am learning, to go wrong with a sour cream butter cake.  No matter if it is baked in a bundt, or in a single round with rubbery nuts, it is always going to be delicious because it is made with sour cream and butter.  The cake was perfectly textured--dense yet tender with a richness from all the fat and little chunks of nut.  It had enough pistachio flavor to let you know you were eating a pistachio cake, but it wasn't overpowering, nor was it the awful shade of green of most pistachio desserts.  I actually do like pistachios, but I like them roasted and salted, not as a dessert.  With the exception of this cake.

The first step, and the step that changed my mind about baking the cake in March, is to blanch the shelled (raw) nuts and remove the skins.  Smart people would skip this step and cough up the extra cash to order shelled, blanched and slivered nuts from Kalustyan's or wherever you can get them, as doing it yourself is time-consuming and kinda yucky.  Perhaps the problem, and why I ended up with rubbery nuts, is that the only shelled, raw pistachios I could find were already chopped.  Maybe if they were whole nuts they would have been more impervious to absorbing water and going all rubbery (less surface area)?  Anyhoots, the nuts are blanched and the papery skins removed, which takes some time but with a good movie and a determined attitude it gets done.

Pistachio Cake

The nuts are spread out in a pan and left to dry, which should take 3 hours but for many HCB and myself, longer time was needed.  I actually let them dry out in the oven at a very low temperature like some other HCB did, and I'm glad.  Otherwise I might still be waiting for them to dry.  Drying the nuts in the oven requires keeping a good eye on them; you don't want to toast them and lose their distinctive color.  The prettier nuts (in my case that meant the greenest ones, as most of them were yellow) are set aside to top the cake.

The rest of the nuts are processed with the sugar until finely ground.  These are added to the rest of the dry ingredients in the mixer and whirred around for 30 seconds to aerate and mix.  The butter and most of the sour cream are added and beat for 90 seconds, and the liquid ingredients (eggs, vanilla, and almond extract) are added in two parts.  This thick, rich batter is scraped into a 9 in round and baked for at least 35 minutes.

Pistachio Cake

I don't know about you guys, but this cake rose high.  It rose above the top of the pan, but thankfully didn't spill over.  I don't know what I did right or wrong to cause that much of a rise; it was probably as high a butter cake as I've ever made.

After the cake cools, it is time to make the Golden Neoclassic Buttercream. The Neoclassic Buttercream in The Cake Bible was my go-to buttercream for years. It is simple to make, and deliciously silky and buttery. And best of all, not too sweet. The Cake Bible's version uses corn syrup for part of the sugar, which makes it neoclassic as opposed to classic, which requires the extra step of cooking a sugar syrup. What I loved about the neoclassic is that once the sugar and corn syrup come to a boil, it is the right temperature and ready to use. No thermometer necessary. The golden neoclassic buttercream changes things up a little more and uses Lyle's Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup. This imparts a golden hue, as well as the deeper and rounder flavors of molasses and mineral. Delicious. Pistachio essence is optional but I couldn't find it.

Pistachio Cake

The cake is left in one single layer and simply frosted and nutted. Easy peasy! I decided to copy the cake in the book, and left the frosting plain and simple to give the nuts the center stage. As I have mentioned, the nuts were rubbery from the blanching, so although they looked pretty, they didn't have the satisfying crunch a nice toasted nut would have. As you can tell, I have an issue with that, but the cake was so delicious anyway.

Joelf and I shared the cake with our friend Patrick who loved it, and at our insistence kept a large chunk of it to enjoy through the week. I shared small slices with the Jellos, but knew Cookie wouldn't like it much as she dislikes european buttercreams and rubbery nuts. Joelf loved it, of course, and I did too, surprisingly. Although this cake was low on my list of cakes to bake, and without the HCB (or Joelf) I probably would have never made the cake at all, I am really glad I did.

Pistachio Cake

Here is a link to the HCB Pistachio Cake roundup, for those of you who haven't read them yet.

*And, just for my obsessive bean counting brain:
Total number of cakes Marie has baked to date: 67 out of 95
Total number of cakes the HCB have baked to date: 46 out of 95
Total number of cakes I have baked to date: 36 out of 95! Yikes! I need to start doubling up on free cake weeks!
(which i did, come back tomorrow for cake #2)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Stone Fruit Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake

I was invited to a labor day barbecue and was asked to bring the dessert. The hostess made me promise not to make a fuss and bring something easy. Well now, after joining the Heavenly Cake Bakers my definition of an easy dessert has changed a bit, but I knew she didn't want something high-falutin' and fancy-pantsy. So I chose the delicious and down-home upside-down cake.

pluot upside-down cornmeal cake

September 6, 2010
Name of cake: Upside Down Pluots!
Occasion: Claire's Labor Day Shindig
Constituents: 4 halved pluots baked in a buttermilk cornmeal cake with a caramelly top

pluot upside-down cornmeal cake

Okay first off, I love a good upside-down cake. I love them for many reasons: I love a chance to get some good stone fruit in an edible form (for me), I love the caramel topping, and I LOVE baking in my cast iron pan. I love how simple and easy it is to put together, and how the cake doesn't need frosting or embellishment, and I especially love that a good upside-down cake is delicious the next day for breakfast.

I thought about going back to the Heavenly Cakes' Plum and Blueberry Upside-Down Torte, but decided to seize upon the chance to bake something out of another favorite book of mine, Rustic Fruit Desserts. Have I mentioned the authors, Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, are Portlanders? I really am quite proud to be from Portland, if you haven't noticed.

The recipe calls for 4 small stone fruit, such as apricots, plums or pluots. I love the sweet-tart and juicy pluot so when I went to the store that's what I went for.

A classic upside-down caramel is made by melting butter in a 10 inch iron skillet, adding a good amount of brown sugar (light muscovado in my case), and stirring until the sugar dissolves and forms a caramel. At this point the pan is removed from the heat, and the halved and pitted fruit is arranged on top.

pluot upside-down cornmeal cake

The batter is a simple buttermilk cake batter with the addition of fine cornmeal. The butter and sugar are first creamed until light and fluffy, the eggs are beat in one by one, and the vanilla last. To this mixture the dry ingredients are added alternating with the buttermilk, and this lovely thick batter is plopped over the fruit and spread out evenly. This gets baked at 350°F for almost an hour.

pluot upside-down cornmeal cake

At the end of the bake time, the cake rose to the top of the skillet with a golden crust. And also--a little bit of spillage, argh! I was able to get the pan out of the oven and onto a cooling rack without more caramel spillage, but I will have to take a scrubbie to the bottom of the oven.

pluot upside-down cornmeal cake

After cooling for about 20 minutes, the cake can be turned out of the pan. I was a little nervous I would spill, but everything came out perfectly. All the fruit and caramel released as well. Yippee! The cake was steaming something fierce, so as I tried to get a good photo the lens kept fogging up.

After driving over to Claire's and being fed a giant steak with broccoli casserole, we dug into the cake. It was pretty darn good. The cornmeal gave a nice crunch and also a kind of sweetness--but not sugary sweet, just grains-sweet. It was nice. The fruit was soft and tart, the caramel delicious and deep. The cake was soft and tender without being soggy and mushy. Yum, yum, yum. All of us loved it.

pluot upside-down cornmeal cake

I took a little chunk back home with me to have for breakfast this morning. I decided to re-heat it in the toaster oven, and it was just as delicious, if not more, than it was yesterday. The caramel and cake had mellowed out a bit more. Even though the recipe warns the cake is best on the day it is made, I would argue that waiting a day isn't such a bad idea. Either way, this cake deserves to be made all through next summer!

pluot upside-down cornmeal cake

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Gold Financiers

Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, these little cakes have exceeded my expectations.

Gold Financiers

September 4, 2010
Name of cupcakes: Two-Bite Financiers
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: little almond cakes

Although to be fair, my expectations were low as I was not impressed by the Peanut Butter Financiers, which we made in March.

I am fascinated with financiers, because the HCB seemed to have a love-meh relationship with the peanut butter variety. Looking back, it seems like the lovers of the financiers had either the correct pan or used a mini cupcake pan. Those of us who felt meh about them tended to be those who didn't have the proper pan. In the book, Rose speaks of the ratio of crispy crust to creamy inside being perfect when baked in smaller portions, so I thought maybe making the effort to use a better pan would make a difference. Which I think it did.

Gold Financiers

Cookie has a set of foil mini cupcake pans so I bought some paper liners and borrowed her pans. I used 10 grams of batter (less than a tbsp) per mini cupcake which yielded 47 little cakes.

These cakes have a fairly simple batter of ground almonds which are processed with sugar, wondra flour for tenderness, egg whites, vanilla, baking powder and a good amount of butter. In this case, the butter is in two forms, beurre noisette and just plain ol' melted. Both need to be kept hot, so I set up two mugs with the butters in a pan of hot water:

Gold Financiers

I felt pretty cool about that :)

The butter is whipped in last, taking about 5 minutes to properly emulsify the batter. This results in a thick and creamy batter that smells of almonds and browned butter. Yum.

The very last batch of financiers baked a little longer than the first batch, but actually they didn't suffer in dryness or anything discouraging like that. They were in fact a little crispier on the outside and chewier on the inside, which I liked. In Rose's Highlights for Success, she mentions that financiers are best made "within hours of serving so that they retain their soft, springy texture and thin crisp crusts..." I also found that they were best about 20 minutes out of the oven, and lost their crispiness as the day wore on. In the Special Tips from Chef Jean François Bonnet, he suggests freezing extra cakes, letting them thaw in the refrigerator and then recrisping them in the oven at 350°. I will probably do that, since I have 37 33 mini cakes (that's 74 66 bites) lurking on my table.

Gold Financiers

These little cakes are a nice tea time treat; a mild flavored cake with an unusual texture. They would make a nice little breakfast side to a bunch of gooey stewed fruit and granola. I don't know if I'll make them again (it takes a long time to spoon out the batter in 10 gram increments!) but I'm certainly glad to have made peace with the pesky little financiers. Plus, they photographed well, which is always pleasing.

Gold Financiers