From Paris, with Love

It seems fitting, that since Paris is the “City of Romance” we invoke a traditional French dessert recipe for Valentine’s Day! Who can deny the ecstasy of indulging in a delectable browned butter-pistachio-raspberry cake?

Financiers, individual cakes made with finely chopped nuts—usually blanched almonds, are a delightful Parisian delicacy. Named after the wealthy bankers who, in the late 1800s, frequented a certain boulangerie situated near the Paris Bourse—the city’s stock exchange—”financiers” were a specialty of the house.

Featured in the Lamorinda Weekly is a variation on the original, made with finely chopped, unsalted pistachios, raspberries and an apricot glaze.

Pistachio-Raspberry Financiers
(Makes 6 three-inch individual cakes)

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios (available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods)
1 cup powdered sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large egg whites
½ cup fresh raspberries for cake

Apricot-Raspberry Glaze

½ cup apricot preserves
¼ cup raspberries

Heat jam in small saucepan, just until warm and slightly thinned. In a food processor, puree jam with raspberries. Reheat to serve warm over cakes and garnish with any extra raspberries.


Sift flour and salt together into a small bowl and set aside.
In a food processor, chop the pistachios until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add sugar and pulse until well combined, about 10 pulses. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Melt butter in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, until butter turns amber and smells nutty, about 7 minutes, or so, depending upon your stove’s heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to heat butter evenly and keep from getting too dark. Strain butter through a mesh sieve into a separate bowl. Add vanilla.

Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Stir into pistachio-sugar mixture with a rubber spatula, until just combined. Gently stir butter into flour mixture, just until evenly combined. Cover batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°. Using a muffin tin with six cups (each about 3-inches in diameter) spray or grease each cup well. Fill each with batter and bake for 6 minutes at 450°. Reduce heat to 400° and bake financiers just until beginning to brown around the edges, about 8 more minutes. Remove from oven, turn cakes out from pan and cool on rack.

Pistachio-Raspberry Financiers with Apricot Glaze

To serve, spoon Apricot-Raspberry Glaze over top and garnish with fresh raspberries.

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