February 24, 2012

Frühling Financiers

Frühling kommt! That means 'spring is coming'. My German classes are slowly beginning to pay off, although I will admit that I used google translate just to make sure I had gotten that right. I guess confidence will come with time and a lot more practice. Anyway, the deep freeze seems to be over, thank goodness, and it's actually warm-ish out (when you have a deep freeze, anything over freezing is considered warm, but today it's actually 50º). I was beginning to think I'd never go outside again, that my pom-pom hat would be a wardrobe stable forever and that I'd never wear sandals again. Alas, I can feel the sun on my face, and it feels heavenly. The deep freeze seemed to have hit the blog as well, so my apologies if you were visiting in the hopes of finding some Haus warmth and goodies.

I've had this financier recipe on my 'to-bake' list ever since we got back from our trip to Paris. We went to the boulangeries to buy baguettes, but it's impossible to just by baguettes, so we often left with other goodies, like pain au chocolat, brioche, madeleines, and financiers. All weekend there were goodies spilling out of my purse and thankfully there were some delicious treats hidden in the bottom of my purse that I didn't discover until we were already back in Zürich on Sunday night. Hidden in that little brown bag were two madeleines and three financiers. I sampled both for breakfast on Monday, and although both were worthy of a return trip to Paris, the financier really caught my attention. The perfectly crisp exterior gave way to a moist and flavorful almond interior and I knew after the first bite that I had to find a worthy recipe that I could make at home.
Here are the authentic Parisian madeline and financier. I'm surprised they made it all the way back to Zürich. I think we were so stuffed after a weekend of delicacies and baguettes that by the time Sunday night came around we were unenthused by any baked goods.
Almond Financiers with Strawberries
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

* My one suggestion is to weigh the ingredients. A cup of almond flour is not an accurate measurement as some flours can be lighter or denser than others.

* I don't have financier molds so I used mini cupcake molds.

- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for buttering financier molds
- 1 cup (140g) finely ground almonds
- 1 2/3 cup (210g) confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup (70g) all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup (185g) egg whites (5 to 6)
- 3/4 cup (185g/6oz) unsalted butter melted and cooled
- sliced strawberries for top

Preheat oven to 450ºF/230ºC

Using a pastry brush thoroughly butter the molds. Place the molds or cupcake tin in the freezer to resolidify the butter, which will make it easier to unmold the financiers.

In a large bowl combine the almonds, sugar, flour, and salt. Mix to blend. Add the egg whites, mixing until blended. Follow with the 3/4 cup butter and continue to stir/mix until incorporated. The mixture should be fairly thin and pourable.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them almost to the rim. Top each with a strawberry slice or two. Place the molds/cupcake tin on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the financiers just begin to rise (about 7 min) then reduce the heat to 400ºF/205ºC. Continue baking until the financiers are a light, delicate brown and begin to firm up (another 7 min). Turn off the oven heat and let the financiers rest in the oven until firm (another 7 minutes). Timing might be less depending on your mold/tin - just be sure to check for rise-browning. Mine were about 5-6 minutes instead of 7.

Remove the financiers from the oven and allow them to cool in their molds for 10 minutes. Enjoy for breakfast or with your afternoon coffee!
In our house these were a breakfast treat, but they would be great at any time of the day. These were so good, actually one of Zach's favorites, that I think I will keep them on a fairly steady rotation, and will certainly make a batch when we have guests.
Hopefully this post marks the end of the blog freeze. It's time to start browsing cookbooks and revisiting my 'to-bake' list. With spring approaching I'm feeling the need for a little less baking and a bit more spinach, so perhaps I'll finally get my act together and post some lunch/dinner recipes (always harder to photograph).


  1. Dear Talley

    i'm also living in zurich, and oh what a beautiful sunny day it was indeed! i hope you enjoyed some sunbaking just as i did.
    by the way: a minute ago, i threw the last piece of your banana bread into the toaster. as perfect as every other slice of it...
    really like your blog, thank you!

  2. Yeah for spring! Tal, these look delicious. And welcome back - I was starting to get worried! Can't wait to make these AND I think you inspired me to pick up some tulips when I am next at the store.

  3. So beautiful, Talley! From the financiers to the tulips, I can tell it's warming up. Glad to hear that the deep freeze is over. As always, I want to be transported to wherever you are. I hope all is well!

  4. Love the photos of the sun hitting the sides of buildings... beautiful. Glad things are warming up for you over in Zurich, Talley. (and I'm glad things are warming up again on your blog!)

    These financiers look great, I need to put them on my list to make. And I would love to see more lunch/dinner posts! Like you I'm thinking I need a little less baked sweets, more actual, good food, so perhaps your posts will help motivate me, haha.

  5. Wow, your financiers look supercute! Love the slice of strawberry topping each one. These sound like a fantastic little breakfast treat. I have a house guest in a few weeks whom I'm supposed to "woo"--a prospective student who might join my department. I'm sure baking her a few of these financiers wouldn't hurt!

    I'm glad that things are warming up in Zurich and that your German is coming along. We should practice our German together! I have a language exam to pass for my program coming up on the horizon...

  6. so sorry for the late reply -
    Katharina - so glad to hear that you liked the banana bread. Zach threw our way our rotten bananas yesterday just as I was getting ready to make another loaf. I hope you've been outside this week! So beautiful

    Darcy - yes, as tight as a budget may be, there is always room to buy flowers! I love having flowers around, but always forget to buy them.

    Ali - I love sunshine! I imagine you are fully through with winter, with no threats of snow on the horizon - I'm jealous! I made your lemon carbonara the other night and it was a huge hit!

    Amy - isn't it hard to blog about lunch/dinner? Baked goods just seem like such a good subject, and they are so fun to make. 'What's for dinner?' is my least favorite question, especially since I never seem to know the answer. Perhaps I can find some answers on your site soon?!

    Katie - this are certainly woo - worthy financiers, at least I thought so - they kept woo-ing me into the kitchen. A language exam? German? I don't think I'd be of much help since I can barely remember how to say, Sprechen Sie English?

    thanks for your comments!