Tonight I’m going to a BBQ and decided to bake David Lebovitz’ Chocolate Financiers as my contribution to the evening.
These delicious little treats were one of the first Gluten Free baked goods I ever made from scratch. After tasting how amazingly chocolatey and moist these were, I haven’t used a prepackaged mix for Gluten Free baking since.
Even before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and went Gluten Free, I never used Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. I’ll cop to relying on Aunt Jemima for pancakes, but we usually make those in the morning, so we deserve a break on that one, right?
I discovered this recipe by Googling “almond flour + chocolate”. I clicked a link to (then unknown to me) smittenkitchen.com and was amazed. Smitten Kitchen not only told me that this recipe appears in (also then unknown to me) Shauna James Ahern’s life-changing book Gluten Free Girl, but that the original recipe came from the perpetually amusing and talented (yep, also then unknown to me) David Lebovitz. How I managed to be Gluten Free that long and not know about Shauna Ahern’s inspiring website glutenfreegirl.com or her book, was astonishing.
Who knew that Googling “almond flour + chocolate” would open up a whole new world?
The first time I made the financiers, I was so excited to have found the recipe, I used the only possible pan I already had: an oversized muffin top pan. They came out looking like amazing brown saucers from outer space, but more delicious than any other Gluten Free thing I had ever baked. If I remember properly, I don’t think I had any almond extract and so I used vanilla instead. It worked, but they are so much more delicious with the almond extract.
Of course, immediately after that first foray, I went to Sur La Table and bought pretty little molds to make them properly. The next time I baked them was for Thanksgiving and I added halved fresh cranberries. The tartness of the cranberries went perfectly with the chocolate. I wish I had pictures of those little cakes with burst cranberries on top–they were so festive.
These are the molds I usually use to make the Financiers
Now, I use this recipe whenever I want to bake something I know I can count on–like today.
Here’s the recipe, adapted from David Lebovitz’ recipe, printed in the book Gluten Free Girl:
6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 Cup almond flour
4 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3/4 Cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1/3 Cup egg whites
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Before you start:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease financier molds or mini-muffin tins. If you also have some brown or white rice flour, lightly sprinkle some over the tins.
First things first:
Melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter and then let it return to room temperature. You can do this in the microwave or in a small sauce pan. If you have the time, use the sauce pan and stove, it melts better.
Preparing the batter:
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, powdered sugar) together with a whisk. Add the egg whites and almond extract. At this point, I like to use my electric hand mixer to get everything well mixed. Next, gradually pour in the melted butter until the batter is smooth and the butter is no longer visible as its own ingredient. If using a hand mixer, keep the speed at its lowest and be careful not to over mix the batter. Spoon the batter into the mini-muffin or financier tins, filling each receptacle only about 3/4 full.
Put it in the oven:
Bake the financier for about 10 minutes and then check for doneness. They should have risen slightly in the tins and feel springy to the touch. The insides stay quite moist, so if you cannot resist checking with a toothpick (I can’t help it!), do not overcook. After removing the financiers from the oven, let them cool completely before removing from the tins.
Makes about 16
Notes: When I make these in individual molds, I like to keep them stored that way. If you reheat them in the oven for a few minutes, while still in the molds, the tops crisp up again, like they were just baked. Though these need no decoration or addition, to jazz them up, you can add bits of chopped berries to each financier right before placing in the oven. Half of a cranberry on top of each also works well.
You can see the great texture the almond flour gives these little cakes