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BANANA AND HAZELNUT FINANCIER WITH WALNUT CREAM

50 g / 2 oz shelled walnuts, plus extra for decoration
200 ml / 7 fl oz milk
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp caster sugar
good pinch of ground cinnamon

50 g / 2 oz unsalted butter
1 vanilla pod, split
3 egg whites
100 g / 4 oz icing sugar
50 g / 2 oz self-raising flour
40 g / 1 3/4 oz ground hazelnuts
2 bananas
2 Tbsp sugar
cocoa powder, for dusting

Put the walnuts and milk in a pan. Bring to the boil, then blend
in a food processor until smooth. Whisk the egg yolks with the
caster sugar until thickened slightly and pale. Add the walnut
paste and whisk well. Pour the mixture into a clean pan and stir
over a low heat until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden
spoon. Add the cinnamon, then strain into a jug and leave to cool.

Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and put four
10 cm / 4 in cooking rings, a little spaced apart, on the sheet.
Brush with a little oil. Preheat the oven to 160 :C / Gas 3 / fan
oven 140 :C.

Make the financier: melt the butter with the vanilla pod in a pan,
then brown over a medium heat. Remove the vanilla pod and leave
butter to cool. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually whisk in the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, then fold
in the flour and hazelnuts, then the browned butter.

Divide the mixture between the rings and cook for 15 minutes until
pale golden. Allow to cool a little, then remove the rings. Thinly
slice the bananas and arrange on top. Sprinkle over the sugar
evenly, then caramelise under a hot grill or with a cooks blowtorch.
Transfer to plates and spoon a little walnut cream around. Dust
with cocoa powder and decorate with walnuts.

serves 4

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