Chocolate Financier

by Eddy Van Damme on August 27, 2009

Chocolate cake

Chocolate Cake – Chocolate Financier Cake

Growing up in Belgium, there was never a shortage of chocolate in our house. The pantry was always stocked well with a large variety of the good stuff. Chocolate for baking, chocolate with hazelnuts, with orange peel, filled with pistachio crème, praline, etc.

Belgians are known for consuming large amounts of chocolate and they are not shy of starting the morning by placing a chocolate bar between some buttered bread and eating it for breakfast. Still today, I will have exactly that for breakfast. It’s delicious and if you think about it, it’s a low fat version of a chocolate croissant. As a boy when I came home from school, it was oftentimes the snack that my mother made for me to hold me over to dinner. Nice to know that scientist are catching up with what mothers already knew, chocolate is good for your brain and heart.

Pastry chefs love chocolate as well. It is one of the ingredients which pastry chefs are very choosy in selecting. Indeed, you cannot make something excellent from an inferior product. It is just not possible. Chocolate is the premier medium that allows us to make delicious decorations and is the base for countless excellent desserts. In cakes chocolate is ideal since it harmonizes well with lots of flavors.
Chocolate financier (pronounced fee-nahng-syehr) is perhaps one of the finest pound cake types of cake there is. It has a very tender crumb, but still has the right firmness to be served as is with espresso or tea. The cake contains very little flour but obtains its structure from the large amount of almond meal which gives it a very delectable texture. A good chocolate financier should not contain too much chocolate as it would overshadow the almond flavor. Vanilla financier is most often made with beurre noisette which brings, as the name implies a nutty flavor to the almond cake.

Cape Gooseberries

Getting it all together!
The chocolate financier cakes that I made for the picture were made in 3 small loaf pans measuring 6 x 3 inches (15 x 8 cm). In America, I like the small loaf pans available at Crate and Barrel. In Europe and other parts of the world, this size is easy to find everywhere. The batter can also be baked in other mediums such a muffin cups, small silicone bake ware etc. This batter will not perform well in a standard size pound cake pan, it is too big and it will take too long before the cake is thoroughly baked in the center. Personally I like small loaf pans because many recipes are formulated to make one standard size loaf which is the equivalent of 3 smaller pans. The small baked cakes are great to share with friends.
Chocolate Financier Cake

1 ½ Cups (5 oz) Sliced almonds or almond meal150 g
1 Cup (8 oz)  Extra fine granulated sugar 240 g
½ Cup minus 1 TBSP (2 oz) All purpose flour 60 g
7 large (7 oz) Egg whites 210 g
½ teaspoon (0.1 oz) Salt 2.5 g
2 teaspoon (0.4 oz) vanilla extract 10 g
1 teaspoon (0.2 oz) Almond extract 5 g
1 ½ sticks (6 oz) Unsalted butter 180 g
4 oz (4 oz) Bittersweet chocolate, 60% cacao 120 g

1. Butter and flour pans. Not necessary if you are using good quality silicone bake ware.
2. Place the sliced almonds or almond meal with the sugar and flour in a food processor and process until the almonds are finer than cornmeal. A coffee grinder works fantastic as well, just make sure to blend the almonds with the sugar and flour to prevent making a paste. Place in a bowl large enough to handle all the remaining ingredients.
3. Add the egg whites, (Not whipped) salt, vanilla and almond extract and mix together using a rubber spatula.
4. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and combine with the butter. Melt over barely simmering water, the bowl not touching the water. Remove from heat when ¾ of the chocolate is melted.
5. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and add to the above, stir until combined.
6. Fill the molds ¾ full and bake in a 350⁰F (180⁰C) oven until the center of the financier cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger. About 33-36 minutes for the size prescribed above. For other sizes bake until the center of the cakes bounce back when pressed.

20 comments on “Chocolate Financier

  1. Diana Wallace on said:

    Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate! This looks like a winner! Can’t wait to try!

  2. Anna Moreno on said:

    Wow Chef Eddy, I just love this recipe, I remember having little financiers dipped on ganache as petit fours in your platted dessert class, they were amazing, just as you describe. The flavor and texture of the almonds make them outstanding compare to any other chocolate pound cake version.
    Please, post some good recipes for muffins, I still bake your recipes for my family and they love them, always full of flavor, healthy, moist and great to start our busy days… even my 4 year old daughter can’t resist !
    By the way I LOVE the design of your renewed web page, and of course, your exquisite recipes. Congratulations !!!!
    Cheers, Anna

  3. lynnora Faison on said:

    thank you chef for helping me out an i am going to go home and try one of your cake today well try and bake it anyway thank you again

  4. lynnora Faison on said:

    This cake turned out wonderful!

  5. Hilary Adams on said:

    Hi, Chef Eddy! This recipe looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it!! Do you have a brand of chocolate to recommend? What do you use when you’re making this? Thanks! ;0)

  6. felipe riccio on said:

    hey chef, i want to make an olive oil financier, how would i change the recipe? add the olive oil just as flavoring or would i have to change the amount of butter because of the oil?

  7. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Felipe,

    If you want to change the butter with ALL olive oil, I would use 4.5 oz of oil instead of 6 oz butter. You can always use half butter and half oil. I am not sure if you will be able to taste much of the olive oil in either way since you also have chocolate present. Eddy.

  8. felipe riccio on said:

    thank you chef, Im gonna make a fig and olive oil (no chocolate) financier with a balsamic vinegar ice cream.

  9. Hello Chef Eddie,

    Just want to say I hope you are enjoying your vacation, but I will be glad when you return.
    The passion you have in baking is very hard to find in others without the same passion and I
    will become one of the best Pastry Chef’s in the world because I will follow in your foot steps.

    Blessings ….Carol

  10. Raina Willick on said:

    Chef Eddy,
    I finally got to make this cake! It turned out great! I used almond flour since that was what I happend to have, and because I didn’t have the smaller loaf pans you suggested I used a “mini” bread loaf pan I had and made eight mini loaves. With a slightly shorter baking time this worked well. I served these at a dinner party and each person had their own little Financier cake garnished with whipped cream, sliced almonds and chocolate shavings. Everyone loved it. Thanks!
    Raina Willick

  11. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Raina, I am glad you liked the cake. I must say it is one of my personal favorites as well. All the best, Eddy.

  12. Are those tomatillos used as decorations?

  13. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    The fruits on the financier cake are Cape gooseberries.

  14. Merina Lee on said:

    Hi Chef Eddy,

    I just went through all the pictures you took for the desserts. They are so beautiful!!!
    I would like to take pastry and baking program next year, and hoping I will be so creative like your are.
    Would you mind giving me some advises about what other resources I can find to prepare me to be a top students and chef in this professional field?



  15. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Without a doubt there a lot of excellent pastry chefs and schools in many places and I would like to have some input from the pastry community on your question. Do you mind reposting your question on a brand new article? I post Tuesday evening (central USA time).
    All the best,


  16. Lunno Banggini on said:

    Hello Chef Eddy,
    I was wondering if it’s possible to make this recipe as a big cake. I mean, extra extra large financiers, like the size of a birthday cake. Do you think this can work?
    Thank you for the attention,

  17. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hmmmmm, never tried to make financiers into a large birthday size cake. I do know that Financier bakes better into smaller pans. What I believe would work for sure iis spreading the financier batter on parchment paper in sheet pans, about an inch (2-3cm) high. Once baked and cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place a piece of parchment on top and turn upside down onto a sheet pan. Build up several layers to turn into a birthday cake. You could spread ganache and or orange marmalade in between the layers…

  18. Chocolate and almond are two flavors that just yearn to be together. This is a great combination of a delicate texture but with great flavor. Is it possible to freeze this?

  19. Yvonne Davis on said:

    Chef would hazelnut work with or without the almond?

  20. Richard Martinez on said:

    The Financier looks really good but I tried the chocolate bar between some buttered bread and had it for a snack, It was new to me but it was good.

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