(This article appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
This cake is like a financier, but even more tender, very soft, and the brown butter comes through. Blueberries cut the richness of the brown butter with their tartness, so I think it’s a perfect combination. You could substitute raspberries, rhubarb, or cherries for the blueberries — all are great with brown butter.
Yields: Fourteen 3” cakes
Almond Brown Butter Cake
- 225 g unsalted butter, cut into 1” cubes
- 95 g all-purpose flour
- 95 g almond flour
- 280 g confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
- 6 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 680 g raspberries
- 50 g toasted sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Coat fourteen 3” fluted molds or two standard muffin pans with cooking spray, making sure they’re evenly and thoroughly coated to prevent the cakes from sticking when unmolding.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the solids start to settle and the butter becomes clear. Continue to cook until it smells nutty and the color of the butter starts to turn hazelnut brown, whisking frequently and watching that it doesn’t burn. Strain the melted butter into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth and discard the solids. Keep the brown butter warm.
- Sift the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
- Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until medium-stiff peaks form, adding the salt as the whites whip.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in three additions, making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Fold in the warm brown butter in two additions, making sure it is incorporated after each addition.
- Scoop the batter into the molds or muffin pans, filling each two-thirds full. Put the raspberries on top, making sure they are evenly distributed and away from the edges of the mold.
- Bake until golden brown at the edges and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans after 10-15 minutes to ensure even baking. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool slightly. Carefully unmold while still hot. (Because they’re very buttery, if the cakes cool too much in the molds of the pans, the butter will cause the cakes to stick when unmolding. If this happens, pop them back into the 350˚F oven for a couple of minutes to warm them and then unmold.)
- Top the cakes with the raspberries and almonds and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve the same day or store in an air-tight container at room temperate for up to two days.