Aromatic maple financiers are easy to make and use staple ingredients. Enjoy these irresistible French-inspired treats for dessert, at teatime, or as a snack!
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Have you ever spotted financiers at a French bakery or pastry shop? These tiny cakes are often presented in small, rectangular form and sold in bags or 4 or 6—very handy to enjoy as an on-the-go snack or offer as a delicious edible gift to hosts and loved ones.
Financiers are tiny, rich French cakes that are traditionally made with almond flour, brown butter, and egg whites. Usually baked in small molds, financiers are traditionally rectangular in shape, but they’re also often made in round molds, such as a mini-muffin pan.
Although I do love a classic financier, these maple financiers hold a special place in my Canadian heart. Maple sugar adds some depth of flavor and an aromatic sweetness to the tiny cakes. The flavor of maple sugar also goes wonderfully well with irresistible brown butter, the “secret” ingredient that makes financiers so delightful. (More on brown butter, below!)
I love financiers because they’re so easy to make. They require staple ingredients, which you probably already have on hand, and they come together really quickly. In fact, as elegant as financiers look, they’re actually as easy as muffins to make. Anybody can make them, including kids!
Making brown butter, called beurre noisette in French, is the only technique that might be unfamiliar to you, but fear not: it’s easy. Brown butter is made by melting butter in a saucepan, then letting it simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until its water evaporates and the milk solids caramelize. Brown butter is incredibly aromatic and gives financiers a truly special flavor.
My maple financier recipe, below, details how to make brown butter, but if you’ve never made it before, refer to my How to Make French Financier article for additional tips and how-to images.
Enjoy these irresistible maple financiers at teatime or serve them as a snack or a light dessert for brunch. Since maple financiers can be made in advance and even be frozen (more good news!), you can also wrap them in cello bags and offer them as delicious gifts to teachers, hosts, and loved ones.
However you serve them or whomever you give them to, be prepared to bake batch after batch: maple financiers are addictively delicious and their size means they tend to disappear in a blink! But after experiencing how easily they come together, I know you won’t mind turning the oven back on to churn out more of these irresistible treats.
Watch how easy it is to make these aromatic maple financiers!
Financiers require only a handful of ingredients to make: butter, almond flour (i.e. finely ground almonds), all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and egg whites. In the case of these maple financiers, you’ll be using granulated maple sugar to infuse the treat with the unique, earthy flavor of maple syrup. Learn more about granulated maple sugar below.
Maple sugar is made from boiling maple syrup until the liquid evaporates and the granulated sugar remains. Maple sugar comes in a variety of textures, from superfine to coarse. This recipe for maple financiers uses fine granulated maple sugar (illustrated just above.)
The texture of granulated maple sugar is more uneven than that of granulated sugar, but it acts and dissolves similarly, which is why granulated maple sugar can be used as a substitute for regular granulated sugar in any recipe at a 1:1 ratio.
Granulated maple sugar can be a bit more difficult to find than maple syrup and it can be expensive, too. Look for companies that sell it in bulk, such as Yupik, in Canada, which sells 450 g (1 lb) bags of organic maple sugar for less than CAD $20.
Yes, you can. You’ll lose the aromatic maple flavor, but none of the eating pleasure. Simply substitute granulated sugar at a 1:1 ratio.
Classic financiers are made with almond flour—finely ground almonds, that is—but you can use ground walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans, too. Make sure the nuts are ground to a very fine, smooth texture. If you grind your own nuts, make sure to process them along with the maple sugar to avoid turning the nuts into butter.
I think ground pecans go wonderfully well with maple sugar, so this is the type of nut flour I use most often when I make maple financiers. I also like to decorate each financier with a pecan nut for a cute finishing touch!
If you don’t want to be stuck with leftover egg yolks, you can use egg whites from a carton (liquid egg whites) to make maple financiers. Refer to the manufacturer’s packaging instructions to find out the quantity of liquid egg whites you need to substitute 4 large egg whites, or simply weigh the liquid egg whites to use the precise quantity required in the recipe (120 g).
Wondering what to make with leftover egg yolks? Here are some delicious ideas:
Yes, you can! In fact, these maple financiers are the make-ahead dessert of your dreams. You can stir financier batter together, then refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 1 week. This means you can bake however many maple financiers you need, whenever you have a craving for them.
Note that maple financiers are at their very best when freshly baked, or ideally enjoyed within 48 hours. If you haven’t enjoyed the full batch of maple financiers within that time frame (I’d be surprised, but you never know!), you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 1 week. To return refrigerated maple financiers to their freshly baked texture, reheat them in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 5 minutes, then let them cool to room temperature before serving.
The freezing and thawing process can soften French financiers a bit. If you bake financiers in advance and freeze them, make sure to store them in heavy-duty freezer bags for a maximum of 1 month. Thaw the financiers in the fridge overnight, or at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To return thawed French financiers to their freshly baked texture, reheat them in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 6 to 8 minutes, then let them cool to room temperature before serving.
Brown butter is an essential ingredient in French financiers. Browning butter is an effortless French technique that turns regular butter into an incredibly aromatic, sophisticated ingredient you can use in savory and sweet dishes. Learn how to make it by watching my short how-to video!
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