Special thanks to Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox for developing this recipe.

Nothing beats the unmistakable texture and flavour of a proper almond financier – all crunchy on top and densely moist inside.

Making it the traditional way with browned butter is essential, and it will open up a world of buttery brilliance for you. From this point on, it is such an easy add-and-stir recipe that delivers incredible results, every time.

Makes 24 mini-muffin financiers

Ingredients:

  • 100 g salted butter (plus more softened butter for buttering the pan)
  • 140 g (1 cup tightly packed) Montagu almond flour
  • 180 g (4/5 cup) white sugar
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 XL egg whites (unwhisked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • about 1/4 cup Montagu flaked almonds (optional)

Method:

  1. Make the browned butter: Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling every now and then until melted. It will start to sizzle and bubble with a slightly “split” look. Continue to swirl from side to side (do not stir) every 15 seconds, watching it carefully. The large bubbles will change to a fine foam – when this happens, check for a golden brown residue on the bottom of the pan. As soon as you spot this golden brown residue starting to form, remove the pot from the heat and keep on swirling until the foam subsides and you are left with a liquid, nutty, brown butter. Be careful not to burn the butter. The butter should now be around 80 ml in total, which is perfect. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220 °C (or 200 °C for fan ovens). Use about 2 tablespoons softened butter and a pastry brush to generously butter the insides and top edges of the mini-muffin pan.
  3. Add the almond flour, sugar, flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the egg whites (no whisking required) and extract and stir well.
  4. Add the warm browned butter (liquid) and stir until well mixed. Divide the mixture evenly between the mini-muffin holes. Top with some flaked almonds (optional) then bake for 12 minutes until golden brown and risen.
  5. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan. Use a sharp knife to loosen the sides of the financiers, then take them out.
  6. Serve at room temperature with tea/coffee. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Note:

If you are using unsalted butter, rather add 1/2 teaspoon salt. If not topping with almond flakes, the financiers with rise a little more and have a characteristic “cracked” top.