So far this has been one of those weeks where it feels like the universe is against me, where every major celestial body in my life is aligning into a constellational "Screw you." It's quite awesome really. One might find some sort of value in that much attention. I guess I should feel special.
This is a stark comparison to last week where everything seemed to be going so well. Yet within a short time span life suddenly began to suck. This then proves just how cyclical life can be; luck changes in an instant with dizzying and unpredictable speed. Right now, I just happen to be on one of those major downswings. (Seriously, like a greased up razor-lined water slide, this week.)
I know that everything will eventually turn around, I just have to be patient and proactive in changing things for the better. So, in the meantime, I try not to funk myself out too hard. I've always been one of those solve-your-own-problem kind of guys and do my best to reassure my own stormy thoughts rather than hoping happiness will simply drop in my lap. I do this through reading a good book, snuggling with the cats, maybe taking a night out in the middle of the week to meet friends for a movie, and cocktails are always a welcome pick-me-up. However, more often than not, I'll resort to baking.
I decided to start flipping through some of my baking cookbooks. Realizing that David Lebovitz's new book was still sitting on my shelf unused I picked it up and started looking for something that would sparkle, something that would brighten my mood, and something foolproof as any slip-up would probably tip me over the edge.
David's blackberry - brown butter financier recipe was the perfect candidate. Requiring just a few minutes with a food processor I was able to pop together a simple tea cake with the nutty taste of brown butter. While I had no blackberries I did have a few baskets of boysenberries that I had procured at the market. (I had picked them up to see if there was really a difference between the two. In my opinion, not really).
The cakes, thank god, turned out perfectly. Simple and bright - just what I needed.
The week still has a few days to go and so far things haven't really turned around yet. Still, when eating my cute cakes things, for a moment, seem a bit better.
Boysenberry-Brown Butter Financiers
Adapted from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert
7 tablespoons of butter
140 grams of almond flour
100 grams of sugar
70 grams of powdered sugar
45 grams of all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
6 ounces of boysenberries
1. Preheat an oven to 400F and butter a 12-slot muffin tin.
2. In a saucepan melt the butter over low heat. The butter will crackle and sizzle a bit. Continue to cook until the butter turns amber-colored. This will happen quickly and the butter can go from browned to burnt in a second so keep a close eye on it.
3. In a food processor or blender mix together the almond flour, sugars, flour, and salt. With the motor running add the extracts and egg whites. Pour in the warm brown butter through a wire strainer to keep out the blackened, burnt butter solids at the bottom of the saucepan. Mix until smooth.
4. Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin slots. Press a few boysenberries into each cup. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. let cool for 10 minutes, then tip the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.