Apple financiers are amazing little French pastry tea cakes that are perfect for fall. They are light, delicate and packed with caramel apple flavor. The bite-sized treats are not too sweet, so if you're trying to cut back on sugar, they may be a good option. Each small cake has real caramelized apple inside. The texture is moist and the taste is divine!

My friend, Misa Miyagawa, created this recipe. She got hooked on baking as a child in Japan after she saw how sweet treats made people smile.

"When I was an elementary school student, I found a cook book in the kitchen and I wanted to try baking by myself," says Miyagawa. "One Sunday when my parents were stull sleeping, I tried to bake cookies. My parents were surprised and glad. And I learned that sweets make people happy. That's why love baking."

Misa's Apple Financiers

Usually baked in small molds, financiers are traditionally rectangular, but you can also use mini muffin pans.

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Ingredients for the financiers:

  • 110g (1 stick or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 50g (1/2 cup) almond flour
  • 50g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 g (1/2 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 130g (4 large) egg whites
  • 130g (2/3 cup) sugar

For the caramelized apples:

  • 2 apples
  • 40g (4 tablespoons) sugar
  • 40g (3 tablespoons) water

Directions:

1. Caramelized apples: Peel apples and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add sugar and water to small sauce pan. Stir a little so it sits in a flat, even layer. Warm pot over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves, turns clear an starts to bubble. This take 3 to 4 minutes.

At this point, do not stir again — simply allow to bubble, swirl the saucepan occasionally and brush down the sides of the pan as needed to prevent crystallization. Sugar will form clumps, but continue swirling and cooking until the mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color like honey. This can take 8 to 12 minutes. Keep a watchful eye so the mixture doesn't burn. Carefully add apples and cook and toss a few times until they are nicely caramelized on all sides.

2. To make the brown butter: In a small saucepan, heat butter on medium heat, occasionally swirling the pan, for about 5 minutes. It will foam at first, but then it will begin to brown, producing dark golden flecks (browned mild solids).

Check the color and once you are happy with the amount of browning, pour the butter (with the mild solids) in a bowl to stop cooking. Let stand and cool completely.

3. To make the cake batter: In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites and sugar with a hand whisk. Add all-purpose flour, baking powder and almond flour to the beaten egg whites and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in the brown butter.

Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

When ready to make the financiers, preheat oven to 330-degrees. Pour batter into the mild, filling holes up to 2/3rds. Add two or three pieces of caramelized apple to each one. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan., then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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