Coffee Pecan Financiers

Coffee and pecan financiers (23 of 39)

A PERFECT CONCOCTION | Pecans, ground sumiyaki coffee powder and a shot of nespresso add subtle warm undertones to the traditional financier.  

I love how baking brings out the perfectionist streak lurking deep within me. This Valentine’s day, me and my (single) girlfriends decided we’d get our hands dirty and do some baking.

To challenge ourselves, we set an ambitious goal to master the basic vanilla soufflé (which we managed to achieve). I also added another to our baking agenda for the afternoon  – to recreate Ottolenghi’s famed Coffee Pecan Financiers that sells likes hotcakes at his restaurant NOPI in London.

Coffee and pecan financiers (1 of 1)

Still missing Paris a lot, I was keen to make financiers again, but this time, I was set on making an adaptation of Ottolenghi’s Coffee Pecan Financiers from his well-known restaurant NOPI. Not too fond of anything too sweet, I reduced the icing sugar quantity by half and did away with the coffee pecan cream that often accompanies these little bars of gold.

Coffee and pecan financiers (29 of 39)

Coffee and Pecan Financiers

TIME: one hour | YIELDS: Makes 12 financiers

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g pecans
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g plain flour
  • 65g malt powder (or Horlicks)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground coffee beans
  • 8 egg whites (300g)
  • 2 shots of espresso (60ml)
  • pinch of coarse sea salt

Coffee and pecan financiers (7 of 39)

METHOD:

  1. Roast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Spread the pecans for both the financiers and the cream out on a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the oven for 12–15 minutes, until they have taken on a bit of colour. Use the flat side of a large knife to lightly crush them. Set aside half of the pecans for the financiers and half for the cream.Coffee and pecan financiers (1 of 39)
  2. To make the financiers, put the butter into a medium saucepan and place on a high heat. Once it starts to foam, cook for 3–4 minutes, until it turns golden-brown and smells nutty. Strain through a muslin- (or clean J-cloth-) lined sieve and set aside for about 15 minutes, to cool slightly.Coffee and pecan financiers (2 of 39)
  3. Place the icing sugar in a large bowl with the ground almonds, flour, malt powder, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and ground coffee. Mix together and set aside.Coffee and pecan financiers (4 of 39)
  4. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk to form soft peaks: this should take about 3 minutes if you are whisking by hand and just 1 minute with an electric whisk.Coffee and pecan financiers (6 of 39)
  5. Fold the whites into the dry ingredients by hand, followed by the espresso. Next pour in half the browned butter, continuing to fold by hand as you pour in the remaining butter. Finally, fold in the pecans. Coffee and pecan financiers (13 of 39)Coffee and pecan financiers (12 of 39)Coffee and pecan financiers (10 of 39)
  6. Bake the financiers by preheating the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7. Grease mould of muffin tray or financier tray. Spoon in the mix until three-quarters full and bake for 10 –12 minutes, until the cakes are golden-brown on top and only just cooked through: a knife inserted should come out with a tiny amount of mix on it.Coffee and pecan financiers (15 of 39)
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 5 minutes, before removing them from the tray. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a cup of tea if desired.
Coffee and pecan financiers (21 of 39) Coffee and pecan financiers (28 of 39)Coffee and pecan financiers (4 of 5)

Moist and Fluffy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (3 of 26)POPPY SEED DELIGHT | Light, delicate, sweet and moist muffins with tiny crunches of poppy seeds and the citrusy kiss of lemon. 

Woke up to a dreary Saturday morning. Rather than to let the dismal weather affect my mood, the optimistic voice inside of me nudged me to bake something to brighten up the day. Not so sure about you, but the scent of lemon always perks up the morning for me, especially in the cold winter days.

When lemon and baking comes to my mind, I instinctively think of warm lemon poppyseed muffins. The key to ensuring these muffins turn out moist and fluffy? Sour cream. Simply replace milk with sour cream in the same quantity and you will be left with moist muffins that can be frozen ahead of time.

These muffins are sweet and simple and comes together quickly – great for last minute cravings.

Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (11 of 26)Poppyseed muffins with a scent of lemon make a warm welcome to the winter blues.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

Prep Time:  10 minutes | Cook Time: 18-20 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 8 large muffins (12 small muffins)

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, melted until browned and cooled
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seedsLemon PoppySeed Muffins (26 of 26).jpg

METHOD:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit / 200 degrees Celsius.  Line a 12 mold, regular sized muffin tray with paper muffin liners, place the muffin pan on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Zest the lemon with a microplane grater and juice it.Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (23 of 26)Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (24 of 26)
  3. In a large bowl, rub the granulated sugar with the lemon zest until the sugar is lightly coloured and scented with lemon.  Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (21 of 26)
  4. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk (or sour cream) vanilla extract, melted butter and lemon juice.Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (20 of 26)
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together.  When almost thoroughly mixed, add the poppy seeds.  Divide batter between muffin cups.  Sprinkle each would be muffing with granulated sugar.Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (17 of 26)Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (16 of 26)Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (15 of 26)
  6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (13 of 26)Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (4 of 26).jpg
  7. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing. Best served warm with a cup of tea.Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (6 of 26)Lemon PoppySeed Muffins (1 of 1)

 

Fluffy Ricotta Hotcakes With Honeycomb

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (1 of 50)

Light and fluffy pancakes with a creaminess one can only dream of. 

I love breakfast. And nothing beats waking up to some seriously fluffy and warm ricotta hotcakes dowsed with honeycomb.  Extra fluffy with creamy, custard-like middles, ricotta hotcakes are something pancake connoisseurs have to try making (or die trying).

Inspired by Bill Granger – who hails from my sunny hometown, Sydney – his signature ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter and banana are to die for. I’ve had my fair share of his ricotta hotcakes in Sydney (Surry Hills), and recently in London (Nottinghill) and Tokyo (Ometosando) this year. Now is the time to recreate the ‘magic’ back home (until he sets up shop here at least, but who knows when that day will come – or where I’ll be by then!).

Mind you, there is no ‘magic’ or skilful technique required in this recipe. From a methodological perspective though, what separates these ricotta hotcakes apart from regular ones is the fact that you are meant to separate the egg yolks from the whites and beat the latter until stiff peaks form before folding it into the batter.

Note: The ricotta isn’t something you necessarily taste — the pancakes definitely don’t taste “cheesy” — but rather, the ricotta adds a magical milky richness and creaminess to each bite.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (24 of 50)

INGREDIENTS (makes 6 medium sized pancakes, serves 2):

  • 70 grams of fresh milk
  • 70 gram of plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 110 gram of ricotta
  • 2 eggs, white and yolks separated
  • pinch of salt
  • butter for pan-frying
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honeycomb, to serve
  • icing sugar, to dust

METHOD:

1) Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix to combine.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (50 of 50)

2) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until combined. Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (7 of 50) Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (10 of 50)

3) Place the egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until still peaks form. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (49 of 50) Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (47 of 50)

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (45 of 50)

4) Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan with a small portion of the butter and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (don’t cook more than 3 per batch). Cook over low to medium heat for 2 minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (17 of 50) Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (18 of 50)

5) Transfer hotcakes to a plate and quickly assemble with other ingredients (e.g. banana, honeycomb, etc). Dust with icing sugar.


Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (22 of 50)

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb (39 of 50)