When I read that my friend Sara had made financiers au chocolat I knew I had to make them, too. First, I always have egg whites in the freezer, and second, my family has an extremely sweet tooth, so I knew these little chocolate almond cakes would be perfect. I wondered about the origin of the name which translates to chocolate bankers. So I googled a little bit until I found 2 really interesting explanations Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini gave on her blog.
- Some people say they are named such because they include almond powder and butter, expensive ingredients that only bankers could afford.
- Other people say it is because in the traditional shape they look like gold ingots, and are hence favored by rich people.
Either way, these little cakes are AWESOME!!!! I don’t think I’m going to struggle with meringues anymore when I have leftover egg whites. From now on, my go-to recipe is this one for financiers au chocolat!
Another interesting thing I learned is the difference between Dutch-process and natural cocoa powder (read more about it here). I didn’t even know there were 2 kinds of cocoa powder. This is probably due to the fact, that in Germany the only cocoa powder you’ll find is Dutch-processed.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe.
Financiers au Chocolat
(adapted from David Lebovitz “The Sweet Life in Paris”)
- 9 tblsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (since these are going to be ground anyway, I used ground almonds which are one of the most common ingredients in German baked goods)
- 4 1/2 tblsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tblsp flour
- 1/8 tsp + 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/8 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place 38 miniature paper liners (I used truffle paper liners) on a baking sheet (Lebovitz uses a mini-muffin tin which I don’t have, thus the truffle paper liners).
- Melt the butter and set aside until room temperature.
- Mix the ground almonds with the cocoa, flour, salt, and sugar.
- Stir the egg whites and almond extract into the almond mixture, then gradually stir in the melted butter until smooth and fully incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling them three-quarters full.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until slightly puffed and springy to the touch.
Yields 38 truffle-size financiers.