Financiers are rich little tea cakes (you can bake them in any shape pan, though) that get their richness and flavor from browned butter and finely-ground nuts.
Though traditionally made with almonds, I’ve had great success with using pistachios, walnuts, and (my personal favorite) pecans.
Serve these little lovelies either with bits of fruit baked in or with a lovely fruit compote on the side. They really are rich, so you don’t need any frosting or whipped cream.
You might also enjoy these little lemon thyme tea cakes. And for ease of browsing, you can find all my Individual Desserts in one place. Thanks for being here!
Why Are They Called Financiers?
I don’t think there’s a hard and fast answer to this question. My educated guess is that they’re called that because they are rich with browned butter and nuts.
Do I Have to Make This With Almonds?
Nope. Consider this financier recipe a template. Use your favorite nut/s (a combination is just fine) and make them your own. Then you can call them Pecan Financiers or Pistachio Financiers, or even Macadamia Financiers.
Adding a few pieces of fruit would be a lovely addition as well. For example, try diced peaches with pecan financiers, tart or sweet cherries with almond guys, or diced dried apricots with pistachio.
PRO TIP: If you’re going to add bits of fruit, add them right before baking so they don’t release too much juice and throw off your batter.
Are They Hard to Make?
The recipe is straightforward, and the batter will keep in the fridge for two or three days if you are all of a sudden called away to go to the reading of your recently departed rich uncle’s will.
Ingredients and Procedure
Here’s what you’ll need to make these financiers, friends:
- Powdered sugar: provides sweetness and browning and helps to keep the cakes moist.
- Nut flour: You can purchase nut flour or make your own in your food processor.
PRO TIP: To guard against turning your nuts into nut butter, process them with a portion of the flour. No need to measure–just add a couple of spoonfuls.
- All-purpose flour: you could also substitute cake flour here.
- Baking powder: provides the leavening. Since modern baking powders are double acting–releasing bubbles when mixed with liquid and again when heated, the batter can sit for a couple of days and still rise without issue.
- salt: focuses the flavor
- egg whites: provides the structure along with water (in the whites) to help develop some of the gluten in the flour
- browned butter: adds richness, browning ability, and delicious flavor. You could use clarified butter or melted ghee here, but don’t use whole butter because it contains too much liquid.
- corn syrup: helps with browning and lends the cakes a delicious, thin crisp crust.
Here’s how to put the batter together:
- If your browned butter is in the fridge, melt it. No need to boil–just get it back into a liquid state.
- Add the corn syrup to the melted butter, and set aside.
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients: powdered sugar, nut flour/s of choice, baking powder, and salt.
- Slowly add the egg whites, scraping bowl as necessary.
- Drizzle in the brown butter/corn syrup mixture until evenly incorporated.
At this point, you can refrigerate the batter for a day or two, or you can bake immediately.
Can I Make Gluten-Free Financiers?
Yes. Substitute a cup for cup gluten-free flour blend such as Cup4Cup for the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe.
A Note About Measurements
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
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- 375 g 10x sugar
- 135 g nut flour (use a food processor and whir them up until they look like coarse flour)
- 135 g all purpose flour
- 4 g baking powder
- 3 g salt
- 375 g egg white
- 200 g browned butter
- 35 g corn syrup
- If you’ve premade and refrigerated your brown butter, melt browned butter–no need to boil it.
- Remove from heat and add corn syrup. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all dry ingredients thoroughly.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly add the egg whites until incorporated. Scrape the bowl.
- Turn mixer back on low and drizzle in the butter/corn syrup mixture. Mix until incorporated. This batter will keep in the fridge for a couple of days if you don’t want to use it right away.
- When ready to bake, spray your pans (little pans–3″ or so–are good because these cakes are very rich) with pan spray and fill them about 1/2 to 2/3 full with batter. These are lovely plain, but you can (and should) add any kind of fruit to the pan as well–just press the fruit into the batter. Cherries are good, but so are peaches, plums (any sort of stone fruit) as well as blueberries, raspberries…..you get the idea. If you want to use a firmer fruit, like apples, I would suggest sauteeing them a bit to soften them up.
- Bake at 325 degrees, F until golden brown on the tops and risen. If you press on the tops, they should feel fairly firm. In a commercial convection oven on low fan, these guys take about 16 minutes in 3″ pans, so adjust your times according to pan size.
Did You Make Any Changes?
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