Browned Butter Financier Cakes
Financiers are wonderful petite French cakes. They are also called Friands, which fittingly means "dainty" or "tasty." The cake is typically baked in tiny rectangular pans, which have been said to resemble little bars of gold. Browned butter gives this cake a distinctive nutty flavor.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup spelt or whole wheat pastry or all-purpose white flour
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- To make the Beurre Noisette (or browned butter), place butter in a fry pan set on med-high heat. When butter has melted and come to a boil, swirl pan occasionally. Butter will start to foam. Watch for milk solids to turn deep golden brown and the butter will smell caramelly, nutty.* Stay with the butter during the whole process because it can burn. Immediately scrape all the butter into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat oven 350 degrees F.
- Butter a loaf pan (you can also use a small bunt pan but will have to make a different sized cloth to wrap around the cake) generously.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in egg whites. Slowly whisk, starting in center and pulling flour into the batter from the sides. When thoroughly mixed add almond extract and butter slowly, whisking until all the butter is incorporated. You should have a thick batter.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake about 1 hour, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool 5 minutes and unmold.
- Cool completely before enjoying.
Yield: 1 loaf or small Bundt cake
* Do NOT take your eyes off the butter because it can go from browned to burnt really quickly. Also as soon as your butter is browned pour it (making sure you scrape down all the bits) into a bowl so the butter does not continue to cook.
By Clarice Fox-Hughes, Storybook Woods
Recipe and photo used with permission from: Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin