These classic French Financiers have moist center and crisp edges with natural nutty flavors due to the almond flour and browned butter. They are a great snack and dessert, perfect for your afternoon sweet treat or morning coffee pairing.
Have you ever heard of Financier before? For those of you who don’t know, the best way to describe Financier is simply a small bite-sized French almond cake. The cake has a sweet, buttery, nutty flavor with a moist texture and slightly crispy outer crust.
It may sound fancy, but it is actually very easy to make. And if you don’t have the Financier molds, you can easily use muffin pans to make the recipe. Give them a try and you will be rewarded with one of the best little cakes you have ever eaten.
What is Financier?
Financier is a French cake made with beurre noisette or brown butter, egg whites, sugar, white flour, and nut flour. It comes in different shapes and even flavors. Almond is the most popular, but hazelnut and pistachio are also commonly found.
There are a few theories as to how financiers got their name. One of which is that the traditional rectangular molds make the cakes resemble gold bars. Another theory is that it’s named for finance industry workers who needed a dessert that wouldn’t mess up their suits when picking up an afternoon snack. The cake become popular as the cake could easily be stored in the pocket for long periods without being damaged. Either way, the financier cake name stuck and so too did these delicious cakes.
Ingredients You Need
- Brown butter. Beurre noisette or brown butter is regular butter that has been melted and cooked just long enough to toast the milk solids until golden in color, the oil slightly darkens in color, and the butter has a nutty aroma. Browning butter transforms the butter’s flavor into something nutty, rich, and complex.
- Egg whites. Make sure you use room-temperature eggs because they blend more evenly in batters.
- Castor sugar. You can also replace it with confectioners’ sugar with the same weight measurement.
- Honey. Honey is optional. It helps keep the Financier moist and makes them taste more flavorful.
- Cake flour. Cake flour is ideal for baked goods with a tender texture due to its low gluten content. You can also use all-purpose flour to substitute cake flour.
- Baking powder. Just a little bit to give it a tiny lift. You can also skip the baking powder.
- Almond flour. It adds texture and richness.
Financier Mold Substitute
Financier is baked in a traditional rectangular mold that resembled a bar of gold. If you plan to buy Financier mold, look for a non-stick pan for easy release. In addition, choose metal material instead of silicone to get crisp and golden brown edges. If you don’t have or plan to buy one, you can substitute it with a muffin pan.
- Temperature matters. Make sure you use room-temperature eggs and completely cooled brown butter.
- Rest the dough. This step is optional. The purpose of this is to harmonize the flavors and firm up the batter for easy piping.
- Don’t overfill the molds. You should fill them about 80-90% full for the best result.
How to Serve Financiers
Financiers are at their very best when freshly baked, or ideally eaten within 48 hours. In fact, their texture deteriorates in a few hours. You can make the batter ahead of time and keep it chilled up for a few days, then bake off fresh batches as needed. They are best enjoyed with a cup of tea or as a delicious everyday sweet treat.
More Dessert Recipes
- Vanilla Madeleines
- Sable Breton Cookies (French Salted Butter Cookies)
- Double Chocolate Sable Cookies
- Sfogliatine Glassate (Glazed Puff Pastry)
- Almond Biscotti