This week, we’re baking again for French Fridays with Dorie. After last week’s confusing categorization of a sweet-savory nibble, this week’s recipe is firmly in the land of sweets: financiers. Financiers are little buttery almond cakes, traditionally baked in the shape of a gold ingot, that were created by Patisserie Lasne in Paris as a snack for the stockbrokers at the Bourse.
I’ve been fascinated by this recipe for ages. In my embarrassingly large (or should I say ginormous) collection of clipped recipes, I’m sure there are at least a dozen variations for financiers. And yet, before this week, I’d never made them before. I was very excited to try.
For something this rich and delicious, the batter is surprisingly simple to make. First, you brown some butter. Then, you combine almond flour, sugar, and egg whites, and heat this mixture until it gets hot. Some flour is added, and finally the butter is whisked in, and you have batter. The batter does need to rest overnight.
I’ve only browned butter once, before for another Dorie recipe. The process took a little longer than I expected, but it was meditative. I fell into a trance while I carefully watched the butter boil. Then, in an instant, it smelled nutty and turned a lovely shade of brown.
I used almond meal from Trader Joe’s which has flecks of brown from the skin, so my batter had a wholesome, rustic look. I suppose the French patisseries use almond meal or flour made from blanched nuts, for a more refined look.
I didn’t have a special financier pan, so baked my little cakes in mini-muffin tins. Actually, I’ve made one pan full and have enough to bake at least another dozen today. The batter will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator, so the pleasure of slightly warm nutty goodness can be extended throughout the week.
I didn’t have any fresh berries on hand, but you can also adorn each cake with a berry before baking. I’ll try to remember that in raspberry season this summer.
Financiers are definitely a good snack, not just for French stockbrokers, but for anyone, anywhere.
If you’d like to try these yourself, you can find the recipe here. And, you can always find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To read about other bloggers’ financiers, check out their links here.