Financier Doughnuts

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It’s true: everything old is new again.  There are countless blogs and Pinterest boards dedicated to modern styling of vintage attire.  New consignment stores (I realize this is somewhat of an oxymoron) are popping up all over the place and are doing great business.  Used book stores are all the rage (day trip to Powell’s, anyone?), and antique cookware is adorning most everyone’s kitchens.  I’m certainly not complaining; I’m rather fond of this trend myself.

As of late, I have found it especially fascinating how this trend has spread to the far reaches of the fashion industry.  Take ombre hair, for instance: what is it, if not allowing one’s natural hair color to grow out and leaving one’s highlights unattended?  A decade ago, everyone would have thought such a thing to be little more than pure sloth; now, it’s a widely accepted norm.  Kind of crazy when you think about it, isn’t it?

DSCN1703Despite what the tenor of the day may be, some things never go out of style.  They’re constantly in style, making them, in my opinion, all the better.  One such thing?  Coffee and doughnuts on a weekend morning.  Really, can you think of anything more enjoyable across multiple generations than a warm cup o’ joe with a freshly baked breakfast pastry?  Not only is this an excellent way to start the day, it’s also a terrific excuse to get together and catch up, gossip, swap stories, or, simply, take pleasure in each others’ company.

I sincerely hope that you do take the time to enjoy coffee and a doughnut with a good friend or cherished family member.  I am certain that he/she will be so glad that you both took to the time to do so.  He/she may be even gladder that you took the time to prepare some oh-so-delightful French-inspired doughnuts to share with him/her.  To acquaint you with the present project, and in the event that you are unfamiliar,I will give you a brief synopsis of what a financier is: it’s a wee French breakfast pastry largely constituted of butter and almonds, but with a fresh berry thrown in for good measure.  They look like teeny tiny muffins, but they’re way tastier and, most unfortunately, probably far worse for your arteries.  (Note: if you use Bing’s image search and type in “financier”, you’ll get a bunch of pictures of pastries, but the side of the page will have Warren Buffett, JP Morgan, and friends listed as “related topics”.  Ha!)  I don’t mean to overly Americanize something so deliciously French, but I’m confident that you, as well as any pals you may share these with, will come to agree that a doughnut version of a French pastry is not such a bad thing.  Let’s give it a try.

Financier Doughnuts

Adapted from Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes

Makes 6 Doughnuts

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup turbinado (raw) sugar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted (or browned, if you want a little something extra!)

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Equipment:

2 medium mixing bowls

whisk

spatula

doughnut pan

spray canola oil

pastry bag (or large Ziploc bag)

cooling rack

How to Make the Doughnuts:

Preheat the oven to 325F.

In one small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract.  In the other mixing bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking soda, and salt.  Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients in.  Use a spatula to mix the dry and wet ingredients until just combined.  Fill the pastry bag with the doughnut batter.DSCN1699

In a greased doughnut pan, set 5-6 blueberries, evenly spaced around the circle.  Pipe the batter over the blueberries, filling each space about half full.  Be sure to make sure that the batter goes over the blueberries, rather than having the berries mixed in.  This will create the way neat illusion that the blueberries are floating right at the top of the doughnut.

Bake the doughnuts for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.  Just to make sure they’re done, insert a toothpick; if it comes out clean, you’re good to go!  If not, give them another minute or two.  When the doughnuts are done, place the pan on the cooling rack for about five minutes.  After five minutes, very, very gently invert the whole doughnut pan onto the cooling rack.  Allow the doughnuts to cool this way for another 5-10 minutes or so.  This way, the doughnuts will gently ease themselves out of the pan, each in one piece, rather than break apart like countless bundt cakes of old have done.  Serve with a hot cup of coffee and your favorite friend, and enjoy!

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