French Almond Cakes (Financiers) – These almond flavor mini cakes aren’t quite cupcakes nor are they muffins. They’re the perfect balance of sweet and nutty. Perfect for any breakfast or afternoon snack!
Today’s recipe is another inspiration from The Great British Baking Show. You may remember me talking about my new obsession with the show a few months ago. Not only is the show fun to watch but it’s been quite informative. Despite my love of pastries, there was much I didn’t know about pastries, desserts, breads, etc from Europe.
French Almond Cakes or financiers were featured a few times on the show and they looked incredibly easy to make. So I decided to give them a shot one day. I found this simple recipe from David Lebovitz. Oh my yum! They are so nutty and chewy and bursting with almond flavor. I also love how they aren’t disgustingly sweet.
I’ve made these cakes a few times since then and they’ve become a staple for us, especially when I need a little treat that isn’t going to take a while to make, nor will it completely destroy my diet. So I’d like to share it with you all now. Here are my French Almond Cakes (Financiers)!
What is a French almond cake (financier)?
A financier is a mini French cake that is typically made with a nut flour of some sort, with almond being the most popular. They come in a rectangular or round shape but always in a petit size, which makes them perfect for an afternoon snack.
How are these cakes made
This version of an almond cake is made with browned butter. The browned butter enhances the nutty flavor in the almond flour and gives this teeny treat a hint of richness. To make the browned butter, all you do is cook the butter on the stove over medium heat until the butter solids turn brown and their aroma is filling the air.
After the butter is browned, it gets added to a mixture of flour, sugar, salt, egg whites, and almond extract. The almond extract is added to give the cake a little more sweetness.
Once the batter is done, it’s scooped into a greased mini muffin tin. I used a mini muffin tin for this recipe so I wouldn’t need to buy a special pan. But if you have a mini rectangular pan sitting around, you can use that. Just make sure you adjust the cooking time slightly to accommodate the slightly larger cakes.
Finally, I topped some of the cakes with sliced almonds to finish them off before baking.
Tips & Tricks
- Almond flour has a tendency to stick to cake pans pretty easy. So it’s super important to grease the muffin tins thoroughly so they come out easily.
- These cakes are best enjoyed the same day they are made or at least within 24 hours. There is no baking powder in the recipe so they will get tough over time (this is not the case if they get frozen and thawed later).
French Almond Cakes (Financiers)
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup sliced almonds (optional)
- Place butter in a small sauce pan and place over medium heat. Melt and then cook until butter solids have turned brown but haven't burned. Keep a close eye on it because it happens quickly! Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Add almond flour, sugar, flour, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk together. Add egg whites and almond extract. Whisk together to combine.
- Add a little of the cooled browned butter to the batter to temper it, just in case it's still too warm. You don't want to shock the eggs with hot butter so tempering is important. Add the rest of the butter to the batter and stir together.
- Using a small spoon, scoop batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Decorate each filled tin with 4 sliced almonds, if desired. Place filled muffin tin into preheated oven to bake for 11-13 minutes. The edges will brown more than the centers so remove from oven before the edges turn black but are a deep golden brown.
- Let cakes cool for 5-10 minutes before attempting to remove from muffin tin. Use a sharp knife and run along the edges of each tin to loosen up the cake from the tin. Remove and serve immediately. Cakes are best served on the same day but can easily be frozen and thawed for later consumption.