pumpkin sage and parmesan financiers recipe

Pumpkin, Sage and Parmesan Financiers

Today the sun is shining again on the city we love so much.  While France is in shock and mourning, some Parisian shops opened this weekend, not giving in to being terrorised.

Paris view from Montmartre by Jill Colonna

Yesterday the skies were grey and all around was so desperately quiet. We stayed indoors, stunned, numbed by such violence, trying to digest what happened in Paris on Friday night. Our thoughts and sincere sympathies are with all those who have lost their precious loved ones.

We can’t even begin to imagine how it must feel. Paris needs our solidarity and support. As we get on with our lives in hope of peace, let’s not give in to fear by continuing to enjoy its beauty, its history, and its culture.

Pumpkin financiers, French savoury cakes

We lost our appetite but somehow steaming hot pumpkin and leek soup were comforting hugs in a bowl. With a bit of pumpkin left roasting in the pan, I rustled up some light, savoury cakes to accompany it.

A Bit of Parisian History – Financiers

I’ve called them Financiers but the only resemblance to the sweet, traditional almond teacake is the oblong moulds used, which are also used by Ladurée in Paris for their financiers. These were the original shape of the teacake before Monsieur Lasne, a rather enterprising pastry chef in the Stock Exchange (la Bourse) area, had the gem of an idea by changing them to gold bar shapes in 1890 for his financial clientele. Recipes for financiers, including a chocolate-hazelnut one, are in Teatime in Paris!

Silicone moulds are my favourite, as there’s no need to grease them before baking and the cakes just fall out on to the cooling rack. They’re best in these financier moulds but you can use any little cake moulds that you have. The pumpkin parmesan financiers are a delicious change to holiday apéritif pre-dinner drinks and, even if they’re quick to make, they also freeze well so ideal for planning ahead.

pumpkin parmesan financiers recipe

Pumpkin Parmesan Financiers

Makes approx. 20 cakes

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20+15 minutes

150g pumpkin, roughly chopped into small chunks
1 tbsp sage, finely chopped
100g olive oil
200g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
100g semi-skimmed milk
50g block parmesan, freshly grated
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
20g chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F (gas 4). Put the pumpkin in a roasting tin with half of the sage and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven to cool.

2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl then, using a balloon whisk, beat in the eggs, olive oil and milk until you have a smooth paste. Add the parmesan, nutmeg, the rest of the sage then gradually whisk in the pumpkin (it will break up with the whisk which is just perfect as it won’t be a purée but tiny bits) and walnuts, if using.

3. Pour into financier silicone moulds (here I used traditional oblong shapes but you can use rectangular financier moulds – or madeleine moulds too) and bake for about 20 minutes until the cakes are golden brown.

Best served on the day but can also be frozen for up to a month to help you plan ahead for your holiday baking. Or prepare the batter the day before and bake when needed.

pumpkin parmesan financiers

To all my American friends – wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving from Paris!


12 replies
  1. Christina @ Christina's Cucina
    Christina @ Christina's Cucina says:

    Missed this one, but not sure how! Yes, we all are still trying to comprehend such anger and hatred, but I don’t think we will ever understand and maybe that is a good thing.

    I’m with David; those are such lovely molds! Your financiers look utterly perfect and I’m sure they were just the right addition to the pumpkin leek soup! Your family is very lucky!

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks Christina – always such lovely words. I think it’s the least I can do since I’m so lucky to have a family that’s healthy. These events make you appreciate what we have, don’t they?

  2. David
    David says:

    I am so glad to hear Parisians are reopening and not letting terrorism take their hearts and souls. Such a strange and tragic world.

    And, thank you, for continuing to nurture out souls and our appetites! These savor financiers look amazing. And I will be looking for silicone molds soon!

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks David. Yes, in Paris on Saturday night and it was heartening to see busy metros again, folk out enjoying life. I would thoroughly recommend silicone moulds – they are so easy to work with and hassle-free.

  3. Liz
    Liz says:

    The world in mourning the tragic losses in Paris.Thinking of you and your homeland. I’m glad you are all carrying on—your savory financiers are a bit of sunshine during this sad time. xo

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thank you Liz. Sad times indeed and yes, we have to carry on. We can’t let fear take over. Yesterday was so quiet around the Eiffel Tower but Paris is full of police and army and feels so re-assuring.

  4. Cheryl Turner
    Cheryl Turner says:

    Jill – It was good to see your post this morning. I am happy to hear you and your family are safe. My heart breaks with sorrow for those suffering losses from this senseless attack on Paris. This recipe looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it. We will raise a glass to the City of Love as we enjoy your financiers.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks so much Cheryl. It seems so strange to try continuing our ‘normal’ lives after such events but we have to. Hugs x

  5. Lake Lili
    Lake Lili says:

    Thanks for the recipe for these dangerous treats… I can feel my waistline expanding.
    Thank you for posting with all that is going on in Paris. Hope that you and yours are all safe.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks Lili – they’re actually light little treats, as long as it stops at 2 or 3 …
      Yes, we have heavy hearts for Paris. Hard to take it all in.



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