A financier is a delightful little French cake made from almond flour, wheat flour, powdered sugar, egg whites, and beurre noisette, aka browned butter. A touch of vanilla rounds out the flavor, while a small amount of honey helps the cake stay moist. For added dimension, financiers are often garnished with nuts or thin slices of fruit before baking. If you're feeling really indulgent, upgrade to using a vanilla bean if you like. Scrape out 1/3 of a bean to substitute for the extract in this recipe.
Financiers are a versatile cake. They're small and not too sweet, so they're good at all times of the day. Enjoy in the morning with a cup of coffee, after lunch, at tea time or as a post-dinner treat. They're great with all kinds of garnish, from nuts such as almond or pistachio to seasonal fruits such as strawberry, plum, apricot, or persimmon.
These cakes come together easily by sifting together the dry ingredients and blending with the wet ingredients into a smooth batter. The batter is then piped or poured into molds, garnished, and baked. Traditionally, rectangular molds are used, lending the cakes a resemblance to bars of gold, suggesting one possible origin for the name "financier" (another origin story holds that the cakes were especially popular in the Parisian financial district). Any mold is fine, though. Not everyone has rectangular molds, but most bakers have a 12 cup muffin pan. Use what you have. Baking times will vary with the depth of the batter. Shallow, rectangular financiers may bake faster than deeper round ones. When the tops puff up and stop bubbling, they're ready.
- 1 1/2 cups/170 grams powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup/65 grams almond meal
- 1/2 cup/65 grams bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon/2 grams baking powder
- 2 teaspoons/16 grams honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup 100 grams butter
- 6 egg whites/180 grams
- Optional: 1/2 cup almonds, blanched and sliced, for garnish
Gather the ingredients and heat oven to 370 F.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add the honey and vanilla to this mixture.
Blend until combined in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Melt the butter until it starts to brown, using caution to not stir the mixture.
Strain the browned butter and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Add half the egg whites and mix to incorporate.
Add the remaining egg whites and mix at medium speed until the batter is smooth.
Ladle or pipe the batter into greased molds, two-thirds of the way up the mold. Garnish with almonds if desired.
Bake at 370 F for about 15 minutes or until done.
Gently remove the financiers from the molds and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool before serving.
Batter can be stored in bulk in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or frozen portioned for up to 10 days. Frozen portioned batter need not be thawed before baking.
To garnish with fruit, simply thinly slice your fruit of choice. A thickness of about 1/8 inch works well. To prevent the fruit from sinking into the cake, lay the slices flat on top of the batter in the molds, and bake as usual.
Store leftover financiers in a covered container for up to four days.