Cake · Uncategorized

Almond and Nectarine Financiers

I played the go-to-the-farmers’-market-and-see-what-looks-good game to pick what to make this week! Nectarines won, hands down. I had to resist piles of berries and peaches too, but there’s always next week, right? Week 28: Almond and Nectarine Financiers

 

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Have you ever heard of financier cakes? I hadn’t either. They are super cute, adaptable little cakes that have a very short ingredient list. The main flavor comes from the almond flour and browned butter (honestly, how could it possibly NOT be good with something as amazing as browned butter in it?)

 

They are a type of french cake that can be munched on plain, or as a base for fruit. It’s lovely how rich and fluffy they are at the same time. The texture reminds me of madeleines actually! But with more depth of flavor due to the browned butter. It’s interesting how nutty the butter flavor becomes when you brown it – similar to how toasting seeds and nuts makes their taste more intense.

 

 

Browning butter is deceivingly simple: throw the butter into a pan and turn the heat on until it reaches the right color. The difficulty comes from the fact that the butter can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. Especially when you’re using a pot with a dark inside, since it’s harder to determine the actual color of the butter. My goal was the reach the color of an amber ale. Here’s a short article from Bon Appetit magazine about the different levels of browned butter in case you’re interested:

http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/how-to-brown-butter

 

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Time to prep the nectarine slices. Such a lovely color!

 

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Trying to get those even slices, whew. I made little notches into the fruit while it was still attached to the pit to make sure they’d be as even as possible. Still not perfect results, but what nectarine is perfectly round anyway?

 

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This is the batter after adding the browned butter to the mixture of egg white, flour, almond flour and powdered sugar. Looks like a cinnamon-sugar pancake batter! The fact that there aren’t any yolks included is super interesting. Apparently the fat in the yolks would change the texture and make it less fluffy. Also, the egg whites are the only leavening agent in the batter – even though they weren’t whipped first.  I wonder what would change if I whipped the egg whites and then folded the into the mixture. More fluffy? Mysteries.

 

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That moment when you realize you’re nicely proportioned nectarine slices are too long for the muffin cups.. ah well. Chopping off the ends worked like a charm!

 

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The little bit of batter on the top of the nectarine slices took longer to cook than the sides, resulting in crispy, buttery edges. Mmm.

 

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Oh hello there, little muffins! They look dense, but the texture was surprisingly light. Maybe I’ll try the whipping-the-egg-white thing and see how it alters the consistency. Also, can’t wait to try adding other fruit to them! So many possibilities.

 

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Happy munching!

 

Recipe from: http://www.hintofvanillablog.com/home/2014/08/almond-and-white-nectarine-financiers.html

 

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