The story of the financier is that they were invented by a pastry shop in the Stock Exchange sector of Paris as little cakes in the shape of gold bars that businessmen could put in their pocket as a snack for later. The almond cakes were made to be easy to eat so very few crumbs would go astray on expensive suit jackets.
I love this story but I’ve got to admit- these cakes are my favorite for anything from picnics to tea parties- just because of what was said above. They’re delicious, portable, and easy to eat.
They’re also extremely versatile! Change up the base by adding different spices like a little cardamom or cinnamon. Instead of doing all almond flour, add a percentage of pistachio flour and a little pistachio paste, or walnut or pecan flour for a different nutty taste. Now comes the fun part- pick a fruit to press into the top- just be careful of the water content. Raspberries, fresh currants, blueberries, and blackberries are sure bets. Peaches, nectarines, and pears are great too- just go with ones that are a little underripe and use small slices on top.
Chocolate Raspberry Financiers
To make these vanilla, replace the cocoa powder with flour and leave out the chocolate. Great additions are fruits on top like blueberries, raspberries, fresh currants, or blackberries. You can also put slices of peach, nectarine, or pear, just go with a firmer fruit so there's less water content and they cook through without any problems.
These can be baked in several different kinds of molds. The traditional is a flat rectangular. I like the taller rectangular cakes as seen in the pictures. Mini or regular muffin tins work as well. Just grease the muffin tin, there's no need for a cupcake paper. As these are rather rich, for regular muffins, I would only fill halfway. Adjust the baking time as needed.
- 120 g granulated sugar
- 20 g all purpose flour (45T or 55T in France)
- 60 g almond flour
- 20 g cocoa powder
- 100 g egg whites
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 30 g bittersweet chocolate (70-75%) (chopped)
Preheat the oven to 425F/225C.
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and almond flour. Then add the egg whites. Set aside.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan until browned bits form on the bottom. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate pieces to melt. Add to the mixture above while still hot.
Fill your chosen mold (see note above) and press in a fruit if you'd like. After putting in the oven, immediately lower the temperature to 350F/165C. The time is going to depend on the type of mold used. The rectangular molds pictured took about 20 minutes. To tell when they are done, press lightly on top. It should spring back. You can also insert a toothpick into a non-fruit section. It should come out clean or with just little crumbs attached.