Financiers are French almond cakes flavored with beurre noisette (brown butter). I found out about them because I was searching for ways to use almond flour since I kept buying more thinking I didn't have any left. I'm usually not a fan of cakes because there's nothing exciting about them. There's no texture other than this soft spongey thing, and not much flavor other than sugar and maybe chocolate. Anthony is the same way, but we are both addicted to these mini cakes. The sugar caramelizes slightly on the outer layer making it crispy, while the inside is delicately soft and filled with the flavor of almond and beurre noisette. And if you haven't tried beurre noisette, you've been missing out. Brown butter tastes like butter (which is already amazing) with a nutty flavor and aroma. As soon as I start browning butter, my pups sit by the stove and watch me because it fills the house with this amazing smell.
I practiced these three times to perfect the recipe. I hope you enjoy them!
Financiers (adapted from Kikit Kurn's recipe)
2/3 cups butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond meal or almond flour
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons flour
3 egg whites
First, brown the butter. In a lighter colored pot, melt the butter at medium-low heat. I say use a lighter colored pot so that you can clearly see the color difference when the butter starts browning. As soon as the butter is melted, start whisking slowly. This will cause the butter to foam and will speed up the process while making sure that the heat distributes evenly. Watch for the first hint of the butter starting to brown. There's only a small window in which the butter turns brown and then becomes burnt. You'll see little brown specs start to form. When this happens, stop the heat and pour the butter into a separate container to stop the browning process. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a very clean bowl, crack the egg whites, making sure not to get any yolks in them. With a very clean whisk, whip up the egg whites until it's frothy and foamy but still a little runny. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix the flour, almond flour, and powdered sugar. I just use a fork to get everything mixed together. Pour the egg whites into the bowl and cut mix together until all of the powder is wet. It's very important not to over mix, or else your cakes will become dense and corn bread like. We want to prevent as much gluten formation as possible to get a nice soft cake. Pour in the brown butter and almond extract and mix again, just enough to get an even batter.
Pour the batter into the molds or a muffin tin. If you are using molds, fill to the brim. If you are using muffin tins, fill about 1/4 of the way.
Bake in the oven for 22 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.