Chocolate Hazelnut Financiers

Chocolate Hazelnut Financiers

If you have ever had the pleasure of standing in front of a long display case in a French bakery you  know what an overwhelming experience it can be.  Facing dozens and dozens of perfectly formed and decorated sweets of every shape and size and deciding what to choose can be daunting.  As much as I admire all the perfect little works of art I love the small bites that aren’t overly fancy.  One of my favorites is the financier,  a small cake that is light and moist, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond  flour and beurre noisette, browned butter. Financiers are baked in shaped molds, usually small rectangular loaves or in mini-muffin tins.  The name financier is said to derive from the traditional rectangular mold, which resembles a gold bar….see the photo at the bottom of this post.

Chocolate Hazelnut Financiers

Financiers are surprisingly easy to make.  Carefully measuring ingredients and browning the butter are the two crucial steps.  If you have never browned butter you will find easy instructions HERE.   The butter takes on a rich, nutty flavor as it browns and is a important component in many French recipes.  I have built up a nice cookbook library over the years but I’m gradually getting rid of it as I find other more convenient recipe sources.  However, I have added two books to my library this year in my attempt to become a better baker: ” Thomas Keller, Bouchon Bakery” by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, and “My Paris Kitchen” by David Lebovitz.  Both books are a treasure trove of information and stress the necessity of a digital kitchen scale for accurate baking. Thomas Keller urges readers to “Throw Out Your Measuring Cups.”   Weighing ingredients is so much easier and provides so much more accuracy than measuring by volume.   Once you try it you won’t measure ingredients any other way.

Chocolate Hazelnut Financiers

I love these dense little chocolate cakes. They are a bit crispy on the edges and soft and chocolaty in the center.  They are best eaten within a day or two of baking or frozen for a later date.  I took several out of the freezer last night and couldn’t wait for them to thaw. Even frozen they were delicious…almost fudgy in the center.  I used mini-muffins tins for this recipe and it made 20 financiers.


Traditional financiers are made in pans that resemble gold bars…hence their name.  I bought some silicone ones at E. DEHILLERIN  last spring and they work very well…the cakes pop right out of the molds.  I will share the recipe for these vanilla cakes very soon.  They are made with almond flour instead of the hazelnut that I used in the chocolate cakes.  If you don’t have hazelnut flour you can substitute  almond for equally delicious results. The browned butter flavor is much more noticeable in the vanilla cakes.  Fresh raspberries were  placed on top of the cakes as they baked and became  little dabs of filling.  I hope you will try this recipe for one of the most popular sweets you will find in a French patisserie.  You will be amazed by how easy a digital scale makes the preparation of the batter.  It takes away all the guess work and the recipe turns out the same every single time…delicious.

recipe adapted from one found in Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery.  I substituted hazelnut flour for almond flour and used  70% Vahlrona Chocolate.

Chocolate Hazelnut Financiers
: 16-20 mini muffins
  • 120g granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 1-1/2 tablespoons)
  • 20g all-purpose flour (2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon)
  • 60g hazelnut flour (1/2 cup +1-1/2 teaspoons)
  • 20g unsweetened cocoa powder (1/4 cup)
  • 100g egg whites (1/4 cup + 2-1/2 tablespoons)
  • 100g browned butter (1/2 cup)
  • 20g 70% chocolate, chopped (0.7 ounces)
  • 10g 100% unsweetened chocolate, chopped (0.4 ounces) substitute 70% if you don't have this
  • chopped hazelnuts for ganish
  1. Spray 2 12-cup mini-muffin pans with baking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Place the sugar and flour in a large. Whisk to combine well and break up any lumps. Sift hazelnut flour into the mixture, add cocoa powder, and mix well.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg whites and whisk them, gradually incorporating the dry mixture, until all the ingredients are well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and whisk again. Place the brown butter and the chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt the chocolate and heat the butter. A few seconds in the microwave works well for this but be careful not to overheat it. When the mixture is hot, just below a simmer, whisk it into the flour mixture.
  5. Spoon about 1-1/2 tablespoon batter into the prepared mini-muffin pans. Place the pans into the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Immediately unmold the financiers and cool on a wire rack.
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  1. Ramona says

    I occasionally make a browned butter oatmeal cookie. Browning the butter sends them over the top to me. I can only make them occasionally because I might have been known to eat a whole batch of them….

    The Financiers look good and I know we would love them.

  2. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says

    Your Financiers are so pretty Cathy. I feel as if I’ve visited a patesserie in France. I had no idea you could make them at home.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Summer FlowersMy Profile

  3. Debra says

    Great post! These sound so delicious, Cathy. Excellent photos, too!
    Debra recently posted..Chorizo Stuffed Chiles in Walnut SauceMy Profile

  4. Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says

    Cathy, I pinned this immediately. My baking improved so much when I started weighing my ingredients. Oh, and I have hazelnuts in the freezer.
    Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon recently posted..Chicken Pesto PastaMy Profile

  5. ciaochowlinda says

    I still haven’t eaten a financier, but I know I would love yours. They’re beautiful, and beautifully photographed.
    ciaochowlinda recently posted..Burrata or BustMy Profile

  6. Barbara says

    I’ve made the traditional financiers, Cathy, never the chocolate. What fun to substitute hazelnut flour! These look divine!
    Barbara recently posted..Potato Galette with Sautéed Asparagus and Fresh PeasMy Profile

  7. Jamie says

    Cathy these look beautiful and believe it or not I was just looking at a recipe for chocolate almond financiers on another friend’s blog and have it marked to make. Now I need to compare the recipes!
    Jamie recently posted..Cool Summer Shrimp and Grilled Peach Quinoa SaladMy Profile

  8. Rettabug says

    Cathy, I never fail to learn something from your interesting & informative posts!
    I can almost imagine how wonderful these little gems taste. You’ve made me hungry just by looking at your photos.
    One of these days, I’m going to get the chance to gaze at pastries through a French window!! It is on my bucket list. This will have to do me, for now, though.
    Rettabug recently posted..Whimsical Cupcake Birthday PartyMy Profile

  9. Adri says

    Isn’t Dehillerin the most remarkable spot! It’s a pleasure to meet another fan. And aren’t Financiers divine? I make them often, and my molds are some of my very special kitchen treasures. I have had those tin molds for well over thirty years, and they have served me very well. Today one can find them in non-stick versions, but I really prefer the way Financiers (and other goodies like Madeleines) bake up in the old-fashioned molds, the ones that are unlined. They develop a nice little outer crust that is quite different from what one gets with the non-stick versions of the molds. Have you found that to be the case? The flavor of these treats is so special; the combination of the nut flour, whether it be almond, hazelnut, even pistachio, and beurre noisette is one of the glories of French treat making. Your Financiers look beautiful. Please leave you back door open for me. I’ll be right over! I hope you are having a grand summer.

  10. Kathleen says

    Both look wonderful! I don’t know if I have the patience to weigh everything though! I usually triple or quad the recipes, no sense messing up the kitchen for a small batch. Susan recently said she made 2 dozen cookies. I don’t think I have ever made only 2 dozen! Go big or go home, lol!
    Hope you are having a good summer, Cathy!
    Kathleen recently posted..No Sew Table Skirt and a Few Other Things!My Profile

  11. Kitty says

    Hi Cathy,
    Ooh la la…I would love to try one of these darling chocolate cakes. I have to tell you that my grandkids and I made your copy cat DQ ice cream yesterday and it was a hit! It was creamy and oh so good. Would you ever mind if I posted it, if I linked back to you?

  12. Penny says

    I bought the silicone pans at E. Dehillerin when I was in Paris too! I keep almond flour in my freezer for just the purpose of making financiers. I love them and your chocolate variety sounds delicious. Thank you so much Cathy for your giveaway. I know I will love the vanilla products!
    Penny recently posted..Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta From Mamma AgataMy Profile

  13. cheri says

    Hi Cathy, heard of these before but was not exactly sure what they were or how they were different, now I do, thanks! Can’t wait for the vanilla cakes recipe too!
    cheri recently posted..Panzanella Salad, A Cottage Cooking Club RecipeMy Profile

  14. Susan says

    You had me sold at ‘dense’ ‘chocolate’ and ‘almost fudgey’. So easy to make with the mini muffin tin too, which I have. I am weighing my ingredients much more often then I used to – especially when the recipe includes the weight measure.
    Susan recently posted..Roasted Tomato and Caramelized Onion TartMy Profile

  15. Karen (Back Road Journal) says

    Browned butter, nuts and chocolate…your financiers sound great.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..The Biltmore HotelMy Profile

  16. Marilyn says

    These look soooo good. I need a new digital scale, I think mine is not working well.
    Thanks for the encouragement. Plus really want David’s book too. It is on my wish list.
    Marilyn recently posted..The August Break 2014 – patternMy Profile

  17. Velva says

    I have had the pleasure of standing in a Paris bakery staring into the glass windows of some over the top pasteries and desserts. There is no doubt in my mind that your financiers are as equally good.

    Hope you are having a good summer.

    Velva recently posted..Winding Down with Arugula-Proscuitto Flatbread PizzasMy Profile

  18. Foodiewife says

    One of these days, I hope to discover the charm of Paris. I have never been there, and when my knee is better– I’ll have to get a list of “go to” places from you. I received Thomas Keller’s book as a Christmas gift this year. I love it. I have a digital scale, and do like weighing my ingredients. But, I still use my measuring cups, because most American recipes aren’t converted into metric. Wow, these look great. I’d have to freeze them, just to keep from eating them all at once! I’ve missed not visiting my friend’s food blogs. But, I’m back, and I have some catching up to do.
    Foodiewife recently posted..Creamy Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and Biscoff Cookie Crust – Pressure Cooker Style, in 15 minutes!My Profile

    • says

      Freezing them won’t save you, Debby. I tried that and found that they are delicious frozen too – chewy, fudgy and irresistible. I love the intense chocolate flavor with hazelnuts. At least I try to limit myself to one…or two…
      Cathy recently posted..Chocolate Hazelnut FinanciersMy Profile

  19. sue/the view from great island says

    I am dying to try these, they look so rich, and I actually have hazelnut flour languishing in my fridge!
    sue/the view from great island recently posted..Minimal Monday: Micro Caprese SaladMy Profile

  20. Pam says

    They look and sound delicious Cathy. My kids would LOVE them!
    Pam recently posted..Spicy Zucchini and Squash SpearsMy Profile

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