These mini-muffin financiers—small almond cakes—are a French classic. Made with almond flour, egg whites, confectioners sugar, honey, and melted butter, the financiers are studded with raspberries and baked until golden brown.
There are probably hundreds of recipes for financiers, and with good reason. These golden, buttery little almond cakes are irresistible! They are also quite easy and satisfying to make. Since they have only about a 24-hour life span once baked, it’s best to make the batter ahead, up to 7 days, and keep it in a closed container in the fridge. Then you can simply bake them whenever you get a craving. The batter is transportable, so you can bake them to order on site. They’re terrific still warm from the oven. Using a mini-muffin tin means you don’t have to use special financier pans, although of course, you can if you have them.–Bill Yosses
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CAN I MAKE FINANCIER BATTER AHEAD OF TIME?
We’d like to draw your attention to something that Bill Yosses just said above, as it’s worth repeating. You can whip up this financier batter and KEEP IT IN THE FRIDGE AT ALL TIMES for little financiers at a minute’s notice for whenever you fancy them. You can even lug the bowl of batter with you just about anywhere–fancy schmancy parties, your neighbors, the north rim of the Grand Canyon–and bake ’em off so they’re warm from the oven. Wow. Talk about a handy hostess gift. Life just got even better.
- Two 12-cup financier or mini-muffin tins
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter plus more for the pan
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup almond flour or finely ground blanched almonds
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 large egg whites lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon full-flavored honey such as lavender
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raspberries blueberries, or pieces of dried fruit
- In a heavy pan over medium heat, warm the butter until it melts and the milk solids settle and stick to the bottom of the pot and turn golden brown and slightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Sift the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour or ground almonds, all-purpose flour, and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low speed, then add the egg whites, honey, and vanilla, and mix on low speed, scraping down the bowl, until combined. Add the cooled melted butter and their solids and mix until incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. (You can actually keep the batter in the fridge, at the ready, for up to several days.)
- When you’re ready to bake the financiers, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F (204°C). Butter two 12-cup mini muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full of batter, and place 1 or 2 raspberries or blueberries, or one piece of dried fruit on each one. Bake on the center rack until golden brown around the edges and firm in the center, about 16 minutes.
- Let the financiers cool in the pans for 5 minutes then run a thin knife or offset spatula around the sides of the muffin cups or financier molds. Turn the financiers out onto wire racks. Serve warm or let cool on the rack and serve later that same day.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Mini-muffin financiers utilizes the ingredients and concept of French financiers to turn out delightful mini-muffins. They’re light, sweet, and buttery, and would be perfect for a brunch buffet or as part of dessert plate at a dinner party. The availability of seasonal fresh berries makes these especially attractive, but I’d also like to try them with dried fruits.
Can I vote this one an 11 out of ten? I whipped up the batter the evening before, filled the mini-muffin pans the next morning using two spoons, and baked them in time for a late breakfast treat. Within each tiny, rich, golden cake was a burst of fresh raspberry. Raspberries are just starting to ripen in my garden and I snagged a few away from the greedy paws of my children to use in this recipe.
For the mini-muffin pans, I found that one raspberry was perfect for each financier, two was overkill. I only had a nonstick, dark pan, and the mini-muffin financiers were finished in 12 1/2 minutes instead of 16. I took the butter off the heat a bit early because I’ve a heavy-bottomed pan that continued to cook the butter to perfection. I bake by weight, and any recipe that includes weight measurements makes me very happy and automatically gets a higher score.
These mini-muffin financiers were the perfect little bites for dessert and, I’m a little embarrassed to say, for breakfast. The truth is, we liked them so much that we found it nearly impossible to walk past them without popping one into our mouths.
Straight out of the oven, I could taste the egg in the recipe, which I didn’t care for. Just half an hour later, once they had cooled, they were soft and spongy, with a touch of almond flavor that went beautifully with the fresh blueberries. I should have wrapped them to keep them fresh, but I didn’t. I left them out on the cooling rack overnight and by morning their texture had changed to be a bit more dense and chewy. We still loved them, but I can see why it’s recommended that you make and consume them quickly.
These are slightly sweet and buttery, but a little spongy from the egg whites. I had a hard time not eating all 12 at once. Like chocolate-chip cookies, they really are better warm from the oven.
The browned butter adds a subtle nuttiness to the batter, different from the almond flour, but complementary. I like that the batter keeps well (I made it over two days) so you can always have fresh mini-muffin financiers. I made some with blueberries, and they all fell to the bottom, making the bottom of the financier a little messy. They taste like tiny, decadent blueberry muffins, although the ones that I made plain, without any fruit, were just as good.
Aside from the batter needing to rest for at least 2 hours, they bake up really quickly, so you could, in theory, satisfy a sweet tooth in a jiffy.
These are wonderful, tasty little morsels that could grace any table. They’re so easy and quick to make, and the fact that they need chilling prior to baking is perfect for planning ahead. I had gargantuan raspberries, and could only fit one in each cup, but this was very cute.
On the first day, the mini-muffin financiers were crispy with a slightly marzipan-like taste to them. The next day, they had softened and were more cake-like—the most tender little goodies that I had to restrain myself from inhaling. I converted the recipe to gluten-free without any difficulty (I used a one to one ratio of gluten-free flour blend), which may have been the source of the slight crispness on the first day.
Originally published July 23, 2010