Cook's Illustrated

French Almond–Browned Butter Cakes

Mignardises are tiny treats offered to restaurant guests at the end of a meal. Because they are consumed in one or two bites and need to leave a lasting impression, the best versions feature intense flavors and contrasting textures. Early in my career, one of my tasks as a pastry prep cook was to prepare an assortment of these delicacies, including indulgent truffles, jewel-toned fruit jellies, and glossy macarons. But nothing was as popular as the financiers.

Making these elegant little cakes requires only six ingredients, and they bake in less than 15 minutes.

The thin shells of these miniature cakes crunch satisfyingly when bitten, bringing forth the richness of nutty browned butter and toasted almonds. Inside, the crumb

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