Posted by: Jason Wood | December 9, 2009

Financier (a yummy french pastry, not a banker)

I had never had a financier before making this recipe but I read about it in the New Yorker and it just sounded so good that I had to give it a try. The financier is a french pastry that according to legend has its origins in the bakeries surrounding the financial district in Paris. The financial workers would all run out and eat these on their breaks. The traditional mold for a financier is a rectangle, said to resemble a bar of gold. Who knew history could be so tasty?

Here is what you need to start

One of the key elements of a financier is beurre noisette (brown butter). Again, doing some reading on this it was a little scary  that most people were saying how tricky it was to do this because if you go too far you get burnt butter (yuck) and if you do not go far enough, you do not get the characteristic nutty taste, so you have to do it just right. That being said, it was not too hard  ; )

In a small pan, over a low to medium heat, melt 1/2 cup of butter (make sure to use unsalted). The gentle melting will separate the butter into milk solids and butterfat.

The milk solids will sink to the bottom and gradually brown and the liquid will turn a light brown color.

This part takes a bit so while it is melting you can get started on the flour mixture. In a large bowl put 3/4 cup of almond flour and sift 1 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar over top and then mix in 1/4 cup of all purpose flour and three tablespoons of cake flour, one teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together to combine.

Next is four egg whites at room temperature. If you are like me and you start everything well before you read that you need room temperature (eggs, butter, whatever) you can quickly get eggs to room temperature by submerging them in warm tap water for about ten minutes. Add the egg whites one at a time and whisk them in. Do not overwork batter.

By this time your beurre noisette should be ready

add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the butter and add this into the mix and whisk it all together. Cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least three hours.

Doesn’t look much different here I know, but it is a lot firmer then when it went in

Lightly grease the molds that you will be using. In this case I decided to use a mini-muffin pan as I was going to a potluck and needed lots. The best way to fill the molds is to pipe the batter in, about 3/4 full for each mold. You can make a piping bag easily by using a large Ziploc bag and snipping off one of the bottom corners.

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes at 375 Fahrenheit or until the cakes are lightly browned and spongy. Cool in the pan for two minutes and then remove to cool completly on a wire rack.

Mix up some whipped cream and put a dollop on top of each little cake.

Top each with a berry, whatever is in season,  I used raspberries (sorry, this post is WAY delayed – they were in season when I made them!). You can add chocolate liqueur to the whipped cream for an extra kick.



  1. I am really glad that I have a friend like you, who makes the complicated recipes and shares them!

    These were delicious, definitely, and although I am not a raspberry fan, they were the perfect finishing touch to the Financiers!

    Thank you Jason. Wish you were here.

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