July 11, 2020

Financiers


I've had leftover egg whites sitting in my fridge for a few weeks now and I finally got fed up looking at them and decided to make something.  But what?  Macarons would be the obvious choice but I was too lazy to deal with the lengthy process of making and piping the batter, the drying time and then filling the cookies.  I was after something quick, easy and delicious - cue the Financiers!

These little French almond cakes have a delicious nutty bite and texture and go perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea.  I used a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that was super easy to come together in one bowl.  The only "tedious" thing was to make the brown butter and that took no time at all. 

Normally the cakes are baked in rectangular molds so that they resemble gold bars, which is where the "financier" name comes from but not everyone has those specialty molds.  I like this version that uses a mini muffin pan.   The financiers were delicious plain but I jazzed mine up by topping them with fresh raspberries, blueberries and chocolate chunks. 

NOTE: You can make this gluten-free by replacing the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour.

July 5, 2020

Triple Berry Brita Cake


Rarely does a dessert exceed my expectations but I have to admit that this Triple Berry Brita Cake had me smitten at first bite.  I initially spotted this cake on Jenn Yee's Instagram and was immediately obsessed with the combination of cake and pavlova.   The recipe for this beauty comes from Susan Spungen's Open Kitchen: Inspired Food for Casual Gatherings and can be found online here.


Apparently brita cake has Nordic origins but in all the years I've visited Norway I don't think I've ever tasted it.  I can't believe what I was missing!  Pavlovas are one of my favorite summertime desserts so how excited was I find discover a dessert that added cake to the mix?  


This cake is so good that I actually made it twice in two days.  The first cake I brought along to a 4th of July BBQ and the second cake was to photograph for the blog, but I only made half the recipe which fit a loaf pan perfectly.  

I strayed slightly from the original recipe when it came to the cream toppings  I didn't have any creme fraiche so I increased the amount of heavy cream to a total of 2 cups and added some vanilje-sukker (vanilla sugar) that I picked up on previous trips to Norway.
 

The combination of moist, yellow cake and crispy meringue topped with fresh vanilla whipped cream and strawberries, blueberries and raspberries is absolutely amazing.  It's pure symphony I tell you!  It couldn't be easier to make so I highly encourage you to make this fruity dessert to really showcase summer's best berries.



June 19, 2020

Hummingbird Cake


Can you believe this is the first time I've ever made a Hummingbird Cake?  I'd heard of this Southern dessert before but never actually got around to trying it for myself.  Ironic if you think about it because it contains so many things that I love: bananas, pineapple and pecans.


I found a no-fuss recipe from Cook's Country and decided to turn it into a bundt cake rather than the traditional layer.  I adore anything pineapple and what I love about this recipe is that the pineapple flavor is really amplified by reducing the juice to a concentrate. 


To finish the cake I made a simple icing using powdered sugar, pineapple juice and a drop or two of yellow food color.  It definitely has a technicolor effect, but I actually kind of like that!

June 13, 2020

Mango Mousse Cake


My friends recently commissioned a cake to celebrate their son's graduation from MBA school.  When I asked what kind, they responded, "something with mango."  The first thing I thought of was a light and refreshing Mango Mousse Cake.  The profile I was after was something that had intense fruit flavor without being overly sweet and a mousse cake fits the bill perfectly.


I searched the internet for inspiration but to be honest none of the cakes I saw particularly captured my fancy. In the end I went the Frankenstein route for my mango mousse cake, i.e., I took components of different recipes to come up with my creation.   I'm pretty thrilled with the results!

Here's the recipes I used:

Vanilla Chiffon Cake
Mango Mousse Filling
Ladyfingers
Mango Gel Topping

Now I'm inspired to use other fruits to make mousse cakes.  I'm thinking raspberry for next time.  Plus I also want to try my hand at wrapping the cake in a joconde imprime, an almond flavored sponge with a piped design.  Or maybe I'll finally get around to attempting a mirror glaze cake.
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