As I type this blog, the scent of butter and chocolate is wafting from the kitchen (which is still a mess) into the living room. I’ve baked a cake again. One that has kept me busy for the last few days. It’s a marble bundt cake, and it’s very good. Enjoy!
It’s autumn, which means it’s the best time for pumpkins, apples, mushrooms, and of course, pears! This beautiful tart is perfect for any festive celebration and just plain wonderful with a cup of tea after a walk in the forest. Plus, you’ll taste Normandy in every bite courtesy of the subtle cream and a hint of Calvados!
The summer is the season of peaches, apricots, cherries and strawberries, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that fruit usually has our preference when it comes to dessert. Sometimes, though, I like to make a batch of these fruity financiers. They are decidedly seasonal, quick and easy to make.
Are you wondering how these dainty cakes got their name? While some claim financiers owe their name to their shape (they resemble little bars of gold), others claim the name comes from their place of origin. Financiers were first made in the 19th century by a baker whose shop was close to the Parisian Stock Exchange. Nobody knows for sure, but what we do know is that they’re an addictively delicious treat!
Financiers with Summer Fruit
Makes 18 pieces
- 180g butter
- 70g all-purpose flour
- 150g ground almonds
- 230g icing sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- fresh blueberries and raspberries, cut in half
Preheat the oven to 200°C and butter the financier moulds. Sprinkle the moulds with flour, tapping away any excess. Allow the butter to melt on a low heat, wait until it turns a light brown colour and begins to release a nutty scent, then remove from the heat. Mix the flour, ground almonds and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and the vanilla extract and combine everything well using a whisk. Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously again. Fill the moulds with the batter and place three berry halves on each mould. Bake the financiers for 5 minutes before lowering the heat to 180°C and allowing them to bake for another 10 minutes. Transfer the financier moulds to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
This creamy, white chocolate and red fruit dessert is the perfect way to end a summer lunch. The red berry coulis tastes like sunshine!
White Chocolate Creams with a Red Berry Coulis
- 100g white chocolate
- 300g Greek yogurt
- 250g strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 100g red currants
- 2 tbsps raw cane sugar
- ½ tbsp Kirsch
- mint leaves and fresh fruit, to serve
Gently melt the chocolate au bain marie. Allow it to cool for a minute and stir in the yogurt until you have a smooth consistency. Divide the cream over four glasses and allow to set in the fridge for a few hours. To make the coulis: Put the strawberries, currants, sugar and Kirsch in a pan. Allow this to come to the boil and immediately reduce the heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes making sure you mash all the fruit as it cooks. The sauce should be thin and not have the consistency of jam. Leave to cool before refrigerating. To serve, pour some of the coulis over each cream and decorate with the mint and fresh fruit.