It’s funny how sometimes the smallest little things can transport you to a different time of your life and bring back memories you probably never thought you’d look back on in the moment. It’s the sort of feeling you get when you hear a certain song or look through old pictures, and it’s also something I always notice when I flip through the pages of recipes I have on the blog. Every single recipe brings back memories of a different moment in my life, and I have to admit, sometimes it’s bittersweet. So much has changed in the past (almost) 6 years since I started this blog.
I made these financiers in the summer of 2015 – something I can tell you without looking at the timestamp on the photos. So many recipes came from the first 6 months of that year, but the next 6 months were almost the complete opposite; so much was going on in my life that admittedly, blogging was one of the last things on my mind. I look at the photos of these financiers and can’t help but remember how simple my life was at that time (although I probably didn’t realize it). Honestly, I think the simplicity is what I miss the most, and the bittersweet feeling comes from the fact that I didn’t appreciate it more. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.
So these days, I’m trying to put a little more effort into recognizing (and appreciating) what I have going for me in life – especially the little things – and focusing less on the things that don’t feel so perfect. That’s one reason why I’m super grateful to have this little space of the internet here; it’s one thing that’s completely under my control, one place where I know I’m doing something positive. And when I do look back on recipes like this one, it might be a little bittersweet, but it’s also the strongest inspiration I have to keep going – keep making recipes and sharing them with all of you. It’s not always easy to find the time to do it, but I’m so glad that I somehow do.
And even though so much time has passed since I made these financiers, I can tell you this: I still think they’re every bit as worth sharing as I did the day I made them. They bake up with slightly firm, crisp, golden-brown edges and a light, soft crumb just like a good financier should, and have an intense, sweet almond flavor that contracts perfectly with the slightly tart, juicy strawberries in every bite. Sprinkling slivered almonds and a bit of coarse sugar on top finishes them off with a sweet crunch for extra texture. They’re perfect for breakfast or dessert really – win-win!
Golden-brown teacakes with a crisp exterior and soft crumb, laced with an intense, sweet almond flavor and juicy strawberries in every bite.
- 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
- 5 ounces (1 1/4 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 5 ounces (1 1/4 cups) almond meal
- 2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) white rice flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 egg whites
- 3 3/4 ounces (3/4 cup) chopped strawberries
- sliced almonds, for sprinkling
- demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and butter bottom and sides of six 4 3/4" round tart pans*, making sure to cover all corners and grooves. Place pans on a baking tray.
- Place butter in a small skillet set over medium-low to medium heat. Cook until the butter melts, foams up, and turns golden-brown, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, almond meal, white rice flour, and salt.
- Add the cooled butter to the dry mixture along with the almond extract and fold in until evenly incorporated (mixture will still be very thick).
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add to the batter and fold in until fully incorporated, pressing any chunks of dough against the sides of the bowl as you go to break them up.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Scatted chopped strawberries evenly over top. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and demerara sugar.
- Bake financiers in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Cool briefly before transferring (in pans) to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before removing financiers from tart pans. Financiers are best served fresh but can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a couple days.
*These can also be baking in a standard 12-cup muffin pan, but you may need to increase the baking time slightly. Look for golden tops and check for doneness with a toothpick.