Matcha financiers...with white or milk chocolate filling

I have long been a fan of baked goods and desserts made with matcha.  This finely milled green tea powder provides a subtle dose of bitterness that mellows the sweetness of desserts and creates a kind of savory aspect to the sweet that works really well, in my opinion.
It took me long enough but I finally ordered some culinary-grade matcha (I knew just what to get thanks to Nami at Just One Cookbook) and started my green tea adventures with a batch of matcha financiers.

Bear with me as I repeat: I love financiers!  I bake mine in muffin tins and I think these French tea cakes are like the best muffins on earth.  Made with a generous amount of butter, as well as with ground nuts and egg whites, these little cakes bake up crisp along the edges and meltingly moist and flavorful inside.  I have made hazelnut ones and experimented with a pistachio version; now, I got to try a batch of green tea!
These green tea financiers did not disappoint; they were what a good financier should be - rich, moist, flavorful.  I usually make financiers with brown butter (a recipe from Paris Sweets that I'm devoted to) but that's not the case here, and I was afraid I'd miss it; happily, these were still rich, nutty, and delicious.  The green tea flavor is discernible but not overpowering (to me, anyway...if you're not sure how you feel about it, start with a smaller amount of matcha).  I think this is a great example of East meets West in the world of desserts.
I baked these matcha financiers in mini as well as regular-sized muffin tins. Generally, the little ones bake up more evenly throughout, whereas the larger ones tend to stay slightly wet in the very center.  Given their richness, mini's are a good option but my family and I actually really like the slightly under-cooked centers so we have a preference for the larger ones.  And like all financiers, these are best eaten fresh after the edges have cooled to an almost shattering crispness.  You can store the batter in the fridge for 3 days and bake them in batches.  I find that briefly re-heating leftovers the next morning in a warm, 325 degree oven, brings back that crisp freshness as well.  

Now onto the filling option.  Dorie Greenspan (whose recipe this is, and who I kind of think of as the American authority on baking French desserts at home) reminded me that matcha pairs really well with chocolate.  It made me think of green tea Kit Kat bars, which my son first tried while we were on vacation in Canada and loves to relive how good they are!  So, I went ahead and gave the chocolate combination a try. First, white chocolate...
And then I tried milk chocolate as well...

Admittedly, the financiers with milk chocolate filling isn't quite the prettiest thing in the world but I do love a little surprise-inside when it comes to desserts.
Chilled financier batter on the left, culinary-grade matcha powder, and a bit of white and milk chocolate pieces for (optional) filling
So if you're interested in trying these green tea financiers with chocolate, fill your muffin tins about halfway before tucking in a few pieces of either white or milk chocolate.  Then, cover the filling and fill the tin almost to the top with more batter.
I made half the recipe (3 regular-sized muffins and 4 mini's) and my family and I had fun sampling and sharing, figuring out how we preferred these matcha financiers.

Here's what we thought:

- For me, the plain matcha financiers were my favorite.  They are really flavorful all on their own.  Surprisingly, I liked the ones with white chocolate second-best.  It's a surprise because I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate per se but in cases like this, its more subtle, blank sweetness works well.  The milk chocolate ones are good but it overpowers the flavor of the matcha cake a little too much.  

- For my husband, he liked them in this order (from best to least): white chocolate, plain, then milk chocolate.

- For the little guy, his vote went this way: milk chocolate, white chocolate, then plain.

As you can see, we all had a different opinion, so it's good to have options!
So do you like green tea, or matcha, flavored desserts?  In writing this post, I was trying to think how best to describe the flavor of it since it isn't exactly like drinking a cup of green tea.  Matcha has a kind of grassy note to it that might not sound very inviting - and maybe it's not everyone cup of tea (haha) - but I find it balances well with sweets and many people who prefer their desserts on the less-sweet side are fans of the combination. 

Instead of enjoying these matcha tea cakes with more tea, I went with cappuccino. Who doesn't love a little afternoon coffee break with some flavorful tea cakes on the side?
Does talking about green tea desserts make you think green tea ice cream?  I had to take some of my newly-acquired matcha to make a batch.  Though it isn't on my personal list of favorite ice cream flavors, my husband (the birthday boy!) has always been a big fan so I was very happy to make him a homemade version.  He loved it! Personally, I was wondering what green tea chocolate chip ice cream would taste like. It's so typical of me!


Recipe:

Matcha Financiers
From Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan

- Makes approximately 30 mini cakes baked in mini muffin tins (or about 8 regular-sized ones)  -

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces; 170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2/3 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha green tea (I use the full amount but you could start with a bit less if you are experimenting for the first time; I use this one)
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 cup (100 grams) almond or hazelnut flour (I used almond)
6 large egg whites, at room temperature, lightly beaten
Optional filling: white or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (you will need just a couple of chunks per cake)

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts to boil.  Let boil for 1 minute.  The color may darken slightly but you don't want to brown it.  Set aside to keep warm while you continue on.

Whisk flour, matcha, and salt together in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, stir the sugar and almond (or hazelnut) flour together with a rubber spatula.  Gradually add the egg whites, stirring to moisten the dry ingredients. When all the whites have been incorporated, give the mixture a few vigorous stirs.  Then, stir in the flour mixture until evenly blended.  Now add the melted butter, a little at a time, folding and stirring the batter until all the butter has been incorporated.  The batter will be shiny, with a pea-green color to it. 

Cover the batter with plastic wrap directly on top of the surface.  Chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days (you can bake the financiers in batches to enjoy fresh).

To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position.  Spray the cups of a mini muffin tin (or a regular-size muffin tin, if making larger ones) with baking spray, or butter/flour the cups.  [Please note that unfilled muffin cups that have been sprayed may smoke quite a bit in the oven so just spray the cups you need.]

Scoop batter into the muffins cups, filling them almost to the top.  If filling with either white or dark chocolate, fill the muffin cups halfway, add a couple of chunks of chocolate, then top with more batter until it reaches almost to the top.

Bake until financiers are browned around the edges, have crowned, and feel springy to the touch, about 12 - 14 minutes [In my experience, the mini cakes were done in 9 minutes while the regular-sized ones took the described 12-14 minutes].  The tops may have cracked and that's normal. 

Remove muffin tin from the oven, let cool a minute, then ease the financiers out.  Set on a wire rack and let cool.  The financiers taste best just cooled when the edges are crisp and the centers are at room temperature or still ever so slightly warm.  If necessary, you can refresh leftovers the next day by warming them in a 325 degree oven for a few minutes.  Bear in mind that oxidation may cause the matcha financiers to change color from green to yellow over time.





56 comments:

  1. Matcha and white chocolate are fantastic together. And now I am off to get some matcha powder to make some ice cream!

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    1. haha - I immediate think ice cream when we're talking green tea desserts!

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  2. Love love love!! I've made matcha financiers before and they were amazing. I didnt stuff them with any kind of chocolate, but I really should have. Genius move.

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    1. For what it's worth, the plain were my favorite but there's something about a little surprise inside that makes things fun and gives us something to talk about. And you know we love to talk about our food! ; )

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  3. Those look wonderful! I too love green tea flavors in desserts, and it adds such a nice color :)

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  4. This is a great post Monica. I have never tried matcha and appreciate the information. I truly value your opinion - so thanks for all the details and descriptive summary! These look amazing and the crispy crust sounds addictive. Have a lovely week!

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    1. You are so sweet, Tricia. Glad you found it interesting. The crust on these financiers (when they are fresh) is worth fighting for!

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  5. Matcha is one of those things that I have yet to use in my own kitchen! I keep meaning to buy some but just never remember. These look delicious - love the ones with the surprise inside!! :)

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    1. Same here...I have wanted to for ages but never seemed to find it or remember to look for it. I just decided to order it and here we are. I'm glad I did.

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  6. These are lovely little treats and matcha must have given them a very unique taste!

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    1. Yes, it's hard to describe but definitely a nice change!

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  7. I love using tea in muffins and such - it adds such a great depth of flavor that is so pleasant! These look absolutely tasty, Monica! YUM!

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    1. I've had earl gray cookies but can't remember ever having other things infused with tea. I'm missing out!

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  8. I just saw some Matcha at the store and was tempted to purchase some. I didn't because I didn't have a recipe to use it in right then, but now I do. Thanks! Looks delicious and I love the beautiful green color

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    1. I always forget to look for it when I'm at the Japanese grocery store so I ended up ordering it. Been wanting to cook with it for ages. I do like the color of the baked financiers, too. : )

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  9. I've always wanted to bake with matcha, but somehow never have! These are lovely, Monica! Especially sounds great with that cappucino! :)

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    1. I have been the same way until about a week ago! : ) I've been making faux cappuccinos at home a lot lately with my frother! : )

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  10. These are gorgeous, the Matcha is such a fantastic idea!!!

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. I thank Dorie Greenspan for her awesome recipe(s). :)

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  11. I love matcha desserts! These financiers look so delicious and filling them with the two different chocolates sounds awesome! If I had to choose it would be the white chocolate one too hehe. It sounds perfect with a cup of cappuccino and of course I'll take a big bowl of ice cream too :)

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! I'm glad I finally got that matcha to give it a try at home. It works wonders. It really was fun to tuck the chocolates in the center. Fun factor is important, right? : )

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  12. lovin matcha all the way!!!
    lovely to starting a day with your matcha finaciers, matcha whipped cream made it perfect for me..

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    1. Matcha whipped cream?! Love how you think!

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  13. Looks delicious! Loved the pics too..

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  14. This is gonna sound weird but I LOVE green food and drinks. They make me happy :) I keep meaning to pick up matcha powder but I forget every time I'm at the store. NEED to try this!

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    1. haha - I love that. Not weird at all - we all have our quirks. : )

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  15. I'm so excited that you grab a can of matcha powder. That means... MORE matcha recipes coming right? :) I love everything matcha (and red bean), so this is going to be a nice treat for me! Thank you for your kind mention/link. You're so sweet!! xo I have so many things that I want to make from your site, and this is just one of them. Matcha financiers... wonderful!

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    1. Thank you again, Nami! I have learned so much from you since discovering your blog! Keep up the great work. xo

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  16. Hi Monica, I have been so curious about matcha, these look delicious!

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    1. As I learned, make sure you buy "culinary grade" matcha for baking if you do want to give it a try one day. Thank you!

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  17. I love green tea everything as Nami-san has written too. Loving this simple recipe and think I will have to try both white and dark chocolate but I think I might like white best as sweet to balance the delicate bitter of the green tea. I like you thoughts on your additions to the matcha tea ice-cream, wink wink... Happy Birthday to the birthday boy! Have a super day! BAM

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    1. I love green tea and red bean like Nami, too. I was tempted mix red beans with the green tea ice cream but I restrained myself. Thank you for the birthday wishes and lovely comment, BAM. : )

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  18. Hey Monica these little cakes are lovely! I´ve never baked anything with green tea/ matcha but always wanted to give it a go. I´m sure the ones with white chocolate would be my favourite :)

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    1. I was the same way - would enjoy matcha treats and want to bake with it at home but always kind of forgot about it. It was great to finally try it! Thanks, Karla - have a great day.

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  19. Green Tea Kit Kats? What!! I've never heard of those or Matcha. Will have to give both of them a try. I definitely like a coffee break with tea cakes. :)

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    1. Yes, green tea kit kats are a thing! In Canada, there were all sorts (white chocolate, strawberry, etc.). I've been seeing the green tea kit kats around me in Jersey...expensive but fun once in a while. : )

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  20. Oh yum! Happy to follow u.. do visit my place & participate in my ongoing event Wedding Anniversary Cakes & Sweets

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  21. These look yummy. Beautiful combination. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing monika. :)

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  22. Oh Monica, these financiers look fabulous and I love the idea of the chocolate in it...so delicate!
    Have a great weekend :)

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    1. Tucking the chocolate inside was fun! : )

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  23. I love what I see here Monica! We are thinking of the same things again (which really does not surprise me anymore):-) Yes, green tea does remind me of green tea ice cream and I would have never thought of adding green tea to financiers. So clever also with the idea of trying out different combinations. The cut-up picture is so gorgeous,,,makes me want to grab one!

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    1. I remember being at Angelina in Paris, seeing a row of financiers lined up - including green tea! While the filling is not traditional, it's a fun twist. Thank you!

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  24. I am an avid green tea drinker but have never had matcha!! These cute, pistachio coloured financiers look divine Monica. I think I would appreciate the subtle matcha flavour with the White chocolate combination. Definitely a combination to try. Tres chic Monica!

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    1. I hear you! I drink green tea all the time but never bought matcha til now. They totally look like pistachio, don't they! Chic sounds good to me. ; )

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  25. These matcha financiers are so cute! Especially the mini ones. I love your experimentation with milk chocolate and white chocolate fillings; surprise insides are always super fun. I wonder if dark chocolate filling might be less overpowering?

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    1. Thanks. In theory, I think the sweetness of the milk and white chocolate work well against the grassy, more savory matcha. I think the white chocolate works quite well if you're going to go with one. Fun to experiment and see for yourself. : )

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