These spongy tea cakes are sometimes compared to Madeleine tea cakes, but the mold used to create financiers, also called friands, is rectangular in shape, unlike the shell shaped cousins. Friands also have a very distinctive, nutty flavor because of the almost flour and beurre noisette (brown butter) used to create the light dessert. Don’t be fooled by its fancy French name, beurre noisette can be made in any commercial kitchen. Over medium-low heat, place the desired amount of unsalted butter in a pan at let it melt. Even after the butter has melted, let it continue to boil until foam starts to form on top of the melted butter. Keep cooking the butter until it is clear and all of the milk solids have sunk to the bottom of the pan and turned dark brown.
Once the solid has turned dark brown, remove the sauce pan from the heat immediately and pour the contents of the pan into a cheesecloth lined strainer. Be sure the strainer is over a bowl to prevent a complete mess and allow the liquids to drain out. The remaining solid is homemade beurre noisette. Set it aside and let it cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients and use any leftover brown butter to grease the inside of the financier molds.