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Food

Petite French Almond Cakes

I’d hardly call myself a chef or a cook, but whenever I have some time on my hands, the necessary ingredients in the pantry, and a recipe whets my appetite, I greatly enjoy a chemistry experiment in the kitchen with (hopefully) delicious results. My enjoyable romp in the kitchen last week brought especially tasty treats, so I thought I might share the recipe. They’re essentially like bite-sized almond flavored cakes that are similar in taste and texture to madeleine cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (from 5-6 large eggs) at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey, at room temperature or slightly warmed
  • 1/2 cup plus one teaspoon unsalted butter, melted then cooled.

Necessary Tools

  • Stand mixer
  • Mini muffin pans
  • Sifter
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Wire rack
  • Plastic wrap (or other covering for a mixing bowl)
  • Optional: Ice cream scoop (it can be easier for dealing with moving the mixture from the bowl to the muffin pan)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the almond meal and flour until blended.
  2. In a stand mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites.
  3. When the whites change to a foam-like texture, add the sugar in a steady sprinkle (over 4-6 minutes). The whites will be glossy and form peaks (this “peaks” thing didn’t happen when I made it but they began to look a bit more firm).
  4. Sift the flour and almond meal mixture over the egg whites in three or four portions (this is very important!). Gently fold each addition in before adding the next.
  5. Fold in the honey and then the butter. The batter should now be glossy, light, and smooth.
  6. Cover batter with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Brush the cups (mini cupcake pans) with melted butter.
  9. Sift all-purpose flour over the molds to coat them, invert, and tap several times to shake out excess flour.
  10. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them about three-quarters full.
  11. Bake until golden brown or 8-10 minutes (mine took 10). Cool on a wire rack for five minutes before unmolding. It should yield around 30-34 servings.

Other suggestions/variations: I also think they would be delicious with some lemon flavoring or orange flavoring, either zested on top, squeezed in the mixture, or a drop or two of an extract added to the mixer. I sprinkled the top of them with powdered sugar which made them even more delicious and beautiful for serving.

Time it took me to make them: about an hour and a half to two hours. They’re perfect with tea or coffee for breakfast or as a late night snack/dessert. Yum.

Based on: Inspired by a recipe from The Tea Deck by Sara Perry.

Image Credit By larryhalff on flickr.

By Claire S. Gould

Claire is a social justice communications nerd by day and a bookish feminist blogger by night. She runs the popular blog Bibliofeminista as well as Today in Women's History, a project celebrates a woman in history every day.

Outside of work, blogging, and volunteering, Claire enjoys consuming caffeine, making and appreciating art, watching classic films, and endlessly discussing progressive politics.

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