Classic tiny French cakes made with browned butter and finely ground nuts, financiers are named for their shape; they’re intended to look like bars of gold and, accordingly, baked in small rectangular molds. If you don’t have such a mold, you can use a mini muffin pan instead. (In fact, we liked the muffin-pan financiers better.)
They’re perfect when plain, but there are lots of ways to dress them up: Brenner Pass executive pastry chef Olivia Wilson places a small piece of fruit on top of each before baking, or, after they’re out of the oven, dips them in tempered chocolate and sprinkles them with chopped almonds.
WHERE TO BUY: You’ll find financier molds online at Amazon.com or JB Prince. Barquet molds or mini muffin pans are fine substitutes; the mini muffin pan will yield 48 pieces.
MAKE AHEAD: The batter needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour, and up to several days. The financiers are best enjoyed the same day they are made.
13tablespoons(190 grams) salted butter, preferably a high-fat, European-style brand such as Plugra
1⁄4cupplus 2 tablespoons (50 grams) all-purpose flour
3⁄4cupplus 3 tablespoons (180 grams) sugar
1 1⁄4cups(135 grams) almond meal or almond flour
5large egg whites (150 grams)
1teaspoonvanilla extract (may substitute scrapings from 1/2 vanilla bean)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until it stops bubbling and has turned a golden nutty brown, being careful not to burn the milk solids (if you do burn it, it’s best to start over). Cool to room temperature.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, sugar and almond flour in a mixing bowl, until well incorporated.
Slowly whisk in the egg whites, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix until everything is incorporated and smooth. Slowly mix in the brown butter and vanilla extract. Transfer to a piping or large zip-top bag (for easy portioning) or bowl. Seal/cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to several days.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease the molds or mini muffin pan with cooking oil spray or bakers’ spray (which has flour in it). Fill each well about two-thirds full. Bake (middle rack) in the financier molds for 15 to 18 minutes, or until browned at the edged and golden on top. If using the mini muffin pan, bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.
Dislodge the financiers while still warm. (The yield is 48 for the mini muffin pan and 60 using the financier molds.)
Did you make this recipe? Take a photo of your financiers and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.
Adapted from a recipe by Richmond, Va., executive pastry chef Olivia Wilson.
Tested by Miriam Albert and Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Calories: 45; Total Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 25 mg; Carbohydrates: 3 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugars: 2 g; Protein: 0 g.