Recipe

Chocolate Financiers

by Sasha Marx

Financiers are a French petit-four cake (petit-four literally translates to “small oven” and refers to bite-sized baked items which can be sweet or savory), traditionally made with brown butter and almond flour. They have awesome contrasting textures—crisp and chewy at the edges, and decadently soft and moist at the center—along with nutty flavor from the browned butter and almonds. Adding chocolate to the mix makes for a next-level brownie that we can’t get enough of. This version is an adaptation of a Thomas Keller recipe that calls for both bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao) and unsweetened chocolate (100 percent cacao) along with cocoa powder.

We wanted intense chocolate flavor so we ditched the bittersweet chocolate and went up on the unsweetened. We also added a little instant espresso powder, which amplifies chocolate flavor. These tweaks muted the flavor of the brown butter and we were unable to distinguish between versions made with plain melted butter and brown butter in side-by-side tests. So, we ditched the browning step and made an already simple, elegant dessert even easier.

Once you’ve made these financiers, use them in a little experiment to experience for yourself how the flavor of food can change under the influence of music. Take a bite while listening to the first sound clip from composer Ben Houge. Then take a short break, a sip of water, and listen to the second sound clip while taking another bite. Think about how the flavor changes and enjoy eating chocolate financiers in the name of science. We encourage repeating the experiment to validate your data.  

Yield
16 to 19 small financiers or 12 large financiers
SFS_Chocolate_Financier-1054.jpg
Ingredients
120 g sugar
20 g all-purpose flour
2 g instant espresso powder
1.5 g kosher salt
60 g almond flour
20 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
90 g egg whites (3 large whites)
112 g unsalted butter (1 stick)
30 g unsweetened chocolate
½ cup plus 1½ tablespoons (4¼ ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3  large egg whites
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
Essential Equipment
Instructions
    • 120 g sugar 
    • 20 g all-purpose flour 
    • 2 g instant espresso powder 
    • 1.5 g kosher salt 
    • 60 g almond flour 
    • 20 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder 
    • 90 g egg whites (3 large whites) 
    Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees F/191 degrees C. Whisk together sugar, all-purpose flour, espresso powder, and salt in heatproof large bowl. Sift almond flour through fine-mesh strainer into bowl; discard any coarse bits in strainer. Sift cocoa powder into bowl. Whisk to combine. Form well in center of sugar mixture. Pour egg whites into center of well, then whisk, gradually incorporating sugar mixture, until well combined and glossy, scraping down bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Set aside. 
    • 112 g unsalted butter (1 stick)
    • 30 g unsweetened chocolate 
    Bring butter and chocolate to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Working quickly, whisk hot butter-chocolate mixture into bowl with batter until smooth and well incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer batter to pastry bag and set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes. 
  1. Spray muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Pipe or scoop 25 grams (1½ tablespoons) batter into each cup. Bake financiers until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let financiers cool in tin for 5 minutes. Unmold financiers and transfer to wire rack. Serve. 
Instructions
    • ½ cup plus 1½ tablespoons (4¼ ounces) sugar
    • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 
    • 1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder 
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 
    • ½ cup almond flour 
    • ¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder 
    • 3 large egg whites 
    Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees F/191 degrees C. Whisk together sugar, all-purpose flour, espresso powder, and salt in heatproof large bowl. Sift almond flour through fine-mesh strainer into bowl; discard any coarse bits in strainer. Sift cocoa powder into bowl. Whisk to combine. Form well in center of sugar mixture. Pour egg whites into center of well, then whisk, gradually incorporating sugar mixture, until well combined and glossy, scraping down bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Set aside. 
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate 
    Bring butter and chocolate to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Working quickly, whisk hot butter-chocolate mixture into bowl with batter until smooth and well incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer batter to pastry bag and set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes. 
  1. Spray muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Pipe or scoop 1½ tablespoons batter into each cup. Bake financiers until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let financiers cool in tin for 5 minutes. Unmold financiers and transfer to wire rack. Serve. 
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