Greetings from Slackerville!
I've never understood the point of a stay-cation. Isn't a major change of scenery and the ability to forget you even own a cell phone a major aspect of a proper getaway? A proper vacation is not in the cards for me this year though, so I'm replacing it by random road trips and spontaneous bursts of doing nothing. Or at least nothing useful, I've still not mastered the fine art of couch potato zen. And so it is these very pursuits that have kept me from contributing anything of value (and therefore anything period) to this blog. I have however been baking, and quite a bit (though not all of it picture worthy, let alone blog worthy), so pull up a chair and take a look.
A few weeks ago the lovely folks over at Oh!Nuts have contacted me about trying out their products, which was sort of awesome since I've ordered from them before and absolutely loved everything about this little company. They have a pretty good selection of nuts and dried fruit, but what's even better, they have a pretty good selection of nut flours at a very reasonable price. I've tried grinding my own, but despite completely ruining one coffee grinder and almost melting my Magic Bullet, I have never been able to get it as fine as I'd like. Since I got to pick what to try, I asked for a bag of hazelnut flour and pistachios (because I'll never ever ever ever pass on pistachios that I don't have to shell). I had visions of Nutellaesque marcarons, but when the bag was sitting on my counter I suddenly got a craving for something simple. Something humble looking, but with complex flavors. Something that doesn't need frosting. Something that would help me put a dent, even a small one, in my still rather plentiful stash of jam. Which is where the lovely Cannelle et Vanille came in.
I've been bookmarking recipes on her blog for, oh gosh, probably 3 years now? Somehow her gorgeous photography has made me afraid of trying the recipes. There's no way anything I made would look that perfect. But this weekend I decided that I don't care. If they turned out ugly, they'd still get eaten, so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I tweaked the recipe a bit, burned one batch of browned butter (I'm serious when I say don't walk away from it!), browned a perfect batch of butter (that lovely smell stays in the kitchen for days), added my vanilla bourbon and peach jam, tossed the batter in the fridge and went to sleep. The next day, after less then 5 minutes of work, I had these lovelies:
Hazelnut and Peach Jam Financier
Recipe adapted from Cannelle et Vanille
120 grams egg whites (this ended up being about 3 medium egg whites for me)
125 grams sugar
55 grams flour
55 grams hazelnut meal
150 grams unsalted butter, browned and strained, cooled
Cook the butter in a small saucepan until it starts to foam and dark particles start to form on the bottom of the pan. Don't leave it for a second, and stir it the whole time to make sure it cooks evenly*. It will smell nutty and turn a light caramel color. Take it off the heat right away to prevent burning, strain the butter and let it cool.
Whisk the first four ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly add the brown butter and whisk until it is incorporated. Stuff the batter into a pastry bag or a ziplock bag, and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 375F.
Pipe batter into silicon mold or a mini muffin tin. Using a small round tip, pipe a small amount of jam into the middle of each batter mound.
Bake for about 10-20 minutes or until golden. Time will vary depending on the size of the mold. I think mine were on the bigger side and took a full 20 minutes to cook, but you should keep an eye on yours.
* If you do burn the butter, as long as it's not completely black, I'm told that you can strain it, whisk some lemon juice into it while it's still hot, and still use it as a lovely sauce on fish. Mine is in the fridge, so I'll let you know how that comes out.
They're great warm, but if you wait until they're cool, the top will caramelize into a very light crumbly crispy sugary crust that will make you swoon.
Disclosure: I was sent the hazelnut flour used in this recipe at no charge by Oh!Nuts, however I truly loved the product and gave as unbiased review as I could while wiping the financier crumbs off my keyboard.