March 22, 2013

Financiers, 2 ways

This week, our subject is financiers. These are small cakes, often shaped as rectangles, which it is said resemble bars of gold, hence the name. However, the shape of the cake is not what defines it, the ingredients do. Two essential ingredients that set this cake apart from others are almond flour and brown butter. The result is a tiny, spongy, nutty and earthy cake that pairs well with a mid-morning cappuccino or cup of tea. Financier molds are difficult to find, so our bakers opted to use mini muffin pans instead. The cakes are still delicious, no matter the shape!

Financiers: traditional and chocolate
350 standard bake, standard measure, 9 minutes, 14 minis each flavor

I decided to make both flavors of financiers at once. After reading both recipes thoroughly, I realized that I'd have leftover brown butter, so why not make them both to use it up? Even so, the brown butter recipe called for 1 pound of butter which would yield 1 1/2 cups of brown butter, and each recipe needed only 1/2 cup each. So I halved the brown butter recipe and yielded the exact amount I needed.

Both recipes were very simple and quick to make, the only difference being the addition of cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Also, this recipe did not need to be chilled at all before baking! A nice change of pace. Since I was baking them at the same time, I used mini muffin pans for both flavors. They required a few extra minutes in the oven. The traditional financiers came out golden brown and beautiful! The edges were quite brown, but the brown butter lent such a lovely taste. The chocolate ones were like little brownie bites almost, very tasty and a nice deep chocolate flavor. I had to scold my husband not to each them all before I had time to take a photo.

Overall, these were very tasty little treats, tiny bite-sized cakes fit for any occasion. They are a bit dangerous to have in the house, as it's so easy just to pop a few in your mouth again and again!

24 mini muffin size, metric measure, convection bake, 18 minutes

In comparison to madeleines, these cakes have a nuttier, richer flavor from two of my favorite baking ingredients, almond meal and brown butter. I used almond meal instead of flour as I like the little flecks of almond and the smell of butter browning is intoxicating. While I didn't have the traditional bar mold they baked nicely in the mini muffin pan. I put a little more than 1 tablespoon of batter in each cavity. The recipe offers the suggestion to add a whole raspberry or blueberry inside before baking but I prefer them plain. The cakes have golden brown edges that are crispy and the inside is moist and tender.


I made both the Traditional Financiers and the Chocolate Financiers. The traditional batches did not survive the photo shoot as they were eaten up. I baked the first batch for 24 minutes. They came out without the hump but were soft and moist. For the next batch, I used the convection oven at 375˚. They turned out perfect with the hump and were crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. The brown butter really gave them a toasty nutty rich taste along with the the almond flour.

The chocolate financiers were also easy to make just like the plain ones. I loved that I could bake them immediately without refrigerating the batter. I did not use the convection oven as I forgot to look at my notes from the plain financiers. I did bake them for 22 minutes instead of the 12. They did not have the hump, but they came out so tasty and I will be making more batches! The recipe gave me a bakers dozen instead of 24. I find the baking time and oven temperature are a bit tricky, but this recipe is definately a winner!

Guest Baker: Jo Wong
Gas oven, convection last 3 minutes of baking

This was my first time making financiers, I purchased one of those silicon financier baking mold last year and finally pulled it out to try this recipe.  My mold only had 8 cavities and the recipe produced enough batter for 12 cakes.  So I pulled out a mini muffin pan and made 6 mini muffin ones.

My modifications to the recipe, I decrease the sugar to 90 grams and still found them to be too sweet for my taste.  I toasted the blanched almond meal to enhanced the nutty flavor.  If you were serving this with a cappuccino, it would be a perfect compliment.  I also follow his advice about adding a few raspberries or blueberries to the mold before adding the batter.  The tartness in the berries offset some of the sweetness. They actually turned out pretty with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Baking with the silicon molds was another challenge, the top of the cakes baked up nicely but bottom of the little cakes were quite pale after I removed them from the mold.  To fix that, I put all the cakes on a cookie sheet and returned them to the oven with the convection setting on for 2 minutes just to give the bottoms some color.  Will need to try this recipe with a metal pan to check the difference

No comments:

Post a Comment