The inspiration for these fast, easy and fresh Financiers came from two recipes: One by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen and the other from a food blogger Beatrice Peltre's "La Tartine Gourmande" which I watched on The Martha Stewart Show. I added cocoa powder because it is one of my favorite combinations with raspberries and also vanilla and almond extracts, which are a boost to the nuttiness of browned butter. I brought the Financiers to our daughter’s home and they were happily devoured in the end of Mother’s Day dinner with a hot and fragrant cup of tea. —Kukla
12 muffin-size or 24 mini-muffin-size financiers
• 1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 cardamom pods, crushed
• 1 cup sliced almonds or unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or white rice flour for gluten free
• 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
• 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar; additional for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners or a mini-muffin tin with 24 paper liners; set aside.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until browned bits begin to form. Continue to simmer on medium-low, frequently scraping up browned bits at bottom of pan, until fragrant and dark brown but not burnt, about 6–7 minutes. Strain butter and all browned bits into a medium bowl; add the crushed cardamom pods. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, process nuts and flour in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl; whisk in 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Add egg whites; mix until smooth. Fold in honey, vanilla and almond extract; then fold browned butter into batter. Batter can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill if not using right away.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (use 2 generous tablespoons batter per standard muffin tins or 1 tablespoon for mini). Top with 3 raspberries per standard muffin tins or 3-4 raspberry halves for mini and transfer to oven.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes for standard size and 12 to 14 minutes for mini. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Other berries and nuts can be used in this recipe.