Sometimes a recipe comes to me at the mere sight of a perfectly fresh fruit. That’s what happened when I found a crate of 12 plump figs for only $6 at my local grocery store. I don’t buy figs very often because they’re usually expensive ($1.50 to $2 per fig), but this weekly deal gave me the perfect opportunity to get creative.
It didn’t take me long to figure out what to make with them. One of my favorite treats to make is financiers, and when I think of a new financier recipe, I usually start with the fruit I want to use as a garnish—I find financiers so much more interesting when fruits are tucked in the center—and then think of flavors that will highlight that fruit. During my short drive back home, I made up my mind: Figs + Maple + Hazelnuts.
The dirty little secret (or should I say, hidden advantage!) of elegant financiers is that they’re super easy to make. And when I say easy, I mean it: you simply stir all the ingredients together, scoop the mix into muffin cups, top each one with a piece of fruit, and you’re done! There are no expensive ingredients to buy or fussy techniques to learn. For these Maple-Roasted Fig and Hazelnut Financiers, you’ll have to roast the figs first, which requires a tiny bit of planning but yields an incredible reward: you’ll want to start using the jammy, maple-infused roasted figs everywhere! I think they’d be just amazing in a salad combined with blue cheese.
The trickiest thing to master when making financiers is browning the butter, but if you’ve never browned butter, fear not: you’ll quickly get the hang of this easy, forgiving technique. You could always make the financiers with plain melted butter, but you’d miss out on the incredibly addictive aroma of brown butter, which in this case marries perfectly with the hazelnuts used in the batter.
Because they’re made with naturally sticky ingredients (maple syrup, egg whites, sugar, and nuts), these fig and hazelnut financiers can stick to nonstick pans, even those coated with butter or cooking spray. My trick is to use parchment paper muffin cups, which will peel right off the cooled financiers.
These Maple-Roasted Fig and Hazelnut Financiers are at their very best on the day they’re baked, when the slightly sticky, crunchy edges so deliciously contrast with the nutty, moist interiors. I suggest you eat as many as you can, then gift the rest to the lucky people you cross paths with over the day. Believe me—before long, your friends will ask when you plan to bake your next batch!
If you can’t stand to part ways with your lovingly baked fig and hazelnut financiers (or if your family forbids you from giving them away!), you can of course store them in an airtight container at room temperature, where they will keep for up to three days, softening a little more with each day that passes.
Makes 24 financiers.
These easy-to-make hazelnut financiers have crunchy edges and a nutty, tender crumb. Topped with maple-infused roasted figs, they're just irresistible!
20 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
For the maple-roasted figs: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Quarter the figs and spread over the parchment paper. Drizzle with maple syrup, then brush it all over the figs. Roast the figs for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’ve softened and dried up some. Let cool while you prepare the financier batter.
For the financiers: Lower the heat to 350°F (175°C). Line the cups of two 12-cup muffin pans with parchment paper cups and set aside. (If you have only one muffin pan, you can bake the financiers in two batches.)
To brown the butter: Heat the butter in a small stainless steel pot over medium heat until completely melted and simmering. Keep on cooking over medium-low heat, swirling the pot from time to time. If the butter bubbles up preventing you from watching closely over the color changing (that’s the water evaporating), lift the pot off the heat for a few seconds until the bubbles recede, then put back on the heat. The butter is ready when the milk solids at the bottom of the pot turn a light brown color and the concoction gives off a delicious hazelnut aroma. When it does, remove the butter from the heat, pour in a small bowl, and let cool completely. (The process should take 4 to 5 minutes.)
Put the ground hazelnuts into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, sugars, and baking powder, and whisk together. Add the egg whites and whisk until they are fully incorporated and the mixture is thick and somewhat sticky. Whisk in the brown butter. At this point, the dough can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
When ready to bake the financiers, drop about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of financier batter in each prepared muffin cup. Top each financier with a piece of maple-roasted fig and some additional crushed toasted hazelnuts, if desired. Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the financiers are golden brown on the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Maple-Roasted Fig and Hazelnut Financiers are at their very best when freshly baked, but you can also store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.