quarta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2009
Autumn colors and pistachio raspberry financiers
Well, I will make things clear, I detest autumn and its changes but at the same time I can show appreciation for the different shades of yellow, red and brown of the leaves, while hanging the trees before they sadly fall on the ground. Naked trees are terribly sad, almost depressing, half dead, a waste of productive time. Ok, hate me, I just can't get over my tropical senses and appreciate the beauty of season changes. Hate me, no I can't. On a sunny day it all looks reasonable and the shades of yellow so totally won me over. It is deep blue and deep yellow that I am talking about.
Meanwhile, I have a question for you. Among all the nuts you love which on you hate the most? I hate pistachios because I always cut my skin trying to break their shell, how dangerous pistachios shells are? I just can't find reasonably priced peeled pistachios, without salt of course. Around here they just cost too much and come in very small portions, not for cooking, it is designed as a snack. If you want a lot of pistachios because you are going to ground them and bake cakes with them, you have to peel them yourself, that's what they think around here...
We are planning a party around here, I can't give much details as someone might sneak around here to learn all the details of our surprise plans. However, trying to prepare myself to all the work involved I started preparing some tart doughs and baked some batches of pistachio and raspberries financiers. After the little cakes cooled down they went straight to the freezer where they will stay until party day, some 10 days away. Financiers are just the perfect cake to be frozen, they keep the texture and the flavor pretty much the same.
Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers
100 grams unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely grounded pistachios
3/4 cup flour
1 cup confectioners sugar
4 egg whites
Scraps of half vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
Butter twelve muffin cups or small financier molds and set aside. In a small pan melt butter with vanilla scraps and let them cook until golden brown (beurre-noisette), keep you eye on the butter until it is cooked as it can burn very easily and you will have to start again. Once it smell nutty and delicious remove it from heat and set aside.
In a food processor ground the pistachios with, flour and sugar. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. In a large bowl whisk egg whites with pinch of salt using a whisk (fouet) until foamy. Add the flour mixture, in batches, until well incorporated. If using vanilla extract add the vanilla extract and mix. Finally add the butter while it is still warm and mix to incorporate it into the batter completely. Divide the batter in the prepared pans and add two raspberries to each one of them. Bake the cake in a hot oven, at 180C/300F, for 15 minutes or until golden on the edge of the financiers. Sprinkle some confectioners sugar on top of cakes before serving.
Makes 12 cakes.