Chocolate Financiers

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Indulge in the rich, chocolatey goodness of our Chocolate Financiers, where classic French pastry meets the bold flavor of cocoa. Perfect for any occasion, these mini cakes are a surefire crowd-pleaser.

Milk chocolate ganache-topped chocolate financier

Recipe At a Glance

Financiers are these lovely almond mini cakes with brown butter, and chocolate financiers are a simple twist on the French classic. The twist is as simple as it gets: we substitute 0.5 oz cocoa powder for 0.5 oz cake flour. That’s it.

To make the recipe worth its own article, I topped these with milk chocolate whipped ganache. The robust chocolate flavor from the cocoa powder pairs beautifully with the creamy sweetness of the milk chocolate in the frosting, creating a perfect balance.

(Adding the frosting also makes the financiers look and feel much more like cupcakes than financiers.)

This recipe is straightforward: the batter for the financiers takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 13 to 15 minutes to bake. The frosting requires 10 to 15 minutes of preparation, a couple of minutes of whipping, and a few more to pipe onto the mini cakes. The only downside is that you need 6+ hours between preparing and whipping the ganache.

In short, if you’re aiming for financiers topped with whipped ganache frosting, remember it’s not a quick dessert. For something faster, consider plain financiers or my raspberry financiers.

Making chocolate financiers for the first time? Read the ingredients notes, step-by-step instructions, and tips. If you’re familiar with the recipe, feel free to jump to the recipe card.

Ingredients Notes and Substitutes

Chocolate Financiers

Chocolate financiers ingredients
  • Egg whites. The base for the mini almond cakes.
  • Unsalted butter. We’ll brown the butter to infuse the cakes with its characteristic flavor and aroma.
  • Sugar. Regular white sugar is perfect, though you can use powdered sugar if that’s what you have.
  • Honey. Honey helps to keep the cakes super moist. To substitute, you could increase the amount of sugar. While the cakes might not be as moist, the ample amount of other liquids (egg whites, butter) in the recipe will help keep them somewhat moist.
  • Almond flour. Go with store-bought, or you can make it at home if you have some blanched almonds on hand.
  • Cake flour. I use cake flour for the financiers based on the Hanbit Cho’s recommendation, but I’ve seen people have success with all-purpose flour as well. The recipe doesn’t use that much flour anyway, so substituting with AP flour shouldn’t be a big deal.
  • Cocoa powder. Cocoa powder makes the financiers taste chocolatey.
  • Vanilla extract. Optional, but a bit helps improve the flavor.
  • Baking powder. Include baking powder if you prefer your financiers fluffy and cupcake-like, or omit it for a denser texture. For first-timers, I recommend using baking powder.

Milk Chocolate Whipped Ganache (Frosting)

Stabilized milk chocolate whipped ganache ingredients
  • Milk chocolate. Couverture chocolate or baking chocolate both work great, but your favorite milk chocolate should work just as well.
  • Heavy cream. Use the brand you buy for whipping.
  • Gelatin. I use powdered gelatin, but you can use an equivalent in gelatin leaves if that’s what you prefer.

How to Make Chocolate Financiers

The game plan for these is quite simple:

  1. Prep the ganache. Our milk chocolate ganache needs at least 6 hours of refrigeration before whipping, so we start with that. It’s best to do this step the day before you want to serve the financiers.
  2. Bake financiers.
  3. Combine. Once the financiers are cooled and the ganache is nice and cold, you can whip the frosting and pipe it on the mini cakes.

Step 1: Frosting Prep

(Read my milk chocolate whipped ganache recipe for more info about the frosting.)

  1. Bloom the gelatin. Pour the water over the gelatin in a tiny bowl and stir it. Set aside.
Gelatin for stabilized whipped cream
Bloom gelatin in water for 5-10 minutes
  1. Prepare the chocolate. Finely chop the milk chocolate and place it into a large heatproof bowl. The finer the chocolate is chopped, the easier it will melt, but there’s no need to be perfect here because we will blend the chocolate with heavy cream anyway.
Chopped chocolates
Finely chop the milk chocolate
  1. Heat the cream. Heat half the heavy cream over medium heat in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer. Do not let it boil over; you’re looking for small bubbles near the edges of the pot and a bit of steam. Take the cream off the heat.
Heating the cream
Heat half the cream until it simmers without boiling
  1. Add gelatin. Add the bloomed gelatin to the hot cream and whisk until it dissolves.
Adding the bloomed gelatin to the cream
Add the gelatin
  1. Combine chocolate and cream. Pour the hot cream and gelatin mixture over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for about 1 minute for the chocolate to warm and start melting. After a minute, whisk the mixture until the chocolate fully melts and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Blend. Use an immersion blender to carefully blend the mixture for about 1-2 minutes. Ensure you move the blender around to incorporate all the chocolate and cream thoroughly. This is our insurance policy against any lumps of unmelted chocolate.
  1. Add remaining cream. Pour the remaining cream (the portion that wasn’t heated) into the mixture and blend for another minute or so. This quickly lowers the temperature of the ganache, making it ready for refrigeration.
  1. Cover and refrigerate. Cover the ganache with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is in direct contact with the surface of the ganache. This prevents a skin from forming. Put the bowl in the fridge for 6+ hours, ideally overnight, before you move to step 3.
Cover with plastic wrap
Cover with plastic wrap and chill

Step 2: Make Financiers

(For more tips on making financiers, read my basic financier recipe.)

  1. Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
  2. Brown butter. Begin by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma (brown butter is also known as hazelnut butter for this reason). Depending on the heat, the browning process usually takes 5 to 10 minutes once the butter has melted. Initially, you’ll hear a sizzling sound, followed by bubbling and then a crackling noise. That’s when you should pay close attention to the butter as it should be ready (brown and smelling nutty) soon. Once browned, remove from heat and place in a bowl of cold water so that it cools.
  1. Mix egg whites and sugar. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl and whisk until combined. You don’t need to whip the whites – a good stir that makes a tiny bit of foam is good enough.
  1. Add honey and vanilla. Pour the honey and vanilla extract into the bowl and mix everything.
Adding honey
Mix in the honey and vanilla extract
  1. Add dry ingredients. Sift and mix together the almond flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Then, add the mixed ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
  1. Add butter. Pour the brown butter into the bowl, including all the dark bits on the bottom of the pot, and stir to combine. Make sure the butter isn’t super hot so it doesn’t cook the whites.
  1. Prepare the pan. For the financiers to come off the pan, you need to grease the mold with butter. The way I like to do this is to scoop some butter onto a piece of wax paper and spread it around the interior surface of the pan, trying to cover everything, including corners and edges. Once done, I use my index finger to spread the butter more evenly and reach all surfaces I might’ve missed. If your pan isn’t non-stick, dust it with AP flour or white sugar to make a non-stick layer. Cover everything and tap out any excess that doesn’t stick to the butter.
  2. Fill molds. Spoon or pour the batter into the molds, filling each to about three-quarters full. Depending on the size of your muffin tin, this should yield between 8 to 12 financiers.
  1. Bake. Place the pan in the preheated oven and immediately lower the temperature to 360°F (180°C). Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the centers are set. If you need another test for doneness, insert a toothpick into a financier; it should come out dry.
  2. Cool. Allow the financiers to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing. To ease removal, gently run a silicone spatula around each cake, then invert the pan onto a wire rack to release the cakes.
Baked chocolate financiers
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack

Step 3: Whip Ganache and Combine

  1. Whip. After 6 hours in the fridge, the ganache will look set and pretty stiff. That’s expected, so don’t panic. Grab a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip the ganache on medium speed until the whisks leave a clearly visible trail and the ganache looks light and fluffy. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Stop immediately if you notice the ganache starts looking grainy.
  1. Pipe. Pipe the whipped ganache on top of the mini cakes.
  2. Serve.
Chocolate French mini cakes with milk chocolate ganache
Delicious financiers with milk chocolate ganache frosting

Tips

  • Plan ahead. Financiers without frosting retain great quality for 3 to 4 days in a sealed container on the counter. That means you can prep the ganache and bake the financiers the day before you need them. This way, you only need to whip the ganache and frost the mini cakes before you can serve them.
Chocolate flavored French almond mini cakes
Chocolate-flavored French almond mini cakes
  • Adjust baking time. Baking time varies depending on whether you use a financier mold, a regular muffin tin, or a mini muffin tin. A mini muffin tin or a financier mold needs about 10 to 12 minutes of baking, while a regular muffin tin somewhere between 13 and 15 minutes. Look for signs of browning around the edges and a set top.
Browning around the edges
Look for browning around the edges
  • Prep batter while browning the butter. Browning the butter takes some time but doesn’t need constant oversight, just a quick stir every minute or two. This allows you to measure and mix the other ingredients while the butter browns.
Chocolate financiers with whipped ganache frosting
  • Use a scale. Bust out your kitchen scale when measuring all the ingredients, especially the egg whites. Egg sizes vary, so weighing the whites is much more reliable than using the number of eggs. If you want to use up all your egg whites, scale the rest of the ingredients accordingly and make a couple more (or fewer) financiers.
  • Change the topping. The frosting I chose for this recipe works great, but you can sub in anything else that makes sense. Some options to consider include: chocolate pastry cream, a simple powdered sugar glaze (powdered sugar + milk), or a dusting of powdered sugar.
French mini almond cakes infused with chocolate
Chocolate-flavored French almond cakes

Storage

Unfrosted financiers keep on the counter for 3 to 4 days, while frosted ones last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. In both cases, make sure the container is sealed tightly so the mini cakes don’t absorb any smells or dry out.

Milk chocolate ganache-topped chocolate financier

Chocolate Financiers

Indulge in the rich, chocolatey goodness of our Chocolate Financiers, where classic French pastry meets the bold flavor of cocoa. Perfect for any occasion, these mini cakes are a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Almond Cakes, Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Financiers

Ingredients

Chocolate Financiers:

  • 5 oz egg whites 141 g, about 5 egg whites
  • 4 oz butter 113 g, plus a bit more for greasing the pan
  • 3 oz sugar 85 g
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
  • 1 oz honey 28g or about 1 1/3 tbsp
  • 2.5 oz almond flour 70g
  • 1.5 oz cake flour 42g
  • 0.5 oz cocoa powder 14g
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder optional

Milk Chocolate Whipped Ganache (Frosting):

  • 1 cup heavy cream ~240 g
  • 3 oz milk chocolate ~85 g
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

Whipped Ganache Topping:

  • Bloom Gelatin: Stir gelatin into water in a small bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
    1 teaspoon powdered gelatin, 1 tablespoon water
  • Chop Chocolate: Finely chop milk chocolate and place it in a large heatproof bowl.
    3 oz milk chocolate
  • Simmer Cream: Heat half the heavy cream in a saucepan until it begins to simmer (look for small bubbles around the edges), then remove from heat.
    1 cup heavy cream
  • Dissolve Gelatin: Add gelatin to the hot cream and whisk until fully dissolved.
  • Combine: Pour the gelatin-cream mixture over the chocolate, let sit for a minute, then whisk until smooth.
  • Blend: Use an immersion blender to mix thoroughly for 1-2 minutes, ensuring no lumps remain.
  • Add Cream: Incorporate the remaining cream to cool the mixture, then blend for another minute.
  • Refrigerate: Cover the ganache with plastic wrap in direct contact and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Financiers:

  • Preheat Oven: Set the oven to 390°F (200°C).
  • Brown Butter: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 5-10 minutes. Cool it by placing in a bowl of cold water.
    4 oz butter
  • Mix Egg Whites and Sugar: Whisk egg whites and sugar just until a bit of foam forms.
    5 oz egg whites, 3 oz sugar
  • Add Honey and Vanilla: Stir in honey and vanilla.
    1 oz honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Incorporate Dry Ingredients: Sift almond flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together and mix into the wet ingredients.
    2.5 oz almond flour, 1.5 oz cake flour, 0.5 oz cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Combine Butter: Add cooled brown butter, including the burned bits, ensuring it's not too hot.
  • Prepare Pan: Grease the mold with butter, ensuring all surfaces are covered. Optionally, dust with flour or sugar if not using a non-stick pan.
  • Fill Molds: Fill each mold about three-quarters full with batter.
  • Bake: Place in the oven, immediately reduce heat to 360°F (180°C), and bake for 13-15 minutes until the edges brown and the center sets.
  • Cool: Let financiers cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove.

Combine:

  • Whip Ganache: Whip the chilled ganache with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. The whisks should leave clearly visible trails. Stop immediately if you notice any graininess.
  • Pipe: Pipe the chilled financiers immediately after whipping.
  • Serve.
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