I had been wanting to make some special financiers ever since I received this fantastic silicone mold as a gift and I had had this recipe from The Bojon Gourmet saved for a while, so I just decided to make these black sesame marmalade financiers on a whim. They are definitely a bit of an unusual flavor, but they are sharp and satisfying, exactly what you want with a spot of tea.
If you prefer a sweeter cake, make sure you use a sweet marmalade because the cake itself has only a moderate amount of sugar. The nuttiness of the black sesame is unexpected, and it also makes the financiers quite black!
Black Sesame Marmalade Financiers
Adapted from The Bojon Gourmet
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces / 170 grams) unsalted butter, plus 1-2 tablespoons room temperature butter for greasing the pans
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (1.5 ounces / 45 grams) black sesame seeds, plus a teaspoon or two for sprinkling
6 tablespoons (1.25 ounces / 40 grams) blanched almond flour
5 tablespoons (1.75 ounces / 50 grams) all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons (1.25 ounces / 40 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (3.25 ounces / 95 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 large egg whites (6 ounces / 170 grams)
1 cup (6 ounces / 170 grams) marmalade
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. With a pastry brush dipped in the soft butter (it should be the consistency of mayonnaise; melted butter may not work adequately, especially if your muffin pans are nonstick), generously grease 12 standard muffin cups or 24 mini-muffin cups, brushing butter over the top of the pan as well to discourage sticking. (If you’re using a silicon mold like I do, you don’t have to grease).
Place the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan . Cook over a medium flame until the butter foams up, turns golden, and smells nutty, 5-10 minutes. Let cool while you prepare the rest, 10-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small, dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds over a medium-low flame, shuffling the pan regularly, until the seeds begin to pop and smell fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Remove the seeds to a plate to cool completely, then grind finely in a clean coffee or spice grinder (I used a regular food processor and it worked perfectly).
In a large bowl, whisk together the toasted and ground black sesame seeds, almond flour, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the egg whites and vanilla until the batter is smooth, then whisk in the melted, cooled butter little by little until well-combined. Stir the marmalade into the batter, reserving a few larger pieces to decorate the tops of the financiers.
Divide the batter among the greased cups, filling them two-thirds to three-quarters of the way to the top. Top with reserved orange pieces from marmalade. Bake the cakes until golden on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-45 minutes for large cakes, 25-35 minutes for small cakes. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes, then use a small butter knife or offset spatula to loosen the edges and release the cakes from the pans.