What the hell is a financier?

Good question. I’d never heard of one until last year, and honestly, I still had no idea what they were. I somehow got the impression that they were a pastry of some kind.

Turns out, they’re cake. A small, obviously French, cake, usually rectangular, which makes it look like a little bar of gold (supposedly one of the origins of its name). It’s similar to sponge cake, so if you’re expecting just a regular cake-like texture and consistency, it’s going to seem a big off. The first thing I noticed about it was that it was “eggy.” No surprise, considering there’s 6 egg whites in the batter.

There’s also almond flour, which lends it  a more interesting flavor, and brown butter, which adds to the nuttiness and general warm, deliciousness.

Seriously, everything that goes into these little cakes is good stuff. I don’t see how you could go wrong with this.

Almond flour and sugar, egg whites, all-purpose flour, and plenty of butter.

Almond flour and sugar, egg whites, all-purpose flour, and plenty of butter.

So very few ingredients and yet two different saucepans are getting themselves dirtied. Well, it’s for a good cause, so I can’t complain too much. Once the butter is melted and browned (one of my favorite things to do to butter), the almond flour, egg whites, and sugar are heated up until white-ish and runny. After removing the pan from heat, in goes the flour, followed by the butter. Once everything is all combined, it gets poured into a bowl, covered, and stuck in the fridge to chill. Overnight is best. One hour is acceptable, if you can’t wait for the overnight rest.

I managed to wait. Only because I was busy and had other things to occupy my mind. If not for that, an hour would have been a test of patience.

The financier batter after its night in the fridge.

The financier batter after its night in the fridge.

Traditionally, the batter is poured into baking pans with little rectangular molds. I do not have any of those. Nor do I have any mini muffin tins, which were also suggested. I considered using my regular muffin tins, but they’re getting kinda grungy (not sure how, considering I really only make cupcakes with wrappers in it). I decided finally on using my newly bought and as-yet-unused madeleine pan, which will be finding use again this weekend when I actually make madeleines in it.

Fortunately, it worked quite well.

Financiers. Simple and very tasty.

Financiers. Simple and very tasty.

We enjoyed these. Fruit can be added to them if desired, and Dorie also has a chocolate variation which I’m sure would be awesomely good. But these plain-flavored financiers are delicious on their own. There’s something quite comforting about them, something of childhood nostalgia that’s in every buttery, eggy bite. They were very nice to have throughout what has been a bit of an emotional week.

The other Doristas also came up with some adorable, delightful little cakes. Be sure to check out the French Friday links to see them! Happy cooking!

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