These brown butter financiers are easy elegance defined with the nuttiness of brown butter and the velvety crumb of a delicate cake. No need for fancy ingredients. Just stuff you already have in your pantry. Here’s how to make them.
The name “brown butter financiers” may conjure images of fancy French pastries, although these little beauties couldn’t be simpler to make. Just stir some ingredients together. No need to spend money on fancy financier molds. Just substitute mini-muffin tins. In less than an hour, you (and anyone you want to impress) can be nibbling these dainty cakes that boast a velvety crumb and the irresistible nuttiness of brown butter. Easy elegance.–Angie Zoobkoff
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How Did Financiers Get Their Name?
“These little cakes, invented in the late 1800s, were named financiers because they were created by a baker who was located near the financial district of Paris.” There you have it. Straight from Hillary Davis, who created this particularly addictive brown butter financiers recipe.
Brown Butter Financiers
- Mini-muffin pans
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more for the pans
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter plus more for the pans
- Confectioners sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Butter and flour 2 mini-muffin tins.
- In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour and salt. Add the almond flour, granulated sugar, and confectioners sugar and whisk well to combine.
- In another bowl, whisk the almond extract into the egg whites just until frothy, 30 to 60 seconds.
- In a wide saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Then bring the heat up to medium and let simmer, without stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the milk solids have sunk to the bottom and have begun to turn light brown. You will hear the butter gurgle and snap as it cooks and begins to turn amber. Watch it carefully as you don’t want it to turn too dark a shade of brown. You may want to cover the pan with a lid or a spatter screen to prevent little droplets of hot butter landing on you or your stovetop. When the butter turns an amber color, remove the pan from the heat. You just made brown butter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg white mixture and gently whisk until combined. While the butter is still hot, pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or measuring cup. You should have just shy of 1/2cup. Pour this into the batter and gently whisk just until the butter is incorporated and the batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter into the mini-muffin pans, filling them to the top. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake the financiers for 13 to 15 minutes, until they have risen in the center and the edges are golden brown.
- Cool the financiers in the pans for at least 10 minutes and then turn them onto a wire rack to cool completely. The financiers are quite delicate, especially when warm, so if they stick to the pan, simply run the blade of a thin knife around the edge of each financier prior to turning them out of the pan. If desired, lightly dust the tops with confectioners sugar.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These brown butter financiers are amazing! One of the nicest recipes I’ve made…ever. The flavor is wow…the texture is perfect. Very easy to make and very easy to eat. These are just so special! Totally loved them. I did not dust the tops with confectioner’s sugar. We ate a few warm and the rest at room temperature. Of course warm was best but room temperature was just fine, too.
Butter. Brown butter. These brown butter financiers are all about the butter. And that’s a good thing. I mean, who doesn’t like butter? The almond was a subtle flavor, lurking behind the buttery goodness of these little cakes. The almond flour gave them a velvety softness inside as only almond flour can. These took minimal effort to stir together and were ready to eat only an hour after I pulled the muffin tins from the cabinet. I saw no need for a stand mixer since the whites needed so little beating. I mixed everything together with a rubber spatula. I served them room temperature and plain. No confectioners sugar—they didn’t need any adornment. They’re gone now. I might just need to bake another batch…
These brown butter financiers are delicious to eat, lovely to look at, and easy to make. The taste and texture are outstanding. These were on the table in under an hour and made a perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee. I love the size—two bites, tops. I have a variety of mini-muffin tins and opted to use the smallest. My yield was exactly 15. I only had almond meal in my pantry and opted to use it. I assume that the only difference is the presence of skins. Next time I would probably use almond flour so that the specks of skin would not be visible in my finished product. I loved the fact that this recipe didn’t require the use of my mixer and everything was whisked or stirred together. Making the brown butter was not quite as straightforward as the recipe implied-I let mine go for 5 minutes but in reality it could have gone a bit further, also i am not sure that it should not be stirred. Several other recipes out there imply that stirring it will help to brown it better. I will have to experiment. Mine surely gave the financiers a nuttiness but i think it could have been a deeper one. Be sure to use a light colored pan to best judge the browning of the butter. I didn’t add the confectioner’s sugar and didn’t think they needed the additional sweetness. The crispy outside combined with the soft chewy center makes a great combination. I have financier pans and next time I will try it in those. There will be definitely be a next time.
Simple pleasures. There is something to be said about unadorned, basic, timeless treats that are simple pleasures, like a really good pound cake or shortbread cookies. These lovely brown butter financiers can join the list. They’re moist, tender, buttery, slightly egg-y, and quite satisfying. The recipe is very straightforward and it doesn’t take much time at all from start to finish. After mixing the batter, I transferred it to my Pyrex measuring cup (a 2-cup one sufficed) for easy pouring into the muffin tins. Two things I’d like to try next time are adding orange zest to the batter and topping each financier with sliced almonds before baking.
This is a great financiers recipe. The taste and texture are great and they’re easy to make.
Originally published December 05, 2017