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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

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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

Do not skip breakfast, I repeat, do not skip breakfast! If you are really pressed for time, at least get into the habit of gulping down a smoothie before you head out or pour it into a handy container to drink on your way to work. Try this healthy and satisfying strawberry banana smoothie from Jessica Gavin to keep you energized throughout the day. If you prefer blueberries, this smoothie recipe from Love and Olive Oil is the one you will be making every morning.

I used almond milk for both smoothies making it suitable for vegans and lactose intolerant people as well as those wishing to cut down on calories and fat from cow’s milk. While the price tag may be somewhat prohibitive, you will be happy to know that you can often find almond milk cartons marked down to half price discounts at every end-of-month sales, so do keep an eye open for them in the organic section of your local grocery store or supermarket.

STRAWBERRY ALMOND MILK SMOOTHIE

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 large banana, sliced

1/4 cup almonds raw

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

2 cups strawberries, frozen

2/3 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon pure honey

Method:

  • Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend for about 90 seconds until the mixture is smooth.

  • Add more honey as needed. Top with chopped almonds, strawberry or bananas if desired.

  • Add more milk as needed to achieve desired consistency as recipe yields a thick smoothie.

 

BLUEBERRY ALMOND MILK SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

1 banana, peeled

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup almond milk

3 dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup crushed ice

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée on high speed until the mixture is smooth.

  • Add ice cubes and blend until the smoothie reaches your desired consistency. Makes 1 serving.

Almond Milk Smoothies

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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