Created by a Parisian baker working in the financial heart of Paris, these cakes are named after their appearance, which resembles that of a gold bar. Although traditionally baked in oblong moulds they can be formed into a variety of shapes. Usually baked in circular or oval moulds Friands are the same cake popular in Australia and New Zealand.
- Grease your financier mould. We use a silicone mould and spray it with oil before filling.
- Sift together the flour, almonds and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar.
- Stir in the butter until a thick paste forms. Add the egg whites gradually to the mix until smooth.
- Preferably refrigerate the batter overnight.
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Fit a piping bag with a 10mm plain round nozzle and fill with the batter. Fill each mould ½ to 2/3 full. If the batter hasn’t been chilled it will be runny. It may help to control the flow of the batter if you pinch the piping bag shut just above the nozzle to halt the flow. If not the batter is likely to run over the sides of the mould.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until well risen, golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Financier are best eaten within a few hours of baking whilst they are light, fresh and if possible still warm.
Financier Flavour Variations
Raspberries and other fruit.
Push 2 -3 whole fresh raspberries into the batter filled moulds and bake immediately. The fruit may be added half way through baking as this keeps it proud of the batter and results in a better appearance.
The same method works for blueberries, apple and pineapple. Other fruits work but very wet and juicy fruits such as strawberries may release too much water during baking and effect the final consistency of the cake.
Whole or coarsely chopped nuts can be sprinkle over the surface of the filled mould prior to baking. Hazelnuts, macadamia and pistachios nuts work particularly well. The ground almonds in the basic mix above my be replaced with nut flours. Nut flours can be bought or the weight of ground almonds may be replaced with whole nuts. A nut flour can be made by blitzing these whole nuts in a food processor with the caster sugar and flour.
100g Melted Butter
110g Egg White
120g Caster Sugar
50g Ground Almonds
50g Plain Flour
½ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Tim’s Top Tip
Financier may be decorated after baking. A small amount of zingy lemon curd (see page) or sweetened marscapone cream can be piped onto the cake and used as a bed to stud the financier with fresh fruit, nuts or chocolate decorations. Greasing silicone moulds can be tricky if using butter or oil. Try using oil sprays. These can be found in the supermarket and are sold as low calorie alternatives for frying food e.g FryLight.