"It sort of looks like a muffin.......just tasted now. Perfection! Dense and moist and not too sweet." --- Mary
I didn't know what a financier is -- it's on the tablescape on the calendar -- so I asked Mary to check them out for us when she was in the New York city. She went to the French bakery Maison Kayser on the upper East side. Thanks, Mary.
According to Dorie Greenspan, in her cookbook Around my French Table, financiers were invented by Patisserie Lasne which was a favorite of Paris stockbrokers.
She says that "the brokers, financiers, would rush in every day in search of a sweet and rush out, brushing little bits of it off their suits as they went. It was Lasne's genius to realize that what his clients needed was a "fast food": a pastry that the hurried brokers could eat without a knife and fork, or fear of telltale crumbs. He created an ingot -shaped cake that could be eaten on the run."
Traditionally, they are small rectangular cakes -- in the shape of a bar of gold.
The basic recipe is almond flour, butter, sugar, lots of egg whites and flour. Over the years, many variations have been developed.
There are browned butter financiers, hazelnut or pistachio financiers with ground nuts, fruit financiers and even chocolate financiers.
fyi - Dorie has a new French baking cookbook, which I haven't purchased yet. Looks beautiful.
And she has a very popular blog -- here is the link: http://doriegreenspan.com/index.html