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After my first foray into gluten free baking with these coconut flour blueberry muffins, I have been curious to try more recipes with coconut flour, ground maize and nut flours. Being partial to almonds, I thought it was a good chance to test Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate financiers with my last bag of poudre d’amandes. While you can always go through the tedious process of blanching and grinding raw almonds, I find it easier to stock on 200g bags of Maitre Prunille’s powdered almonds though they might not be 100% gluten free. I have a good mind to swap some of the almond for hazelnuts next time I bake these along with a bit of Nutella in the centre to make them taste like Ferrero Rochers.

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE FINANCIERS

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup almond flour or meal

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon kitchen salt

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup or 2 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease and flour 15 financier molds or mini-muffin tins.
  • Melt the unsalted butter in a small saucepan and set aside till it reaches room temperature.

  • Mix the almond flour with the cocoa powder, salt, and powdered sugar. Stir the egg whites.
  • Then stir in the almond extract, and gradually stir in the melted butter until incorporated.

  • Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them three-quarters full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • They should be slightly puffed and springy to the touch when done. Remove from the oven.

  • Cool completely before removing the financiers from molds. Makes 15 one-inch financiers.
  • The financiers can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Gluten Free Chocolate Financiers

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The classic financier, made with finely ground almonds, is something I bake every time I have extra egg whites left over from homemade custards or ice cream. Very basic in its ingredient list and baking method, the only lengthy step you will encounter is to brown a few knobs of unsalted butter to create the aromatic beurre noisette, which highlights the nutty flavor of this delicate loaf-shaped friandise.  For a twist, I switched the almond meal in Weekend Bakery‘s recipe to a good measure of ground pistachios with a light sprinkling of chopped nuts on top and they were as good as the traditional almond financiers. I am further encouraged to try them with other nuts like pecans or cashew nuts just to see which one I like best.

PISTACHIO FINANCIERS

Ingredients:

30 g pastry flour

50 g pistachios

25 g almond flour

150 g icing sugar

Pinch of kitchen salt

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

3 egg whites, room temperature

100g unsalted browned butter

20g pistachios, chopped

Method:

  • Shell the pistachios and grind them to a fine powder along with one teaspoon pastry flour.

  • In a bowl, combine sugar, salt, pastry flour, almond flour, pistachios and almond extract.

  • Add egg whites and stir with a whisk until you have a smooth mixture, 1 minute is enough.

  • Add browned butter in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Transfer it to a piping bag.

  • Put it in the fridge for one hour. Preheat your oven to 200 °C / 390 °F conventional setting.

  • Now fill the prepared financier molds and sprinkle the tops with roasted chopped pistachios.

  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Leave in pan for 5 minutes before turning out.

  • Cool completely on a wire rack. Financiers are best eaten while fresh. Makes 12 financiers.

Pistachio Financiers

While plain buttermilk pancakes are a breakfast treat in themselves, you can make them a tad more special with roasted strawberries on top. Cooked until tender alongside vanilla beans, these mushy berries will have you giving up on strawberry jam every time you need a syrupy fruit topping for pancakes, waffles or ice cream. The recipe from Epicurious, uses buttermilk which we cannot find easily here but you can substitute by thinning a cup of unsweetened yogurt with 3/4 cup semi skimmed milk with equally delicious results.

BUTTERMILK PANCAKES & ROASTED STRAWBERRIES

Ingredients:

For the Roasted Strawberries

4 cups strawberries, hulled

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

For the Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Method:

  • To roast the strawberries, preheat oven to 425°F. Place strawberries, sugar, and salt in a glass baking dish.

  • Scrape in vanilla seeds, add pod and stir to combine. Roast, stirring occasionally, until juices are bubbling.

  • Roast for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly and discard pod. To make the pancakes, whisk flour and sugar.

  • Add salt, baking powder, and baking soda, then beat in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and melted butter.

  • Batter will be slightly lumpy. Heat a large griddle or 2 cast-iron skillets over medium; brush it with butter.

  • Drop batter by 1/4 cupful onto griddle. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and the underside is golden.

  • This will take about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until it is lightly browned for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes more.

  • Serve pancakes topped with roasted strawberries and sprinkled with almonds. Makes 12 (4-inch) pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries

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