Children will love baking these simple little French cakes
Financiers are an excellent handheld snack. Essentially a tea cake made with a touch of almond meal, these are a little more substantial than madeleines. They 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.
Makes 24 cakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 10 to 12 minutes
Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (50g) almond meal
1/3 cup (50g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Icing sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 400?F (200?C). If you are using a non-stick mini muffin pan you may not need to butter them, but otherwise generously butter the cups of the pan.
2. Melt the butter either in a small pot on the stovetop over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for about one minute. Set aside to cool.
3. Beat the egg whites until frothy with handheld electric beaters on high speed, one to two minutes.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, almond meal, flour and salt.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold them in gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.
6. Add the cooled, melted butter to the batter and use a rubber spatula to gently mix until the butter is completely incorporated.
7. Divide the batter between the cups of the muffin pan. You can do this with a 1½tablespoon cookie scoop or a small spoon. Fill each cup almost to the top.
8. Bake for 10 to 12 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. That’s totally okay!
9. Remove the financiers from the muffin pan immediately and allow to cool on wire racks.
10. Once they have cooled completely, sprinkle them with icing sugar to serve. These are best eaten the day they are made, although they can keep for a couple of days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Option: Raspberry financiers
Just before you bake the financiers, cut 12 raspberries in half and place one half, cut side down, on top of each financier. Press down gently.
Why are these cakes called financiers?
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.
In the French Kitchen with Kids by Mardi Michels is published by Appetite by Random House, £20.
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