Monday, October 1, 2012

more raspberries. MORE!

I just can't get enough. Here's one more raspberry recipe, which would work equally well with any berries you might have stashed away in your freezer. I can also imagine them sans berries, with some citrus zest, or a small piece of chocolate in the centre. These tiny cakes are gluten-free, and full of delicious, nutty brown butter. They would be perfect for a fancy tea party, or a afternoon coffee break.

The original recipe, on La Tartine Gourmande (one of the most beautiful food blogs around), uses ground pistachos instead of almonds, as well as a mixture of berries. She also uses muffin tins for a larger cake, but I was taking the cakes to a potluck, so I tried mini-muffin tins.

Also, I've started using a scale in my kitchen. So many European cookbooks, blogs and magazines use weight measurements - it was about time! A scale really is essential for bread and pastry making, and now I can finally be able to stop guessing what 3 lbs. of potatoes really looks like! Mine is a tiny Starfrit scale- one of the most useful presents I've received in a long time from a lovely baking friend.

brown butter raspberry cakes

5 1/2 tbsp (80 g) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
2/3 cup (70 g) almond meal (grind whole almonds in a food processor into a fine meal)
2 tbsp gluten free flour mix (if you're not concerned about gluten, just use all-purpose)
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup (50 g) white sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 pint of raspberries (around 1 cup)

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot. Continue cooking over low heat until butter turns brown and nutty flavoured, around 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla seeds. Let sit for 15 minutes to steep. After butter has steeped, strain through a fine mesh to remove any solids.

Preheat the oven to 400. Grease muffin tins. Stir together almond meal, flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together egg and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to egg and sugar, and beat to combine. Stir in melted butter, then buttermilk.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter, then press berries into each cake. Bake for 10-12 minutes for mini-muffin tins, and 20-25 minutes for large muffin tins. Let cool before removing from tins. I dusted mine with demerera sugar before serving (the large, crunchy brown sugar).

Makes 18 small cakes or 6 large cakes

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