Squeezing in one more Be My Guest before the holidays... I adore Aran, she is inspiring beyond words and her photography and styling have become rather iconic in the world of food blogs. Born and raised in her native Basque Country, and trained as a pastry chef, her recipes are always captivating and beautifully captured. Her blog Cannelle et Vanille is one of the most widely read food blogs in the world and I feel rather honored that she would consider being my guest today. Aran is sharing a recipe that would make a perfect snack, a gorgeous dessert - or even a lovely breakfast...
"One of the first things I was allowed to do as a child growing up in my grandparents' pastry shop was to crack and peel nuts. I remember my wrinkled fingers from snapping blanched almonds between them. This is something we did a lot right before Christmas as they were getting ready to make infinite pounds of turrón. The smell of brown butter and hazelnuts speaks of warmth and makes me long for winter days at home.
I make financiers at home often as they are so quick and easy to make gluten-free. My kids love them in their lunch box too - a treat. These financiers are made with hazelnuts, earthy amaranth flour, vanilla bean, a hint of lemon and crunchy Asian pears. Enjoy!"
ASIAN PEAR, HAZELNUT & AMARANTH FINANCIERS
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
4 egg whites
1/2 cup hazelnut meal
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small Asian pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your individual bundt pans or line muffin pan with baking cups. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium high heat until the milk solids start to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour the brown butter into a bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla seeds. Rub all the ingredients together between your fingers until you can smell the lemon release its oils. Add the egg whites and whisk until lightly frothy. We are not looking for volume just that they are well mixed.
Add the hazelnut meal, amaranth flour, and salt. Whisk to combine. Scoop the batter into mold and fill a 3/4 of the way up. Toss the diced pears with the lemon juice. Divide the pears amongst the molds and lightly press them into the batter.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert them onto a cooling rack.
Thank you so much Aran - and watch for her upcoming title, Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-free Cooking from Little, Brown & Co. next fall - in the meantime... Aran has put together a lovely playlist for you... have a beautiful day!
Center of Gravity : Yo La Tengo
Tormentas : McEnroe
Skinny Love : Bon Iver
Ballad of Big Nothing : Elliot Smith
Godsend : Beat Happening
Sea of Love : Cat Power
Like A Fool : Superchunk
She Cracked : Jonathan Richman
Caibou : Pixies
Mila Kolore : Ama Say
No Radio : Dirty on Purpose
Moonshadow : Cat Stevens
Pescado Y Vino : Le Mans
Place To Be : Nick Drake
No Cars Go : Arcade Fire
Moon River : Morrissey
*All photos by Aran Goyoama.