Recently at Crispian Bakery (http://www.crispianbakery.com/), I grabbed this bag of marbled financiers:
These were so delicious, I had to pace myself from not eating them all in one setting! Financiers are French almond cakes and as I ate the last one from Crispian Bakery, I knew I had to figure out how to make them.
So, I searched online and my cookbook library for recipes and settled on these:
And here are my thoughts!
From Martha Stewart’s Cookies, these Raspberry Honey Financiers were delicious:
The recipe calls for you to melt butter over the stove top and melt honey into it as it browns. The brown butter/honey mixture with the ground almonds in the batter made for a nutty sweet goodness. The honey flavor was there but not overpowering and the raspberry on top added just the right amount of tart freshness. It’s got a combination of granulated and powdered sugar, so not that carmel-y inside.
Inspired by this recipe, I tried out Martha Stewart’s Almond Orange Financier from her website:
This is baked in a 4×13 inch tart pan. The butter is melted (but not browned) and uses only confectioner’s sugar for sweetness. I used orange essence instead of orange zest and thought it turned out great. Soft and more cake-like than the raspberry honey ones, I really liked this one. (http://www.marthastewart.com/356911/almond-orange-financier).
From the Food Network®, I made their Blackberry Financiers:
It only got one review online and a terrible one – only 1 star! But, I found that so ridiculous because its texture was the most like the Crispian Bakery ones! You need to brown butter in this recipe and use powder sugar for sweetness. This recipe uses almond flour (which I found at Trader Joe’s®) instead of ground almonds, giving it a more cake like quality and texture. The recipe called for 1 tsp of applesauce – but who has 1 tsp of applesauce! So, I used apple butter instead. 🙂 I also used blackberry jam instead of blackberries, which I thought went perfectly with the cake. (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/blackberry-financier-recipe.html)
From a fellow blogger, I tried this recipe from http://www.craftybaking.com:
This recipe uses almond flour and powdered sugar with baking powder in the batter, making it soft and fluffy. This was just like a cake – not much almond flavor or texture and the fresh strawberry sunk to the bottom as it baked. I would not call this a financier. (http://www.craftybaking.com/recipe/classic-financiers)
From Food and Wine Magazine, my trusted friend, their Cinnamon Financier with Figs:
These were very special. The recipe uses ground almonds and confectioner sugar, with butter that is only melted and not browned. Instead of making a fig sauce, I reconstituted some dried figs in Port and the added a 1/2 tablespoon of Port to the batter instead of the Calvados (apple brandy) the recipe called for. I thought it turned out great! I loved the cinnamon in the batter and how the spice complemented the sweet notes of the Port. Yummy! (www.foodandwine.com/recipes/cinnamon-financiers-with-figs)
Also from Food and Wine, Brown Butter Pistachio Financiers:
Created by Kristen Kish (one of my favorite Top Chef winners), this was a dense cake with it’s almond flavor coming from almond extract and nutty texture from the ground pistachio. (www.foodandwine.com/recipes/brown-butter-pistachio-financiers). The extract was a little overpowering but, ironically, it brought out the pistachio flavor too. This recipe browns butter and uses brown sugar for sweetening. Not only did this financier turn out denser than the recipes above but also compared to the Pistachio Financier recipe from Saveur Magazine. Check out these batters:
Right is Food and Wine and left is Saveur.
And the Saveur cakes cake out softer too:
This uses browned butter with granulated and brown sugar for sweetening, and the texture is from a combination of ground almonds and pistachios. There is baking powder in this one too, which I think is what made the cake lighter than the Food and Wine one. (www.saveur.com/article/recipes/classic-pistachio-financiers)
What a great week, guys! Love financiers and had so much fun testing these recipes and eating them!