baking/ dairy free/ gluten free/ morning tea + afternoon tea/ quick + easy/ this is life

Pear, Chocolate and Almond Financiers

pear-chocolate-almond-cacao-financier-spinspin-sweetpea-darlingheart

There’s a lot to be said for the simple pleasures in life, the things that bring you joy just by being there; all you have to do is appreciate them.

I get joy from the simple things so much, especially when we travel. It seems that new horizons bring inspiration so easily, even if what you are doing isn’t all that different from what you do at home. I mean, shopping in a supermarket in a different place can be a moment of great joy for me, but then again, so can grocery shopping at home if I’ve got my head on right.

Of course some places just ooze inspiration, and others not so much. It’s easy to be inspired somewhere exotic, or a place with great architecture or stunning natural beauty. Finding inspiration at home can be so much harder. So, when I’m in my city, I love finding places or faces that give me that little inspiration boost. I collect them and treasure them dearly, and pull them out whenever I need, which can be quite often, because life is too short and I’d always rather a day with a moment of inspiration than one that just felt normal. I especially seek these moments when it’s depths of Winter or if it feels like there hasn’t been a break from the daily grind in a while.

Coffee in a cosy cafe, a favourite garden to walk past, gazing into bakery windows. Writing down that amazing place you read about, to create a volume of maps filled with dreamy far flung places, and a list of things to do when you get there. You may never go, but then again you might! The dreaming surely has to be the start of anything.

BakerDChiricoOutside

BakerDChiricoWindowLadiesServingBakerDChiricoWindowIf I go out into the day with my head held high and a smile on my face it is almost always returned. If I let someone else go before me when we’re both waiting in a line, then my whole day can feel completely different. Take the chance to have a quick conversation when otherwise there might not have been one, you never know where it might take you. At the very least it will be a precious moment of connection in your day, and a moment of connection with another human being is surely one of the most valuable, free things of all. These are some of the simple things that give me joy, but what simple things bring you joy, in the everyday? I would love to know, maybe I can add them to my list…

There are many places and times when it can feel like a struggle to find inspiration; keeping track of some simple things that lift you up, things that you can do on any day, can help make life that little bit more wonderful, especially when you’re wondering what it is exactly that you need. If you’re feeling a bit lost, remember your favourite things list and see where it takes you. Hopefully it can provide you with an opportunity to capture a moment happiness, or to make something ordinary feel a little more special.

moody_pears

This week it’s back to school and back to the week in, week out of normal life. I treasure school holidays so much, when we can just do whatever we like and all be together. I know school holidays don’t feel like this for everyone, but for us being together creates a sense of gentle flow, of just living for the sake of living. I also usually don’t get anything apart from just living done, but I am really lucky that I can mostly put any work on hold; having to juggle work and school holidays would be really, really hard. For me these times of just being together is what life is all about. I love them. So going back to school can feel like a real adjustment… it can take a little while to get all those cogs running smoothly again.

It’s also the middle of Winter, alternating between grey skies and bracing winds, which never really helps. Rain is a highlight, either for it’s refreshment or it’s boldness, gosh, just for it’s difference from plain grey! And any little sliver of sun should be soaked up immediately, before it dashes away again. Any highlight in the day must be well and truly noted, and celebrated, just for being there.

This week I am doing my best to find inspiration in my every day and my usual surrounds, in an effort to get back into the swing of things and try to keep my holiday eyes on even when it’s not the holidays any more. It’s not quite the same, but it’s not really that bad either.

spin-spin-financier-plate-chocolate-pear-almond-sweetpea-darlingheartmuffin-papers-flat

I get a lot of joy from looking into bakery windows; a hand made pastry or loaf of bread is such a thing of beauty to me, a true art and passion, and something I love to take photos of while we are away. But something in me has always been a little too embarrassed to try and take these photos at home! Does it really matter if somebody thinks ‘who is this funny person photographing our bread?!’. Probably not. Maybe it’s just another opportunity for a conversation. So, in the interest of being myself and finding joy in the simple things especially while at home, I am taking my camera with me more often and trying to catch that moment that inspires me in real life.

Being the depths of Winter, and after gazing in a few of my favourite bakery windows, I felt like baking. Something quick and easy, but that felt a little more special. Muffins are my easy go to; one bowl, 20 minutes, ready in time for school pickup.

muffins-financiers-almond-pear-chocolate-gluten-free-sweetpea-darlingheartfinancier-muffin-friand-chocolate-pear

These ones are really no different, except that I am calling them financiers because that in itself seems like a simple pleasure. Financiers, because I love all things French, but you could also call them a friand. Not really traditional, but inspired by none the less. Little almond cakes, light and easy to eat.

A little treat to make that weekday afternoon feel a little more special. An ode to the joy of the little things.

I don’t have any fancy moulds or tins, so I baked mine in regular muffin papers which are easily removed to serve as a traditional financier would be. A light chocolate base, with juicy pear slices and a toasted almond and cacao nib crumble for the top, because they’re the flavours these Winter days have been whispering in my ear, and the deep red of those pears was just too gorgeous to walk past.

Pear, Chocolate and Almond Financiers

with a toasted almond and cacao nib crumble

These little cakes have a light chocolatey flavour, a little reminiscent of a chocolate sponge and are not too sweet, but just sweet enough. I used a batch of roughly ground almond meal (which I had been put off using because of it’s rough texture) which gave the cakes a little chew (which I actually really loved, although my kids told me they would have preferred them without the little nutty bits!) – the cakes would be even more delicate if you used finely ground almond meal. I really, really recommend the pear slices and crunchy crumble topping, it’s what really makes the cakes and helps make them feel like something you could have bought from your favourite patisserie. I am sure you could substitute another juicy fruit for the pear, any one that goes well with chocolate… plums, raspberries, mandarin, cherries…. Oh, and substituting hazelnut meal for the almond meal would just be next level delicious!

30g (1/4 cup) cacao powder
100g (3/4 cup) almond meal
80g (3/4 cup) buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla powder
pinch of salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten
60ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
200g (3/4 cup) applesauce, unsweetened
120ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
1/3 tsp liquid stevia

2 pears, thinly sliced

60g (1/3 cup) toasted almonds, roughly chopped
15g (1/6 cup) cacao nibs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 160°C fan forced / 180°C conventional / 320°F / gas mark 3. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with papers.

To start, make the crumble topping. In a small bowl stir together all the ingredients then set aside. Thinly slice your pear and also set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients to remove any lumps (especially from the cacao).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well combined. Fold through the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, filling the cases to about half full – you want to allow room for the toppings and for the financiers to rise. Top each financier with a few slices of pear on one side, and a teaspoon full of the crumble topping on the other.

Bake in the centre of the oven for around 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of one of the financiers comes out clean.

muffin-pear-chocolate-almond-gluten-free

Very nice alongside a cup of coffee, some earl grey tea or a glass of milk.

And thank you to Susan from Spin Spin for her dreamy little plate…

Pear, Chocolate and Almond Financiers

Print Recipe
Serves: 12 Cooking Time: 18 minutes + 10 minutes prep

Ingredients

  • 30g (1/4 cup) cacao powder
  • 100g (3/4 cup) almond meal
  • 80g (3/4 cup) buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
  • 200g (3/4 cup) applesauce, unsweetened
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp liquid stevia
  • 2 pears, thinly sliced
  • 60g (1/3 cup) toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 15g (1/6 cup) cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 160°C fan forced / 180°C conventional / 320°F / gas mark 3. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with papers.

2

To start, make the crumble topping. In a small bowl stir together all the ingredients then set aside. Thinly slice your pear and also set aside.

3

In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients to remove any lumps (especially from the cacao).

4

In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well combined. Fold through the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

5

Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, filling the cases to about half full - you want to allow room for the toppings and for the financiers to rise. Top each financier with a few slices of pear on one side, and a teaspoon full of the crumble topping on the other.

6

Bake in the centre of the oven for around 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of one of the financiers comes out clean.

Notes

• Gluten free • Grain free • Refined sugar free • Dairy free • Quick + easy •

Subscribe

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply