Financiers au Chocolat

One of my favorite blogs is David Lebovitz.  In addition to a blog full of great food, great technical cooking information, and humorous anecdotes, he shares, on the blog and in several cookbooks, meticulous and well-tested (and sweet!) recipes.  

One that I’ve been wanting to make for a while are his financiers au chocolat, from his book, The Sweet Life in Paris. I always have a few egg whites in the freezer, and every so often I start to worry a bit about just how long they have been in there.  Same for the lovely dutched cocoa I bought from the spice house a while back  (And as if to prove my point about how his blog provides fantastic technical information, see David’s post earlier this week on the difference between regular and Dutched cocoa).

I’ve tried in the past to defrost egg whites in the microwave, but even though I use the lowest possible power, I never got it right.  I found this worked much better:  putting my (well sealed) jar of egg whites in a bowl of water.

You then process sliced almonds together with your other dry ingredients.  (If you don’t have a food processor, there is always the option of almond flour, but recognize that the texture of your finished product will vary significantly–you just can’t get as fine a grind with your food processor as you can get in almond flour.  I would imagine that if, conversely, you only have whole rather than sliced almonds on hand, you’d want to give the almonds a head start in your food processor before adding the other ingredients).

Transfer to a bowl

And mix in your egg whites, melted butter, and almond extract.

I don’t have a financier mold (though, given how much I like these, maybe I will eventually look into one) so I used my muffin tin.  I used my cookie scoop to fill my mold (this was so I didn’t overfill any one cup) and it perfectly apportioned the batter into 12 little cakes:

Some of my financiers didn’t hold together all that well as a result of the minor battle that was waged to remove them from the tin (update:  when I made these again I buttered the non-stick molds really well and they tumbled right out) but luckily that was just a cosmetic issue. 

The freshly ground almonds, enhanced by the almond extract mixed with chocolate was fantastic.  I liked seeing and biting into the little bits of almond in the cakes, which were light and just barely bound together by the egg whites.  Being tiny little morsels, they unfortunately disappear quickly, but very little is required–by way of ingredients or effort–to whip up another batch, which softens the blow somewhat when you realize they are already gone.

There must be something in the air–I’m not the only one who’s been making these recently (and who has kindly posted the recipe).

Financiers au Chocolat  (adapted from David Lebovitz’s  “The Sweet Life in Paris”)

  • 6 tablespoons (90g)unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup (90 g) sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons (25 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (preferably Valrhona)
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg whites (about 1/4 cup )  at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 425° F. 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. Divide the batter evenly between muffin tin (they will not fill up a regular size muffin tin).    Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until slightly puffed and springy to the touch.

Note the original recipe calls for 1/3c egg whites.  Two egg whites is about 1/4 c and I’ve made it with just that and it’s turned out just as delicious.


12 thoughts on “Financiers au Chocolat

  1. Cool. I’ve got like 12 egg whites in my freezer that need to be used up. I’ve never heard of Financiers au Chocolat before, so I’m looking forward to making them!

  2. I wonder if all the cocoa powder we can buy here is Dutch-process cocoa powder. In his article, Lebovitz says that it’s difficult to get natural cocoa powder outside the United States… My cocoa powder package doesn’t say anything about the process. It’s produced in Holland, though. Does that allow the conclusion that it is Dutch-processed? Hmm… Interesting article. I didn’t even know there existed two different kinds of cocoa powders before you mentioned it in your post. My cocoa powder looks really dark, though, so I assume it’s Dutch-processed…

    • I couldn’t find any unsweetened cocoa (or baking chocolate) the whole time we were in London. It was always pre-sweetened. When we were visiting Amsterdam, we were in a mini-mart and I saw cocoa there, figured out it had no “zuiker” and bought it saying to Mike, “I assume this is Dutch process since I found it in the Netherlands”. And it’s the same brand sold here for Dutch process–red box with a Dutch girl on the cover.

      • Do you mean this one ? The brand is Bensdorp. I remember having seen it here. I usually buy this one (Cebe Cacao) and asked the manufacturer if it was Dutch-processed. They told me it was, and that virtually every cocoa in Germany was Dutch-processed.

    • Do you mean this one ? The brand is Bensdorp. I remember having seen it here. I usually buy this one (Cebe Cacao) and asked the manufacturer if it was Dutch-processed. They told me it was, and that virtually every cocoa in Germany was Dutch-processed…

  3. I’m stalking you here ;o)…. In his cocoa article, he links to Devil’s Food Cake. I checked the recipe – it sounds amazing!!!!!! We’ve been having a devil’s food cake in our family tradition (no idea where the original recipe comes from, my mother doesn’t remember), but it’s without chocolate frosting. Good, though. But Lebovitz’s chocolate ganache frosting sounds decadently yummy!

    • I think the most recent post is on German Chocolate Cake. In fact I was about to forward to you and ask, is it really German Chocolate? I think it’s actually an American recipe, (but, sounds like no German would feel slandered as it’s supposed to be very yummy!)

      • I just read the post about German Chocolate Cupcakes because I couldn’t imagine why they would be called German because cupcakes aren’t popular or even known in Germany (yet). He writes they are named after Samuel German, who developed a sweet chocolate for a company. So my gut feelings were right… The recipe sounds great, though. Perfect for us chocoholics…

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  6. Just made these today – they were fantastic. I used tiny truffle paper cases. I’ll make them again very soon to use up all the egg whites in my freezer.

  7. Pingback: Financiers au Chocolat « Family & Food

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