Hello and Happy French Friday!
Today I’m sharing a recipe for a French favourite with a tropical twist! Financiers are one of my favourite “goûter” (after school) treats but really, they are the perfect mid-morning of after dinner treat. A bite-sized cake – it’s so perfect for so many times of the day!
What is a financier?
Essentially a tea cake made with almond meal and only a small quantity of all-purpose flour, a financier is a little more substantial than a madeleines. Because they only contain a little bit of flour, they are easy to make gluten-free, as in the recipe that follows!
Why are they called “financiers”?
It’s said that these delicate cakes were originally baked in an oval shape by nuns of the Order of the Visitation and called visitandines. A clever baker in Paris working near the financial district in the 19th century, one Monsieur Lasne, saw how they could be easily eaten on the go, and thought this would appeal to his busy banker clientele. He shaped the cakes like gold bars and named them financiers as a nod to both his clientele and the surrounding district. They now come in various shapes, including rectangles and ovals, and here we’re using a mini muffin pan because they’re easy to find and many people have them in the kitchen already.
As I said above, making financiers gluten-free is pretty easy because the are mostly made of almond flour so you can sub other gluten-free flours for the all-purpose. For this tropical version, I’m using coconut flour and almond flour as well as some shredded coconut and this combination bakes up beautifully. If you are using different types of gluten-free flour, you might have to experiment a bit with the quantities as you can’t necessarily substitute these 1:1.
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Coconut and lime, huh?
Yup, I have been playing with coconut flour in my kitchen recently (did you see this almond and coconut breakfast loaf?) and figured it might work well in a financier. I added some shredded coconut for texture and loved it! The glaze is optional as they really are sweet enough but it adds a little something extra if you are making these for a special occasion! Love this tropical twist!!
for the financiers
- 1/4 cup (57 g/ 4 tablespoons/ 1/2 stick) salted butter
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup (25g) almond meal
- 2 tablespoons (15g) coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 large egg whites
- Zest of 1/2 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lime (approx 3 teaspoons)
- 4-6 tablespoons icing sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 400˚F. If you are using reliably non-stick muffin tins you may not need to but otherwise generously butter a 12-cavity mini muffin tin.
- Melt the butter (either in a small pot on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave for about 1 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, rub the lime zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the lime starts to release its oils. The sugar will take on a greenish tinge.
- Add the almond meal, coconut flour and shredded coconut to the sugar and mix until well-combined.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy with electric beaters (1-2 minutes on high).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until the dry ingredients are just combined.
- Add the cooled, melted butter to the batter and use a rubber spatula to gently mix until the butter is completely incorporated.
- Divide the batter between the muffin tins. You can do this with a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop or a small teaspoon. You’ll want to fill each cavity so it’s nearly full.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the centre is slightly puffed and the edges are golden and slightly crispy and coming away from the pan. There may be cracks in the tops.
- Remove from the muffin pans immediately and allow to cool on wire cooling racks.
- Mix the lime juice, zest and 4 tablespoons of the icing sugar together until smooth. If it's too runny, keep adding a bit of icing sugar until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without running off.
- Dip the top of the financiers in the glaze and let the excess drip back into the bowl.
- Allow to set, then serve immediately.
Make the financiers
Make the glaze and glaze the financiers
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And the texture?
Looking for a nut-free, gluten-free financier? Check out my Pumpkin Seed Financiers here.
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