Adapted from Maialino’s Olive Oil Cake. In place of the orange flavoring of the original cake, I used lemon and lemon verbena, reduced the liquid slightly and added instant polenta for the additional structure needed for financiers. To improve the browning and crisp edges, I increased the baking temperature slightly, and added a final powdered sugar glaze for an additional boost of lemon flavor and nicer presentation. The resulting mini cakes are moist and citrusy, and go particularly well with black tea.
The lemon verbena is optional, but if, like me, you need to bring in your plant for the winter, I recommend processing some of the leaves with sugar and keeping it in bags in the freezer for baking until you have a new crop. —nererue
Heat the oven to 375 F. Place silicone mini-financier molds on quarter sheet pan. If using non-silicone molds, prepare molds with baking spray and omit sheet pan.
If using lemon verbena, process granulated sugar and verbena in a food processor until leaves are finely chopped.
In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour, polenta, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, milk, lemon juice, and zest. Add dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
Use a small cookie scoop to portion the batter into the mold. Bake until the tops are golden and the financiers are pulling away from the sides, 25-28 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on a rack before removing the financiers from the molds with a small offset spatula and cooling completely on racks. Repeat as needed to use up the batter with your number of mold(s).
Once the financiers are cooled, mix the powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick, opaque glaze. Using a pastry brush, give each financier a thin coating of the glaze and set back on the racks to dry.