Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Financier Style Vanilla Pound Cakes

As Chanuka winds down, I finally have a chance to post. Things have been pretty busy around here this Chanuka. Yesterday, the girls went to Sderot to throw a carnival for the kids there and today we went on a bit of a strenuous hike, even for me. Although, come to think of it, anything that involves climbing and mountains is strenuous for me. Even so, the girls are all out and I'm savoring the quiet and the most recent episode of Glee. Back to this post. This past Shabbat, which was also Chanuka, I had the great pleasure of spending it with a family I really love in Efrat. M taught me five years ago at Midreshet and we're still in touch. I love her kids and being in her home because I'm so comfortable there, it's as if I'm with my own family. Anyway, whenever I go, I try to bake something because my parents always taught me that you can't go anywhere empty handed-- even from the dining room to the kitchen! I've brought the easiest chocolate mousse pie and chocolate chip cookies and inspired by my donut venture, I decided to make donuts again. Well, this obviously isnt a donut post. I made the mistake of baking a donut that was meant to be fried..... lesson learned! I had my roommate taste them and I decided they werent up to snuff. So into the bin they went. But what to make?! Fortunately, I had been browsing through my blogroll and noticed that the Heavenly Cake Bakers were making Financier Style Vanilla Pound Cakes. Bingo! Equipped with a pan that took me ages to find in Israel, I set out to making them. And these dainty little tea cakes were easy as pie. I was a bit nervous to bring a container of these meager looking cakes but then M reassured me that she loved the fact they were miniature. And so I was able to rest easy. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was to add a bit of vanilla bean paste to punch up the vanilla flavor. Oh, dont be alarmed when the batter curdles a bit. It's meant to be that way. Perfect with a cup of tea, these cakes are deliciously adorable.

Financier Style Vanilla Pound Cakes
from Rose's Heavenly Cakes

1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 tbsp milk
3/4 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp margarine or butter

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a financier pan.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add to the sugar and rub together. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, milk and vanilla. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, place the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the margarine and half of the egg/milk mixture. Beat on medium for one minute. Add half of the remaining egg/milk mixture and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining mixture. The final batter will look curdled- don't be alarmed- it's normal and due to the high percentage of fat.
Spoon the batter into a pastry bag.
Pipe evenly into each of the cavities.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they spring back when touched. Cool completely in the silicone pan. Remove from the pan and store in an airtight container. 

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