My friend Sissi from With a Glass posted this recipe late last month and I knew the moment I saw it that I had to make it. Why you ask? Well, two reasons: 1) almonds and 2) super easy. There I said it. I did not slave for hours baking these tasty treats; but if JT asks, then I’ll throw some flour on my face and spray a little ‘sweat’ on for effect and claim it took hours and hours.
Sissi went into great detail on why these wonderful, light little cakes are called Financiers (a financial person). I’ll tell you the Reader’s Digest version, but I would urge you to check out Sissi’s blog for the real deal. Apparently first baked by Nuns of the Visitation of Mary in the middle ages and were not called Financiers and had an oval shape. Sadly they were forgotten until 1890 when a Parisian pastry chef revived the recipe. His pastry shop was located in the financial district in Paris and many of his customers were from that sect, so he named these little pastries Financiers. There you have it. I did not have the lovely gold bar shaped rectangles that Sissi had, but I did have some very nice little square muffin tins. I also doubled the recipe so that I would yield 12, but in reality I should have quadrupled it, since I just baked them last night and by this morning, there were only 6 left and I didn’t even have one. We must have mice in the house !
Note: My little cakes did not brown as nicely as Sissi’s and that is because I decided to bake them on convection (with a fan); I should have done them traditionally and they would be golden and beautiful. But I’m told they tasted darned good. If you like almonds, this one is for you. For a gluten free version, substitute the regular flour for gluten free flour.
Financiers with Ontario Cherries
Makes 12 5 cm x 5 cm (2″ x 2″) square cakes
- 100 g powdered almonds (Sissi suggested that you run your almond flour through a fine sieve and this worked perfectly for me)
- 140 g sugar
- 100 g butter
- 4 egg whites
- 2 heaping tbsp flour
- a pinch of salt
- 12 large cherries, pitted
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
- Prepare your muffin tins by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
- Prepare the brown butter: heat the butter in a pan on a low heat and observe the milk solids, which will separate at the bottom. When they become light brown (hazelnut colour), put the pan aside (they will continue to brown in the pan).
- Combine the egg whites, sugar, almond powder, salt and the flour in a medium sized bowl (I chose a large Pyrex measuring cup so that it’s easy to pour). Gradually whisk in the butter until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins (or other small cakes forms) 2/3 full.
- Place one pitted cherry in the centre of each cake.
- Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until golden.
- Allow to cool thoroughly before taking out of the muffin tin.