The clear alternative….

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again….the food blogging community never ceases to amaze me with their generosity. I have two case in points. Almost two months ago, when Tanna, of My Kitchen in Half Cups, came into town I was lucky enough to meet up with both her and Lynn, from Cookie Baker Lynn, for lunch. Lynn was a sweetheart and had made us each aprons(plus homemade cookies of course). Mine had little pea pods all over it(see below). She did such a good job on them(I am always fascinated by people who can sew) that my husband accused me of buying it. I assured him it was a gift…not sure if he believed me though.

Second case in point was most recently. Veronica of Veronica’s Test Kitchen had asked me for my new home address. I thought I might be seeing a new home card in the mail, but instead was a giant box of goodies, from spatulas to a pastry brush to dish towels(and more!) What a housewarming gift for me. Far better than all the bills that usually pile up in the mail! So a special thanks to both Veronica and Lynn for making me feel so very special.

Now onto the food.

I’ve always walked to the beat of a different drummer, as my dad(the drum major of a pipe band), has told me on several occasions. He is right. I do tend to go against the “norm” on most things. Dessert is no exception. When I go home for Thanksgiving(which is not that often anymore) my mom is in charge of making all of our “regular” desserts and I get to be in charge of the “alternative.” If I was going home this year, which sadly I am not, I would be making this dessert as my alternative. The original recipe called for almond meal(flour), but I like hazelnuts with pumpkin much, much better, so I used hazelnut flour. It’s dense, yet surprisingly light… and very, very moist. Nothing more is needed than a nice dollop of whipped cream to make this alternative treat complete. You might want to add it to your list of desserts this year as your alternative.

Pumpkin Financier

½ pound unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups hazelnut flour
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups powder sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 TBSP tightly packed brown sugar
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ cup canned pumpkin puree


Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the solids separate and begin to brown to a dark golden color, 7-10 minutes. Removed from the heat and let cool at room temperature until it reaches 70F. Don’t chill it. It needs to remain in liquid form. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 10-x-2 inch round cake pan with pan spray, line with parchment paper, then coat the paper lightly with pan spray.
Sift together the hazelnut flour, flour, powder sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the spices and brown sugar. Turn the machine on low and mix the dry ingredients for 30 seconds. Add the eggs whites all at once and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and mix for 30 seconds.
Add the melted butter all at once. Be sure to scrape in all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Mix for 30 seconds on medium speed, then turn the mixer to high speed and mix for 3 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the cake for even browning and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert it onto the rack, remove the cake pan and parchment, and cool completely before serving.

Adapted From: The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard, Houghton Mifflin 2003

Comments

  1. Isn’t it great that through blogging we meet so many nice people around? :) Great post with lovely financiers!

  2. I love my blogfriends, whom I call my sisters-in-blog!

    Beautiful financiers. Actually, I have never made financiers before and just had to google it to find out what it is!

  3. That brittle is gorgeous! The recipe looks to die for…although I’m not sure I could ever convert 8 egg whites. :)

  4. What a great house to grow up in – regular plus alternative desserts! I love the look of this one – the piped whipped cream is lovely and the brittle on top is over the top.

    If your husband doesn’t believe the apron is handmade, I can send scraps to prove it. You know, I can’t bear to throw things away because you never know….

  5. Wow, a whole box kitchen goodies?? You *are* lucky!! And you’re even luckier that you were able to eat this delicious looking cake — whereas I am just sitting here drooling over the photos… ;)

  6. I’m a big fan of alternatives but everyone always complains if they don’t get their traditional desserts.

  7. wow that looks so moist! great picture.

  8. Wow what a great recipe! It looks delicious and plates BEAUTIFULLY!

  9. mmm.. this looks so good! i had never heard of financiers before. i’m not even sure where i would find hazelnut or almond flour?

    that was so kind of lynn and veronica to give you those gifts :) hope you are settling into your new home nicely!

  10. What great girls, Lynn and Veronica. This financiers looks simply deeelish!

  11. Wow Peabody – do you have a new kitchen and you’re back on the ice or what!! Somehow this makes me think you have regained more than just a new kitchen and time on the ice.
    This is totally beautiful all the way around. Love that brittle!

  12. That sounds wonderful. It must be very light due to all those egg whites.

  13. Financier’s are the only cake type the hubby is willing to eat. He has been bugging me to make a hazelnut version. I see the spatula is properly coordinated with the batter ;) .

  14. Beautiful pictures Peabody!

    Is the brittle just sugar and chopped hazlenuts?

  15. That is a pretty spectacular looking slice of cake, and the recipe sounds scrumptious, too.

  16. This looks really good. I will have to look for some almond and/or hazelnut flour. Do they add a lot of flavour when used?

  17. What lovely gifts! I was looking at a similar recipe thinking it would be great with chestnut flour, another possible variation..that’s why I love financiers, they are so adaptable!

  18. How fun that you got to meet Tanna and Lynn (Lynn is so great – I follow her blog as well), and received such lovely gifts from Veronica – the food blogging community IS indeed quite caring and wonderful!!

    This Pumpkin Financier is so elegant – the brittle makes for a perfect “finishing touch.” And hey, I’m GLAD that you march to the beat of a different drum, with your dessert-making, since you produce such innovative, gorgeous creations!

  19. The brittle on the Pumpkin Francier is gorgeous! Beautiful picture as well. Perfection! (as usual:)

  20. That looks good! More pumpkin recipes…Yes!

  21. How fun to get something so nice in the mail! Your financier sounds great. I’ve been oogling them after seeing them in a cookbook I recently purchased. I’d never heard of them before, but they sound so straight forward to bake. The hazelnuts sound great with this one.

  22. Wow, I’m glad to hear that in the annonymous world of Internet, there’s still humanity. I’ve had a couple of haters hanging around my blog in the past and as much as I’d like to say I shrug it off, it does get to me.

    Cute blog, I love the color scheme and photos.

  23. it looks beautiful but with all of that sugar, was it super sweet?

  24. Another gorgeous and super looking dessert. Your new house has great lighting! Your photos look GREAT! (Not that they didn’t before, but you hopefully know what I mean :) ).

  25. A delightful alternative, beautiful photo, and great reminder that the internet brings us together as much as isolates us, if we let it. Is that cute spatula one of the gifts? That pumpkin seed crackle decoration really goes well with the piped whipped cream.

  26. ok..but I want to know about that gorgeous brittle on top? :)

  27. This looks so dense and rich. It is an alternative destined to become a classic. Definite wow factor!

  28. That not only looks gorgeous (as all your desserts do!), it sounds absoultely delicious! Pumpkin based desserts are few and far between where I come from but this would definitely be one of the ones I’d like to try first! :)

    Blog-friends truly rock!

  29. This cake looks amazing!! I’m trying to decide what to bring for Thanksgiving, and this cake is tempting me!!

  30. I’m all about the alternative holiday desserts. I was wondering what exactly makes this a “financier.” Is it just the eggs whites, or also the nut flour?

    Julie

  31. Great job on the caramelized sugar :) I think that’s a classy touch. For some reason, seeing all of the pumpkin recipes on your blog of late have made me feel like I’ve eaten them all this month – ha ha ha. So pretty.

  32. the brittle just takes this cake/financier a notch higher. Very very tempting as usual :)

  33. A great cake, it’s your decoration that lifts it up higher still, well done!

  34. Wow, that looks delicious AND gorgeous. Where do you purchase your hazelnut flour? I’ve never seen it before, and now that I know it exists I need to use it!!!

  35. You are a very special person, Pea, that’s why so many of us love you!

  36. I truly don’t know what looks better–the batter OR the finished product! Beautiful.

  37. This is gorgeous and so are your two friends! How wonderful of them to do that for you~

  38. amanda says:

    Hi Peabody,

    I made these to send to my mom for Mother’s Day and they were so wonderful–perfect for a mom! I say “these” because instead of one cake, I used a mini-muffin pan, baked them for about 15 minutes at 400, and ended up with about 70 delicious little mini cakes. They were perfect for packing/mailing and I was able to save a few for myself (which I had with some leftover cream cheese frosting).

    For my nut flour, I used a combination of ground almonds and pistachios, which I think went well with the pumpkin. I also added a dash of fresh ground cardamom and a little pumpkin pie spice to the mix. Turned out lovely!

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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