Best Hazelnut Financier Recipe

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Are you familiar with the fabulous French confection known as the financier? Recipe developer Eric Ngo, an expert pâtissier, explains to those of us as yet uninitiated into the wonders of this particular pastry, "I would describe a financier as the cousin of the Madeleine." He goes on to say, "They are in the same family/category of pastry called 'gateaux de voyages.' This translates to 'travel cakes.'" The reason financiers fall into this category, he notes, is "because they do not include a cream filling, and thus do not require refrigeration." Just the thing for your next super-fancy, non-messy picnic!

Financiers, according to Ngo, typically come in nut flavors, and as he puts it, "The most popular financiers are made with hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachio[s]." He chose to make his financiers hazelnut, because he is particularly fond of these nuts. While this recipe isn't quite as simple as stirring up a basic batch of cookies, on the other hand, it's nowhere near as complicated as you might imagine French pastries would be.

Gather the ingredients for hazelnut financiers

Most of the ingredients are fairly standard kitchen staples: unsalted butter, eggs (You'll only be using the whites for this recipe.), cornstarch, all-purpose flour, and confectioners' sugar. You're also going to need some hazelnuts, but it might be tricky to find whole shelled ones since they are often sold pre-chopped. What you really want for this recipe is hazelnut halves, but you can order the nuts whole and chop them in half yourself.

Yet another ingredient you may need to order is hazelnut powder. As Ngo explains, "Hazelnut powder is also known as hazelnut meal or hazelnut flour. It is made up of whole hazelnuts blended into a flour/powder-like substance." He suggests looking for it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, if you don't want to go the online route, and says that Bob's Red Mill is a pretty good brand.

Brown the butter

This recipe calls for lightly browned butter, a technique that not everyone is familiar with. Ngo says that browning simply involves "heating butter on low/medium heat until it smells like nutty like hazelnuts," and explains, "This is done to reinforce the nutty flavor of the cake."

To brown the butter, cut it into chunks, and melt it in a frying pan, stirring all the while. After about five minutes or so, the butter will start to turn golden. It should take only a minute or two longer at this point, so don't take your eyes off the pan, and do keep stirring! Once you smell that nutty fragrance, take the pan off the heat, and allow the melted butter to cool down.

Blend the batter for the financiers

Preheat the oven to 350 F. As it heats up, you'll be making the batter for the financiers. Mix all of the dry ingredients together: the cornstarch, flour, sugar, and hazelnut powder. Use a whisk to stir them together, and keep whisking for 30 seconds to make sure these ingredients are well-blended. At this point, add the egg whites, and stir those into the mixture until the batter is smooth. The last ingredient that goes in is the melted butter, and again, stir until that's blended in as well.

Bake the financiers in a special mold (or not)

Ngo, who has been baking for a long time, has all kinds of specialized equipment in his arsenal, including a financier mold. What, you may ask, is a financier mold? He explains that it's a rectangular mold where each opening is 2 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1 inch in height. If you want to purchase such a mold, Amazon sells a silicone one. If you don't want to commit to such a purchase before baking your first batch, though, Ngo does say, "You can also use round molds such as cupcake molds," although he does say, "Using my type of rectangular molds makes it easy to share."

Whatever type of mold you're using, fill the mold with the batter, then use the halved hazelnuts to decorate the tops. Bake the financiers for 12 to 15 minutes, then allow them to cool down for 10 minutes before you remove them from their molds. All that's left to do is enjoy!

Best Hazelnut Financier Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
These hazelnut financiers aren't as simple as preparing your typical batch of cookies, but they sure will make an incredible presentation.
Prep Time
Cook Time
hazelnut financier pastries on tray
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 ⅓ cups hazelnut powder
  • 5 egg whites
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, halved
  1. Lightly brown the butter, then let it cool down.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Mix the cornstarch, flour, sugar, and hazelnut powder in a large bowl, whisking for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the egg whites to the dry ingredients, and stir until smooth.
  5. Add the melted butter, and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Fill the financier mold with batter, and decorate each pastry with hazelnut halves.
  7. Bake the financiers for 12 to 15 minutes.
  8. Let the financiers cool down for 10 minutes before removing them from the mold.
Calories per Serving 183
Total Fat 13.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.9 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 13.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Total Sugars 9.4 g
Sodium 13.2 mg
Protein 3.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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