French Almond Financiers

“Les Financiers”  are a classic French pastry.
Believe it or not, these delicious treat are very simple to make, but there’s a trick in texture matters.

For some the perfect financier is dense but not heavy, for others is light. For me, the financiers must be in the middle between dense and airy. It’s kind of difficult to explain but once you try them, you love them.

So fellas, here is my Financier recipe:
Adapted from: 750 g
Makes around 10 financiers

  • 120g almond meal
  • 150 g of icing sugar
  • 90 g of all purpose flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 100 g of unsalted butter
  • a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 180°C

Melt the butter and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, pass the flour, the icing sugar, salt and the almond meal through a sieve. Mix the whole

Add the egg whites one at a time mixing with a wooden spoon. Continue mixing until you have a uniform paste.

Without stopping to whisk, add the melted cooled butter. Continue to whisk until well incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the molds and bake for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the financiers to make sure to not overcook them.

When ready, unmold them and let them cool on a wire rack.

Before serving, you can decorate each financier with some roasted slivered almonds and a lil of icing sugar.

Serve with milk or tea and enjoy,

Love,

Sara

Cherry, Almond and Chocolate Mini Cakes

Cherry season is here! My very favorite fruits, I love their taste, color and texture.

That dark red blood color is just amazing and dramatic. I wanted to do do small cakes, nothing too heavy or boring, and I was crazy to include cherries in the recipe, so I remember being hooked by a post from Aran of Cannelle et Vanille.

I found her post very inspiring and the combinations of ingredients was perfect. Thinking about “le mariage” of almonds, chocolate and cherry was just meant to be, so I went for it but with a big twist in the recipe.

I didn’t wanted the cakes dense, more light and cake like.

For the Cherry, Almond and Chocolate Cake you will need:
Inspiration by: Cannelle et Vanille

  • 150 grams almond paste (I used ground almonds)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 grams butter
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • 100 grams bittersweet chocolate (melted)
  • 20 gr cocoa powder
  • 100 grams flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp Buttermilk
  • cherries, pitted and cut into pieces

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the almond paste with one egg until it becomes a smooth mixture, add the second egg and whip for about 3 minutes or until well incorporated.

Melt the butter and the chocolate over a double boiler.
Add the chocolate/butter mixture to the almond/eggs mix and whip in low speed, until combined.
Add the buttermilk and whip til all comes together and forms a paste.

Separately, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and soda. Mix.
Add the dry mix to the chocolate mixture and fold.
Fold in the pieces of cherry and mix to distribute evenly.

Put a big scoop of batter into molds (half way up) and bake at 180°C for 15 minutes.

I also did very small cakes so the baking time was less.


Decorate the mini cakes with some icing sugar and a piece of cherry (optional).

Enjoy the cakes with some milk and you are good to go.

Bon appétit,

Love,

Sara

The Beautiful Blog Award

Yesterday I received a pretty awesome news, I was nominated for the Beautiful Blog Award by Jess from “A lot on your plate” blog.

That nomination totally made my night. Last night when I came back home , I ran to the computer to check what the award was all about, so here’s the rules:

**Obligatory Rules**

  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. Tell 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.

Big big Thank you to Jess, I’m so touched that you thought of me and my blog. Really it meant the world to me 🙂

I find your blog so dynamic, updated and useful . I’m a huge fan of your recipe of the week and Apps of the week. These two are super handy. Your work and your organization insights are very inspiring so keep doing it! We, (your readers) love it ❤

Seven things about me:

1.  My dream is to become a great Baker ❤

2.  I was born and raised in the Venezuelan Costs, and even though the beach is my life I’m just horrified by sand. (hate the texture)

3.  I’m small (1m54) and I love it!

4.  I have a heels collection and it keeps growing 😉

5.  I dream to live in Denmark… Still don’t know why.

6.  My favorite season is spring. Every year, I take an infinity amount of different flowers photos.

7.  My full name is Sarasvatty. Dad named my sisters and me, after Indian goddess.

Seven Beautiful Bloggers:

1.  Bertha @ Gourmet Baking

2. Nicole @ Sweet Peony

3.  Emilie @ Griottes

4. Evan @ Evan’s kitchen ramblings

5. Jen @ Beantown Baker

6. Lili @ Lili’s Kitchen

7.  Raquel @ Los Tragaldabas

Thank you Jess!

Have a lovely Week,

Sara 🙂

Strawberry and Raspberry French Charlotte

As you all might noticed, last week I added an image in my Sidebar, who links to the Whole Kitchen website. In fact, I discovered this community through pinterest, a spanish lady posted a beautiful photo about a dessert she prepared for a contest, so immediately I went to check and ended up in the whole kitchen website.

This community is a Spanish network for bloggers and they propose challenges every month. There’s two groups, one for the salty recipes and one for the sweet ones, you can subscribe to one or both. To  integrate the community you must publish the recipe proposed by the crew in a specific date, and also win prizes and stuff.

I’ve found great this idea so decided to participate and interact with other bloggers too, so…. The Whole kitchen Sweet proposal for June was to prepare a classic French dessert “La Charlotte”.

I was kind of intimidated cause I knew the Charlotte’s assembly could be tricky and I couldn’t find the right mold so I had to improvise.

I also wanted to do my very own homemade ladyfingers with a very delicate and light rose flavor. My 1st batch was a catastrophe, they were all flat, but I adjust the recipe and came out with a pretty decent ladyfingers =D

Next thing to do was the berry syrup to soak the ladyfingers and the last step was the strawberry & raspberry mousse. These two steps went smoothly and I was so excited to put my charlotte together.

The problem came at the time to Unmold the charlotte… As I told you, I didn’t have the right mold so I took a plastic kind of ramekin, cover it inside with foil paper and started to place my soaked ladyfingers. After the refrigeration time, I removed the cake and when I started to peel off the foil paper, the surface of the ladyfingers facing the foil, sticked to it and peel off too! Argg! I was so frustrated.

I realized, that the ladyfingers where too wet and sticky, so a piece of advice for you guys, next time, take a pastry silicon brush and just brush a little of the syrup in one side of the ladyfingers. Be sure the sirop covered side is facing the inside of the mold, so it will touch the mousse and stay moist, but it will be a little more hard outside so it allow you to unmold the cake 🙂

For the Charlotte you will need:

  1. For the raspberry nectar/syrup
  • 80 g of raspberry
  • 50 g of powdered sugar
  • 50 g of water
  • 2 cl of kirsch

Wash the strawberries, clean them and let them dry on absorbent paper. Reserve about 50 g. for the decoration of the charlotte.

Put the rest in the bowl of food processor and reduce them to a puree. Then pass the puree through a sieve to get a very fine pulp. Set asside

Crush all the raspberries  to get the nectar. Pass the puree through a sieve to remove all fine seeds. Set aside.

Prepare the syrup: bring the water and sugar to a boil and stir. Cool the syrup and then add the kirsch and 50 g of mashed raspberries. Set aside

For red fruit mousse

  • 100 g of raspberries
  • 150 g of strawberries
  • 50 g of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 sheets of gelatin
  • 30 cl of heavy liquid cream
  • 20 Ladyfingers

Prepare the mousse:

Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water.

Mix the strawberry puree and remaining raspberries. Add the lemon juice and powdered sugar and mix to incorporate.

Pass the gelatin sheets through a sieve to remove the water excess.  In a double boiler, pour 2 or 3 tablespoons sweet pulp along with the hydrated gelatin and stir until the gelatin sheets have dissolved.

In a bowl put the remainder pulp, together with the gelatine/ puree mixture and stir well. Beat the cream lightly and add the puree until incorporated.

Butter a springform pan or ring to charlotte 18 cm in diameter.
Soak very slightly, one by one, the ladyfingers with the raspberry syrup and line all around the inside of the mold.

Fill a third of its height with red fruit mousse. Distribute the wild strawberries. Top with soak biscuits and squeez gently.

Fill with the rest of the mousse, before repeating the operation with the biscuits.

Put the charlotte 3 hours in refrigerator.

For the decoration

  • 50 g of strawberries
  • 50 g of raspberries
  • 50 g of berries
  • 4 or 5 branches of groseilles
  • 50 g of wild strawberries
  • 300 g of raspberry coulis

Unmold the cake on the cake stand where you will it.

Decorate the charlotte with strawberries cut in half, raspberries, blackberries, groseilles and wild strawberries.

Sprinkle some icing sugar in the top.

Serve cold, accompanied by a raspberry coulis.

I hope you like it.

This is a very fresh and light dessert, your guests and family will be surprised.

Mine wasn’t very beautiful because of the soaked ladyfingers, but sure it was perfect in taste.

Have a lovely day,

Sara

You say Chocolate cake leftovers? I say Cake Pops!

When you are crazy baker like me, living in couple with no pets or kids can be a problem… you might  be wondering why?
Well, I bake at least 3 times a week, so my husband is my only support to eat the cakes.

There’s also friends, his family and some particular orders, but the rest of the time its just us. Don’t get me wrong! I love to bake and eat cakes, but we can’t exaggerate with sugar and I really hate throwing food away. So we’ve being eating cake for breakfast =P

2 Days ago, I made the gorgeous dark chocolate cake with berry buttercream you saw in my previous post, but in order to do 2 equal tires for the cake, I cute the top off each single cake to make them the same (height) size. Result: lots of cake to the trash?  NO NO!

I set my cake tops aside and decided to make some cake pops. The plus is, they’re super easy to make, I’ll show you how.

Turn you cake leftovers into cake crumbs, If you have some frosting left is even better, we will use that too!

For every cup of cake crumbs I put 1 tablespoon of frosting, so this time I combined in a bowl 3 cups of cake crumbs with 3 tbsp of cream cheese frosting I had in the freezer.

Next thing to do, mix the whole until well combined and this will form a sort of very thick dough. Don’t be scared! this is perfect. grab a little of doughs and form medium size balls between your hands.

Line a baking pan with some parchment paper and place your balls. When finish, put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes, enough to the cake balls get a  hard and them pass them to the fridge for 20 minutes more.

While the cake ball are in the fridge, melt some chocolate or “Candy melts”; I used white chocolate but it wasn’t a very good quality =S.

Prepare the lollipop sticks and sprinkles if you want to use them.

Take off the balls from the fridge, did the tip of the lollipop stick in the candy melt, pinch the cake ball through until you reach the half or so and dip the ball into the candy melt or chocolate.

After dipping, tap gently your wrist to remove the candy excess off the cake pop.
Dip in sugar, coconut, sprinkles, or anything else you’d like for decoration and let them dry.

You see! Its super easy and such a nice treats for the little ones, so remember, every time you have cake leftovers do not trash it! Do Cake Pops!

Enjoy,

Love,
Sara