Mar 22, 2010

Peanut Butter Ingots

These are on the Quick-and-Easy list, as befits anything with peanut butter in the title. Did Escoffier use peanut butter? I think not. Translated to Financiers au Beurre de Cacahuetes, however, they sound less quick and easy. Personally, I question whether something should be considered Q&E if it requires making beurre noisette. But, since I already had some in the freezer, I won't quibble.
Well, I'll quibble a little bit because the recipe also requires roasting sliced almonds, preferably unblanched.
I seem to have reverted to the bad old days of not paying attention to directions. I knew I needed almonds to make these ingots, and I thought the recipe specified blanched almonds. But no, it wants sliced unblanched almonds. I started to toast them anyway, when I noticed I had whole unsalted almonds in the freezer, so I combined whole unblanched almonds and sliced blanched almonds. It worked out just fine.
The toasted almonds are processed with powdered sugar, and I will admit that that step is quite easy. I don't like powdered sugar all that much, and I don't like frosting made with powdered sugar at all, which was why I was so amazed to taste a real buttercream instead of what passes for buttercream in church-basement-potluck land: powdered sugar, margarine, and milk. But powdered sugar is just right in these ingots, just as it is in the Christmas cookies called Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cakes, depending on your geographical preference.
About 4 large egg whites (which I also had available in my freezer) are beaten just until frothy,
and then combined with the ground-almond, sugar, and flour mixture.
Then begins a five-minute process of drizzling warmed buerre noisette into the batter. I know I said I wouldn't quibble, but a five-minute process of adding butter is probably not included in a recipe that most people would recognize as quick.
Add a few spoons of peanut butter, and you're done. (You could also add praline paste, according to Rose's comments, which sounds considerably less plebeian than peanut butter). (Try this tongue twister: Piles of peanut butter pastry are more plebeian than praline paste pastry.)
I was a little confused by the instructions at this point. The "Plan Ahead" warning says to make the batter at least one hour ahead, but the directions didn't seem to require chilling unless you're making more than one batch, so I just transferred the batter to a measuring cup and poured it in the financier molds. "Poured" makes it sound more liquid than it was: the batter is quite thick. I made 18 ingots because I have two pans, each making nine. A little late, I noticed that the recipe makes 16. This probably explains why a few of mine were a little puny.
After 16 minutes, they were done. I recognize the virtues of the silicone baking molds, but they're also a pain to work with because they're so floppy. I think it's only a matter of time before one of them ends up on the floor at some point in the process, and I don't want to be around when that happens. I suppose I will be though. Around, I mean.
I think the degree to which you're smitten with these financiers probably depends on the degree to which you're smitten with peanut butter.
I thought they were good, but not as good as the classic plain almond financier in the plum round ingots, which is the recipe following this one. I love the delicate flavor of the clarified butter and the ground toasted almonds, and I thought the peanut butter, although it wasn't overwhelming, disguised that delicacy to some degree. On the other hand, Jim, who is crazy about peanut butter, was also crazy about these.

TASTING PANEL:
Jim: "Delicious! They have a nice peanut butter taste--distinct, but not too heavy. I like the slightly crunchy top."
Joyce: "Reminds me of a biscuit--not too sweet, and with the right amount of peanut butter."
Wayne "Subtle peanut butter taste. I like the texture and that it's moist."
Billy "The almond really adds to it. Tasty and light, not too sweet."
Karen: "Really yummy. A light peanut butter taste and just the right size for a snack."

25 comments:

Vicki said...

Well, then "sliced unblanched almonds"? I need new glasses. Could have sworn it said "sliced blanched" as well!

Lois B said...

They look beautiful, Marie. I may have to breakdown and get these pans.

Anonymous said...

May I ask where to order the silicone pans for this recipe? Thank you for your amazing blog.. : )

JC said...

Marie,

It is funny, I said almost the same thing. They are quick and easy but you have to make beurre noisette and toast almonds. I loved these. I did have a terrible time finding the pans and the ones I ended up with were too big so my first batch were small. I adjusted and the second batch came out perfect. Love these

Raymond

Anonymous said...

Lekue Gourmet Mini Cake Pan Sheet of 9

http://www.kitchenu.com/shop/product.aspx?ref=froogle&sku=2893

Anonymous said...

Mendy, I hope that you'll do a post on preparing your house for passover. That would be very interesting to me. Marie, great job on the ingots!

Hanaâ said...

Great post, Marie. Glad it was a big hit with Jim. I find it interesting that it has almonds in it. I actually prefer unblanched almonds (even if the recipe specifies blanched) because I love the specks you get in the finished product. You know right away that it has nuts (of some kind) in it. Obviously I skipped these. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to make the Barcelona Brownie Bars. Maybe later this week. Luckily, I already baked twice this month :o)

Off-topic… I’m going on a trip overseas soon and I’ll have a 6 hour layover in London’s Heathrow Airport. Anyone have any ideas on great items (food items included) that shouldn’t be missed? If I’m lucky I might be able to find the (in)famous Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Hopefully it’s behind the security check otherwise I can’t put it in my carry-on luggage (since I won’t have access to my checked-in luggage until I get to my final destination).

Jenn said...

Hanaa, just a note regarding your trip. Some overseas airport have additional security check point at the gate (right before boarding the airplane) - which would then have the same liquid restriction. I don't know how it is at Heathrow but it might be worth checking out before you spend the British Pound for Lyle Syrup :).

Monica said...

Marie.. great post (as always) and like you I must have not be pain attention as well as in the beginning... because I messed up too :) But I was able to do a save at the last minute and we were rewarded with great mini cakes... that will be made again and again.

I'm going to wait for my newly ordered pan and go nuts!

Hanaa... can I say jealous much? I think my passport is calling out for a new stamp. And to bad its a layover, because LONDON is a great culinary spot.

Melinda said...

Hanaa, so sorry you only have a 6 hour lay over in Heathrow. I would have met up with you! I live fairly close to Heathrow (relatively!)
What foods can you get at the airport that would be a treat...difficult. There's Marmite, but that might scare you. I think the Fortum and Masons Store has some lovely teas (loose and tea bags) and ready made biscuits in their shop. Harrods at Heathrow is not so good for foods. They do biscuits but not fab ones.
If you are going to eat at the airport rather than looking for something to take back, I love Scottish Smoked salmon, there are wonderful cheeses here. The Stilton is so good and of course there is clotted cream to try out on Scones! I had a wonderful rose petal jam that was from Liberty's. Don't know if that is at the airport though. I don't think you will find Tate and Lyle's Golden Syrup at the airport. Hope you have a good time!

Hey, Marie! those look good. I'm with Jim and love peanut butter stuff. Yum!

Yet Another Anna said...

I'm tempted to try these with the almond butter I have been loving lately. (I get tired of peanut butter, it seems.)

Nancy B said...

I agree about the lovely delicate flavor being overwhelmed by the peanut butter, Marie--peanut butter just isn't a subtle flavoring most of the time. My praline ones were much better (says someone who's not all that fond of peanut butter anyway...).

And to Yet Another Anna, I bet almond butter would be very nice as well.

faithy, the baker said...

I thought i posted my comments but never came through..hhmm..nevermind.

Marie, your cake looks great! Like Vicki, i think i need my glasses! I thought i read blanched nuts so i used blanched ones..LOL!

Hanaâ, enjoy your hols!! :) Eat & Shop more! And take plenty of photos for us to see!

ButterYum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ButterYum said...

Marie - Lovely post, yet again! I constantly misread the tiny details in a recipe. Always trying to do too much, too fast.

Hanaa - pick up a jar of "Little Scarlet" strawberry jam - made with whole ity-bitty miniature strawberries - the flavor is amazing! I can buy it for $16 a jar in the US, but it's much more affordable in the UK. Someone recently brought me several jars that were tucked into their checked luggage. Have a lovely trip!

gartblue said...

thought I posted a comment too, but it's gone missing. anyhow.

marie .. yours looked wonderful .. as usual and great writing skills.

since someone mentioned marmite, can I declare my undying love for Marmite .. it's just the best, on toast with butter.

opps. I digressed.

evil cake lady said...

nice ingots. i still can't get over how terrible that word sounds to me! i wasn't much of a fan (and someday i'll post about them, i swear) but i thought maybe they would be better in the proper pans. mine smelled really peanut buttery, but didn't taste very peanut buttery. a disappointment!

Mendy said...

ב''ה

They look great Marie!

Marie said...

Vicki,
"unblanched" sounds weird, doesn't it? I'm glad other people read it as "blanched."

Lois,
They're worth it for having another shape, especially for tea cakes or something like that. Even brownies or other bar cookies could be baked in these for a little more sophisticated presentation.

Anon.,
Another reader two comments down has a link, and you can also get them on amazon.com.

Raymond,
The steps aren't hard, are they? But still, they're not steps that you'd find in, say, Betty Crocker's cookbook.

Marie said...

Hanaa,
I see that Melinda doesn't think much of the Harrod's at Heathrow, but I bought some lovely tea and biscuits (cookies) there. Marmite is an acquired taste that I've not yet acquired.

Monica,
Maybe it would be easier to meet up in London than in Hawaii? I'd be up for that.

Melinda,
I swear I bought fab biscuits at the airport Harrod's. Maybe they just put the fab ones out for foreigners. Or perhaps foreigners don't know the difference.

Yet another Anna,
Almond butter sounds tastier than peanut butter--I don't know if you can do a straight substitution because I'm not sure whether the fat content is the same in both butters.

Nancy,
You're right about peanut butter not being subtle. Not necessarily bad thing--unless you don't like peanut butter at all.

Marie said...

Faithy,
I left some comments earlier that have disappeared. Is there a black hole in the blogosphere?

ButterYum,
That Little Scarlet strawberry jam sounds delicious--maybe worth a quick trip to Heathrow?

Gartblue,
Were you born liking Marmite or did you have to teach yourself to like it?

ECL,
"ingots" reminds me of "ignatz." You're proboably to young to remember that cartoon.

Mendy,
Thank you--I do think they have a very attractive look, if I do say so.

Vicki said...

My post has gone missing that Jiff has four times the amount of salt, plus sugar and molasses vs the plain organic peanut butter I used. This might account for the much milder flavor. Next time I'm adding a bit of molasses, muscavado and pinch of salt.

Marie said...

Vicki,
It didn't go missing--it just ended up on the Last Cake, Next Cake post.

Lynnette said...

Ok I'm game...but how much peanutbutter??? They look lovely and I just love peanutbutter.

Marie said...

Lynette,
Sorry I can't post the entire recipe, but I can tell you that it takes just 3 tablespoons of peanut butter.