Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blueberry Financiers

Everyone told me that once I moved to Florida, I would never want to bake again. “Much too hot, especially in the summer” they warned. “You won’t want to do anything,” they would say with a knowing nod. Well, ok, I thought, I’ll just watch reruns of The Golden Girls and wait patiently for death – that’ll be my new raison

d’être. Plenty of folks in that club down in Florida, right? Well, happily, life (and baking) seems to continue in the Sunshine State. In fact, because almost every day is sunny and beautiful, I no longer feel compelled to rush out and “enjoy the day” while it’s fine, as I did in New York, instead of puttering around in my kitchen

dreaming up new recipes. And since my kitchen is a comfortably regulated 76 degrees F. at all times, I never even notice that it’s hot. Unless of course, I venture out to buy groceries or run an errand. Yesterday I even went for a power walk at midday (I’m still practically a tourist, so I’m allowed to make a few mistakes now

and then). Thanks to the wonder of A.C., I am also able to continue my habit of drinking hot tea everyday, preferably with a home-baked cookie or treat. Financiers, the small French almond and butter tea cake, are among my favorite tea-time sweets. This recipe comes from my friend and pastry idol François Payard

of Payard Patisserie in NYC, and it’s worth saving. Made with almond flour and fragrant browned butter, these little cakes are tender and flavorful. Here I topped each cake with a couple of fresh blueberries, but you can used raspberries or thin slices of plum or peach, if you like. If you don’t have a financer mold (and most people don’t), use mini-muffin pans. They even sell them down here...:)

Blueberry Financiers

Adapted from a recipe given to me by François Payard

Makes about fifty 2-by-1-inch financiers

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (100 g) cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (66 g) almond flour
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 tablespoons (141 g) browned butter, hot
Fresh blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the sugar and almond flour until well combined.
2. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites just to break them up and then stir them into the dry ingredients along with the vanilla. Add the hot browned butter and stir until blended. Let the batter stand for 10 minutes.
3. Scrape the batter into a disposable pastry bag, snip the tip to create a small opening, and pipe into 2-by-1-inch financier molds. Arrange 2 blueberries on top of each financier. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cool and unmold.Print Friendly and PDF