Financiers – Worth their Weight in Gold
(And in these markets, that’s saying something!)
Financiers are a delectable French cake that were originally a favorite of the bankers in the Paris financial district, partly because they were baked in small tins the shape of a gold bar. It’s a small buttery, moist but chewy almond cake, often topped with fruit jam or dark chocolate squares.
We first fell in love with Financiers when we had them at the Standard Baking Company in Portland, Maine. We found a source for the “gold bar” tins and tested many of the numerous variations of the Financier recipe. This recipe in our opinion is the combination of the best aspects of all the recipes and is the most delicious and easiest to accomplish at home.
1 — If you want to bake lemon curd or other jams into the cake, either use a very small amount or use the larger, deeper brioche tins, not the traditional “gold bar” shaped tins, even though we use these in the video. The jam may sink to the bottom, making it stick to the bottom of the thinner tin. However, the brioche tins allow the fillings to stop in the center for a sweet flavor burst in the middle.
2 — For a crispier outer crust, try keeping the oven heat at 475 degrees for the second 7 minutes, instead of reducing it to 400.
Financier Recipe (.pdf download):
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Set buttered tins on a cookie sheet and place in freezer to harden.
Melt and cool 3/4 cup salted butter. (If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients.)
Combine dry ingredients:
1 cup of finely ground almonds OR almond meal
1 and 1/3 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour OR unbleached all-purpose flour
Separate 5-6 eggs to make 3/4 to 7/8 cup of egg whites.
Mix egg whites lightly. Add in 1/4 tsp. almond extract.
Add the egg white mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until thoroughly blended.
Add in melted and cooled butter and blend thoroughly. The mixture will be a fairly thin cake batter that is easy to pour.
Transfer the batter into a cup with a spout to make it easy to pour into the buttered molds. Fill them almost to the rim.
Put on your choice of Toppings:
- 2 or 3 Dark chocolate squares
- About 1 tsp. Lemon Curd (recipe below)
- About 1 tsp.of any good fruity jam like lingonberry, apricot, or raspberry
Bake for 7 minutes at 475 F (246 C), just as they begin to rise.
Reduce the heat to 400 degrees (205 C), and bake for another 7 minutes.
Then turn off the oven and let the financiers rest in the oven until firm, another 6 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool in molds for 10 minutes before removing them from the molds.
Bonus material: Download Kelle Riley’s fantastic lemon curd recipe here.