How to bake a financier

Be whisked away on a European adventure full of class, elegance and dainty desserts all from the comfort of your own home. Betty Hung, co-owner and head pastry chef of the French-inspired Beaucoup Bakery, is reaching new heights with not only her delicious pastries but by sharing her love of baking with children through UBC’s Junior Chef: Kid’s Cooking Class.

“I want to share a little bit of my knowledge with those who are passionate about it,” says Hung.

In light of recent events, the event will be held online Sunday, Sept. 19, where kids of all ages get the opportunity to work alongside a talented baker: learning, having fun and baking chocolate chip financiers.

Smooth, fluffy goodness

What are financiers? Financiers are small French almond cakes, traditionally baked in rectangular tins to imitate gold bars. Made with brown butter, almond flour and egg whites, these tiny desserts are light, moist and a perfect dessert to have with tea or on its own. Second only to madeleines, financiers are the most common treats one can enjoy while strolling down the bustling streets of Paris, as it is a common street food.

Beaucoup Bakery is offering baking classes for kids.| Photo by Elaha Amani

But there’s no need to travel to Paris: Beaucoup Bakery makes, from scratch, scrumptious raspberry-chocolate-dipped financiers, as well as a gluten-free option.

“They’re common tea-cakes, and very good snacks,” Hung explains. Financiers are also a great, go-to snack for those with a sweet tooth.

Hung prides herself on Beacoup’s financiers, and it is one of her favourite pastries they offer, but to her, no pastry can top flakey, butter croissants.

Favourite treat

“Nothing beats a freshly-baked butter croissant,” says Hung.

After years of working with pastries, Hung has found that her tastes lie with treats on the more savoury-side. Beaucoup Bakery’s butter croissants are her absolute favourite snack, one she praises proudly and couldn’t recommend enough to all, especially new customers.

Although the three-day process to create these pastries is quite laborious, it is definitely worth it. According to Hung, whether solo or with coffee, one can’t go wrong with Beaucoup Bakery’s butter croissant.

Then and now

Formerly a graphic designer studying at UBC, Hung joined Beaucoup Bakery in 2013 as an unpaid intern; and, despite having no prior training in pastry arts, worked her way up to head pastry chef.

She enjoyed her time working at the bakery immensely, so when previous owner Jackie Kai Ellis put the place up for sale, Hung took a leap of faith. She and her brother, Jacky Hung (co-owner and barista at Beaucoup Bakery), have been running the bakery since, expanding on its success and making their name known in the community.

The program that’s going to be offered at UBC this fall will help Beaucoup accomplish just that.

Aside from producing new and unique pastries, and creating more opportunities to offer to her community, Hung has other goals for Beaucoup Bakery in mind. She hopes to make a few handy renovations and perhaps open another bakery.

This really demonstrates Hung’s passion and ambition, which is what has made Beaucoup Bakery into the success it is today. Hung and her brother will continue providing the delicious treats they are known for, and make strides to take their bakery to even greater heights in the upcoming few years.

A tasty opportunity indeed. Hung wishes she was able to host more classes with children this year, but for the sake of health and public safety she decided to hold off until late this year. Hung is very excited to share her baking expertise with the children participating in her class, and is looking forward to more similar opportunities in the future.

UBC’s Junior Chef: Kid’s Cooking Class is sure to be a recipe for laughter, floury fingers and a little bit of European culture. Children are invited to grab their aprons and get baking something delectable.

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