I forget when my affair with financiers started. But it’s been true love ever since I made my first batch.
Not to be confused with madeleines, financiers are little golden sponge cakes in the shape of rectangles. They get their name from the gold bars that French bankers use to carry around in the old days.
But unlike those bars, they’re light, springy and delicious. I’ve made them with raspberries before, but then the other day, I saw a recipe for a honey-hazelnut version. Whoa, I thought. This is happening.
If you don’t have financier pans, you can make these in muffin tins. But I would recommend investing in a silicon mold. They’re not that expensive on Amazon, and then all your financiers will come out looking more or less the same. You also won’t have to go through the trouble of trying to take the cakes out of a muffin tin; They pop right out of the mold.
Here is a fitting accompaniment to these financiers. It’s a good baking soundtrack, or just a fun song to walk down the sidewalk to.
Honey-Hazelnut Financiers (from Bon Appetit)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more, room temperature, for pans
1¼ cups skin-on hazelnuts, divided
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons honey, preferably raw
3 large egg whites
¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter eight 3×2” mini loaf pans or a standard 12-cup muffin pan. Toast 1 cup hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool (do not remove skins). Pulse hazelnuts, flour, and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
Place 10 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns (do not let burn), 5–8 minutes. Discard pod and scrape vanilla butter into a medium bowl. Whisk in honey.
Increase oven heat to 400°. Whisk egg whites in a large bowl just to break up, add brown sugar, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Fold in dry ingredients in 2 additions, then fold in butter mixture just until smooth.
Coarsely chop remaining ¼ cup hazelnuts. Scrape batter into pans and top with hazelnuts. Bake financiers until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 15–20 minutes for loaves, 10–15 for muffins. Let cool 5 minutes in pans, then transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.
Do Ahead: Financiers can be made 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.