Here it is, my first blog post ever. I have wanted to get down to this business of blogging for awhile, but kept waiting until I felt I was “good enough” in the kitchen, and “good enough” at capturing my creations with my wee point and shoot. However, as this space is meant to journal my learn-to-bake-process, I suppose being “good enough” is not only not the point but kind of ridiculous. So, here I am.
And here is my cherry smuggler… a sweet little blonde thing with a nack for saying the simplest of statements in such a raw pointed manner that often her statements become quotable phrases for us. Said sweet thing picked a pile of cherries on a Sunday morning in Kelowna, packed them into her carry on and headed for the airport. As her bag containing a bathing suit, three books, a cherry pitter and 24 pounds, yep that is the carry on limit, of bing cherries slid through the scanner the security man’s eye brows lifted and his eyes followed those brows to his target: her. To his amused look, she responded quietly: “I am a cherry smuggler.” He laughed, kept her secret and both she and her cherries made the flight.
Lucky for me, she shared her cherry contraband. She shared a lot: lips stained dark, backspash sprayed red and cherry-vanilla bean financiers baked. The rest of my bootlegged cherries are safely tucked away in the corner of my freezer awaiting another recipe to call.
The financier: little browned butter cake with berries stuffed into it’s tea-cakey goodness. Apparently financier cakes are traditionally shaped in small rectangles to resemble bars of gold – hence the coining of ‘financier,’ I guess. Me, I just pour the batter into muffin cups. These simple little cakes are brilliant: chocolate with raspberries, plain with poached rhubarb and now vanilla with smuggled cherries.
Cherry Vanilla Bean Financiers
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 egg whites
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (make it with plain sugar and discarded vanilla bean pods
1 cup almond meal (grind up your own or get Bob’s Red Mill to make things easy)
1/2 vanilla bean pod
1 cup cherries (pitted and halved)
To make the financiers:
Preheat the oven to 350F, and line a muffin tray with 10 muffin cups.
Heat the butter in a small sauce pan over medium until it is foamy and the milk solids begin to brown on the bottom of the pan (this should take about 5 minutes). Once it is done it smells a bit like toasted nuts. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple minutes before straining into a clean bowl.
Whisk the whites, sugar, almond meal and vanilla bean seeds (scrape the pod).
Pour batter into muffin cups, filling half. Press cherries into the batter.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-20 minutes.
Thanks for attending my debut