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Tips for Making Almond-Orange Financiers

Martha Stewart Living, March 2003

Rich and buttery, this French cake is named for its resemblance to a banker's bar of gold. We've added flecks of orange zest to punctuate the classic almond-flavored batter and baked it in a tart pan, rather than in the traditional individual molds. Sliced and topped with strands of candied orange peel and a dusting of confectioners' sugar, these bars make a gilt-edged accompaniment to a pot of hot tea. For the recipe, see Almond-Orange Financier.

Some Helpful Hints
1. Chilling the pan before adding the batter and baking it helps prevent sticking. We used a fluted rectangular tart pan and sliced the cake into bars to serve.

2. Toast the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes, until fragrant; they will infuse the cake with a rich, nutty flavor.

3. Use a zester, as shown here, to create strands for the candied garnish; the small holes of a box grater produce a finer zest for mixing into the cake batter.