French Fridays: Citrus Financiers (gluten-free)

Citrus financiers on a white plate on a wooden table.Hello (French) Friday! How’s the weather where you are? We’ve had the strangest week of weather (17˚C overnight one day and -2˚C the next – it’s kinda confusing! What’s depressing right now, though is just how dark it is – when I get up in the morning and when I am leaving work. I’m not really sure WHO Daylight Savings benefits but it sure isn’t me. Personally, I’d much rather come home in the light and sunshine than leave for work in the grey morning light but that’s just me. What about you – do you have Daylight Savings where you live?

In my quest for sunshine in these grey days, I turn to citrus in the kitchen and this week’s recipe is a great way to get a hit of brightness into your day without much effort at all. Financiers are easy to make and even easier to eat, especially with a triple hit of citrus!

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. I’m a huge fan of using oat flour in baked goods to make them naturally gluten-free and in this iteration, the mix of almond and oat flour makes for a wonderful fluffy but also moist interior and that signature crunchy exterior.

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. I always use a mini muffin pan because I am a big fan of using what you have on hand and mini muffin pans are easy to find and many people have them in the kitchen already.

Interior of Citrus financiers on a white plate.This version uses a mixture of lime, lemon and clementine zest for a hit of brightness that works well against the nutty almond flour and toastiness of the oat flour. Warning – they are more-ish! I made these and shared them with friends and the three tiny cakes we each enjoyed disappeared in no time (I mean, they ARE small, right?).

Best thing about this recipe? It comes together in no time (just as well, LOL, since you might need to make more!).

Yield: 12

Citrus financiers (gluten-free)

Citrus financiers on a white plate.

Little almond and oat flour tea cakes (naturally gluten-free!) with citrus, lime and lemon!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (57 g/ 4 tablespoons/ 1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 small lime (1/2 tablespoon)
  • zest of 1 clementine (1/2 tablespoon)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon (1/2 tablespoon)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons (28g) oat flour
  • 1/4 cup (25g) ground almonds (almond meal)

Instructions

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Rub the citrus zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
    4. Whisk the sugar, flour and ground almonds together in a small bowl until combined.
    5. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks with electric beaters (approx. 2 minutes on high).
    6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until the dry ingredients are just combined.
    7. Add the cooled, melted butter to the batter and use a rubber spatula to gently mix until the butter is completely incorporated.
    8. Divide the batter between the muffin tins. You can do this with a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop or a small teaspoon. You’ll want to fill each mold so it’s nearly full.
    9. Bake for 12-14 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.
    10. Remove from the muffin pans immediately and allow to cool on wire cooling racks.
    11. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

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did you make this recipe?

please leave a comment or review on the blog or share a photo and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !

 These were SO good and my friends wondered whether they might work well as a full-sized cake and while I think the idea is good, with a full sized cake, you’d lose the wonderful crunchy exterior/ fluffy interior ratio, right?

Citrus financiers on a white plate.Happy French Friday!

Other financier recipes you might enjoy

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2 thoughts on “French Fridays: Citrus Financiers (gluten-free)”

  1. These work just as gloriously today as a bite on a busy day as they did for the bankers in the 19C.

    I do love that crunchy outer / spongy interior interplay.

    And while it might not be quite snacking in a busy workday…they do match well with a glass of white Burgundy! 🙂

    Reply

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