Financiers are some of my absolute favorite French pastries. These personal size, lighter-than-air almond cakes are a delicious treat with a café au lait or your afternoon tea.
Considered a type of petit-fours, financiers are small pastries meant for an individual. These are almond cakes made with egg whites, so expect a light and airy inside, with crisp edges that hold it’s shape.
Originally, these cakes were called visitandine as they were made by the Visitandine order of nuns in the 17th century. However in the 20th century, a pastry chef named Lasne put the batter in a cake mold shaped like bricks of gold. Being in Paris’ financial district these cakes sold like…well, hotcakes. And the rest is history.
What Mold To Use For Financiers?
The traditional financier mold is a shallow, angled, rectangular frame which results in a finished cake that resembles a brick of gold. However this is entirely aesthetic as you can use any mini cake or muffin pan you like!
For my financier recipe I use a silicone mold, but you can use metal, or even paper if you prefer. You can even use a madeleine mold for a crisscross recipe that will confuse your guests.
Financiers make great cakes for the holidays as the individual size means every houseguest has their own little delicacy to enjoy.
How To Make The Best French Financiers
Despite the fancy name and the fact this dessert is French, financiers are actually very easy to make. You only need 5 ingredients, plus almonds for garnish, and you can have these delicious tea cakes in less than 45 minutes!
- 65 grams Almond Flour – about 2/3 cups. Make sure you buy almond flour and not almond meal as the latter is not fine enough for light and airy financiers.
- 40 grams Flour – about 1/3 cup. You can use regular AP flour here.
- 100 grams Egg Whites – this is almost four egg whites, but you will have a little bit more. I suggest using a kitchen scale to measure out exactly 100 grams. You can save the yolks by making cured egg yolks which is a great grating ingredient.
- 100 grams Sugar
- 100 grams Butter – non-salted
- Almonds – for garnish
In a bowl whisk together the sugar, almond and wheat flours. Whisk well so there are no clumps. You can alternatively sift the flours together to guarantee zero clumping.
Pour in the egg whites and whisk them into the flour/sugar mix. You can’t really overmix here so just keep going until you have a thick, doughy paste.
Add your butter to a pan on high heat. Move it around constantly with the whisk so it melts evenly and does not burn.
When the butter is fulling melted whisk constantly. It will bubble a lot in the pan but just keep whisking. As the bubbles go down the butter will begin to brown and it will be ready for pouring into the batter.
Slowly trickle the beurre noisette, aka brown butter, into the financier batter while whisking constantly. The butter is hot but if you whisk continuously it will not ‘cook’ the batter.
The batter should be almond colored and quite runny. A lot of people think financiers are cookies, but they are in fact a cake. So if your cake batter is too thick then you have done something wrong.
Pour the batter into your molds, leaving a little bit of room at the top for them to rise. Since I am using silicone molds I place the entire thing on a metal baking tray for ease of access. Pop them into an oven at 175C or 350F for 20-22 minutes, or until you see the edges get golden brown. Remove, let cool slightly, and remove from the molds.
Garnish financiers with some slivered almonds for presentation. Or dust the cakes with powdered sugar. You can even drizzle some chocolate over them if you prefer! Bon Appetit!
Financiers (French Almond Cakes)
- 1 Oven for baking
- 1 Whisk for mixing
- 1 Financier Mold or other small cake mold like cupcake or muffin pans or even fancy silicone molds
- 65 grams Almond Flour about 2/3 cups. Make sure you buy almond flour and not almond meal as the latter is not fine enough for light and airy financiers.
- 40 grams Flour about 1/3 cup. You can use regular AP flour here.
- 100 grams Egg Whites this is almost four egg whites but you will have a little bit more. I suggest using a kitchen scale to measure out exactly 100 grams. You can save the yolks by making cured egg yolks which is a great grating ingredient.
- 100 grams Sugar
- 100 grams Butter non-salted
- Almonds for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 175C or 350F convection
- In a mixing bowl add the flours and sugar and whisk together so there are no lumps. You can sift the flours if you want.
- Add in the egg whites and whisk until they are fully incorporated.
- In a pan on high heat add the butter and whisk until browned, about 5 minutes. Whisk constantly so it does not burn. When the bubbles dissipate it should be ready.
- Trickle in the melted butter while whisking the cake batter. Stop after all the butter is fully mixed in.
- Pour the batter into your molds and place on a baking tray. Put in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, or until you see the edges turn golden brown.
- Take out tray from the oven, let cool, and remove the cakes from the mold. Garnish how you wish and enjoy!