Mix this plum-topped version of the financier, a buttery French almond cake, in a few minutes with a bowl and a spoon.
Leave it to the French to come up with a confection that’s so elegantly simple.
What is a French financier?
Financiers are little cakes, basically just a mixture of almonds, butter, sugar and egg whites.
They’re baked in special pans with rectangular molds.
But the plain little cakes are sold in fancy pastry shops right next to eclairs and petit fours.
Although their traditional shape is small and bite-sized, the same batter makes a nice cake baked into a tart pan, with the addition of fresh fruit.
I scooped up some Italian prune plums when they were in season and baked this cake with them, but other soft juicy fruits like peaches or fresh figs would be delicious too.
Hmm, and maybe even prunes would be good. Note to self to give that a try!
make almond cake in one bowl
This recipe could not be easier to mix – all you need is a bowl and a tart pan with a removable bottom, like this 8-inch one.
Almond meal (also known as almond flour) made from blanched almonds will make a cake without the little flecks of almond skin.
I like the rustic texture and look of the almonds, so I used whole almond meal.
The cake is wonderful served warm, plain or with ice cream, and also at room temperature, where it keeps for a day or two.
Simple French Almond Cake with Plums
- 1/2 cup (56 g) almond flour
- 1/3 cup (40 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (30 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup (65 g) granulated sugar , plus 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) melted butter
- 3 (90 ml) egg whites (6 tablespoons), whisked lightly
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 5-6 ripe plums or 3-4 peaches or nectarines, pitted and sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 (175C) degrees, and postion rack in the center. Lightly coat the sides of an 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray or neutral oil.
- Sift both flours, confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt together using a mesh strainer set over a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the melted butter, egg whites and both extracts until smooth.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tart pan. Arrange the sliced plums around the top. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon sugar over the fruit.
- Bake 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center come out clean and the edges of the cake are golden brown.
- Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then separate the base from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serve warm slices with ice cream or at room temperature sprinkled with powdered sugar.
- Try this cake topped with fresh berries or figs, too!
- Make your own almond meal: Grind 2 ounces of almonds (blanched or not) with 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar called for in the recipe.