A Financier is a small French Almond Cake traditionally baked in the shape of a gold bar, hence the name. Some say that it is called such because the cake became popular in the financial district of Paris surrounding the Paris stock exchange and was named after its wealthy bankers. Its main ingredient is the almond flour (ground or finely crushed) though it's distinct feature comes from the use of beurre noisette (brown butter).
Other traditional ingredients include egg whites, flour, and powdered sugar (though regular white sugar may be used, too). The cake does not use any leavening agent other than the egg whites but the initial really hot oven temp helps it to rise, too. It is rich, dense, with a moist crumb and absolutely delicious! To lighten it a bit, fruits are sometimes added and to provide some taste and textural contrasts, too.
I have made these Financiers a few times already and they were always such a pleasure to eat - bursting with deliciousness in every bite! I have paired fresh peaches with both blueberries and raspberries. Feel free to use the fruit that you like. The berries' sweet-tart flavor provide a good contrast to the sweetness and richness of the sponge.
Since I don't have the gold bar shaped molds, I used my muffin tins. Make sure to grease or butter it really well, so they don't stick. You can opt to use a muffin liner, if you like, it will be easier to remove them that way though they say if you do so - you may not achieve its lovely brown crusty sides. Oh well, do whatever is preferable to you. It would be fantastic either way! Don't they look utterly delicious?
1 cup white Sugar
1/2 cup Almond Flour (finely ground Almonds or Almond meal)
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
4 Egg Whites
1 stick, Browned butter*
2 fresh Peaches, pitted and chopped in small pieces (I didn't bother removing the skin but do so if you prefer that)
1 (up to 1 1/2) cup(s) fresh Blueberries
*Plain melted butter works too if you don't wanna go through the trouble of browning the butter.
Handy tool: Electric mixer
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Butter liberally a 12-count muffin tin. Alternatively, you can also use muffin liners (using liners won't make the financiers turn fully golden brown as they should be but the taste would still be fantastic).
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, Almond and regular flour. Add the egg whites. With an electric mixer beat the mixture well for about 1 minute. Pour in the browned (or melted) butter and beat again for another minute. Gently stir in the fruits.
Spoon or pour the batter into the muffin tin. Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes or just when the financiers are beginning to rise. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 F and bake for another 7-8 minutes. Turn-off the heat without opening the oven door and leave the financiers there for another 5 minutes. The financiers are done when they are nicely browned and springs back when pressed lightly. You may have to slightly adjust the baking time if you are using muffin liners.
Transfer to a wire rack but let the Financiers cool in the muffin tins for about 10 minutes or just until warm. These are best eaten warm. Should you have some left-overs, which I really doubt, just store them in airtight containers. Oh buttery deliciousness, indeed!
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