Aug 10, 2009

Plum Round Ingots

These little cakelets are so delicious! And if your eye-hand coordination is better than mine, yours can be really lovely, as they are in the book, with the overlapping plum slices making a perfect rose.
These little round versions of financiers look exactly like little fruit tarts in the cookbook, and I couldn't quite figure out how it was all going to work out, but it did.
Although I think I complained about all the steps involved in making financiers when I made the ones with cacao nibs, I've decided that they're really quite simple. The beurre noisette is the only thing that stops me from saying they're easy-peasy, because that is a little time-consuming. Because it freezes indefinitely, according to Rose, I decided to clarify and brown a whole pound of butter this time.

I've never seen so much butter melting away. The sight of this huge pot o' butter made Jim question my sanity, or at least my ability to follow directions: "Are you sure you're supposed to use this much butter?" But now I have three little plastic tubs of beurre noisette in my freezer, which is a lot, considering that I'd never even heard of it a month ago.

I liked the chocolate financiers a lot, especially the caramelized cacao nibs, but I think that chocolate almost does a disservice to the financier concept, because you lose the subtle flavors of the browned butter and the toasted almonds in the batter.

It's a snap to put all the ingredients together in the food processor, and then pour the batter into six individual tartlet pans. (The directions specify 3 7/8" pans. The only ones I could find were 4-inch, but I think that's close enough).

They can be topped with blueberries or currants, as well as plums, but I used plums because they're called plum ingots, not blueberry ingots.

I got all the fruit from the same bin, but that was the only red one, so my tarts don't all look the same.

As I was struggling to make my plum roses look like the plum roses in the book, I recalled taking an aptitude test in the third grade. The woman who gave the test told me that I had an extraordinarily low score in eye-hand coordination for "someone of normal intelligence." She told me never to work in a factory. I remembered that because I had a mental picture of how I wanted it to look, and what I ended up with didn't exactly match that picture.

Even the powdered sugar looks a little forlorn, instead of the delicate sprinkling that I envisioned. But you know what? I don't care because these were so fabulous. In fact, as I licked my fingers after finishing it, I thought to myself that what I really, really wanted to do was to eat another one. And they're not tiny, either. Jim told me to go ahead--he wouldn't tell. Then he taunted me by having a second one himself. But I'm made of sterner stuff.

Sarah: "There's a tartness I like. And I like the texture of the cake. The almonds give it a really subtle nuttiness."

James: "I've never had anything like this before! It's not too sweet, and it's got a really good texture."

Jim: "The crust has a really good flavor--just the right amount of sweetness. And it doesn't fall apart."

Karen: "I could eat a lot of these."

--And that's the way it is, Sunday, July 19, 2009.


doughadear said...

These are absolutely beautiful and I think you achieved a lovely rosette pattern I know I could not just eat one of these. I would buy this book on this recipe alone.

hector said...

What LOVELLY mini cakes and topped with fruit makes them best sellers! I will try these on Rose's Creme Brulee ceramic bakeware!

I tossed and turned last night thinking I must do something to take away the stigma of forming a rose with fruit slices. You know about my mango roses right? Time for another youtube cameo!

Oh dear, you did such a wonderful job, Jim pictures and your writing activates my sweet tooth! For heaven sakes, drop a mini cake in the mail for me!

Anonymous said...

I think they look absolutely lovely, you should be proud of them, Marie! I'm so looking forward to getting my book! Jeannette.

evil cake lady said...

"Ingot" is not a very delicious sounding word, but these little cakelettes look very delicous. The plum roses look good to me!

Marie said...

And I would recommend it based on this one recipe alone.

So sorry--they're all gone. And it's a good thing too. I would love to see your plum ingots. I'm sure they'd be perfect!

Fun to anticipate what cake you're going to bake first! I'm still having a good time going through the cookbook and deciding which one will come next. It's so hard to make a decision!

You're right--ingot isn't a lovely word, is it? Actually , "financier" sounds better than ingot. But there are two more ingot recipes yet to be tried.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

marie they look exquisite. as for eye hand coordination--i always scored high on that by not always on the intelligence part. proof is that i almost burned the house down yesterday making a standing rib roast in the gas grill for my dad. i wanted to sear it--a very poor idea with all that fat. i tried to squelch the flames with water softener which is salt but also some mineral and discovered that the fire extinguisher wouldn't spray. so i shouldn't have lifted the lid and the fire would have gone out sooner and i wouldn't have had a mess of dirty salt everywhere. the top of the roast and bones were charred but the eye perfectly rare throughout! i would not, however, recommend this method though it couldn't have been speedier. but it took over 5 hours to take apart with grill, clean it, and put in some new parts. one bolt was rusted in so completely elliott had to saw it off. the rest i did myself with the phone help of weber. i would have paid anything to have someone else do the whole thing! the 5 foot high flames were really terrifying. elliott was off at the pharmacy buying something for my dad. don't ask. smoke filled the house. tonight i'm grilling the short ribs from the roast--VERY carefully. ingots are safer!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Fantastic job - totally adorable and oh so appetizing!

I too clarify butter by the pound and freeze the leftovers - it's great for sauteing veggies, making eggs, etc (anytime you might be afraid your butter might burn, just chip off a chunk of the frozen clarified butter and use that instead).

Marie said...

I guess ingots are much safer and quieter than grilling a rib roast! I'll have to remember that. It sounds quite scary, and I'm impressed that you're going right back to the grill tonight. Just like getting back on the horse!

I'm afraid that I might get addicted to clarified browned butter.

Melinda said...

Your plum rose ingots look wonderful.
So sweet!
I think you would score highly on the aptitude testing if you re took the exam. Sheesh! Imagine telling a child such a load of crap as that?
I think you should sue them now, because you had a career in factory line assembly ruined by this teacher.

Marie said...

They are very sweet, aren't they?
Maybe I'll also sue my art teacher, who told me that if I couldn't make it clear that I was drawing a wheat field with bales of wheat rather than a cemetery, maybe art wasn't for me. And my college tennis teacher who told me to find another sport.

Goody said...

I clarified a pound of butter this morning-but I never thought of freezing it (I go through it pretty quickly). I always thought once it was clarified it lasted longer anyway.

Those tarts are just beautiful.BE-U-TI-FUL! The colours are so rich. I can't think of another fruit that shimmers quite the way plums do.

I remember aptitude testing...I think they told me to forget about having a career, and try to marry well.

Marie said...

Do you routinely clarify butter? People seem shocked that I still use butter; if those people saw me melting a pound of butter, I think they'd probably have a heart attack (even though they use margarine!)
I think that "marry well" is good parental advice. It's just not as easy as you might think.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

just fyi--clarified butter will keep about a year just in the frig. i used it fro frying and sautéeing the way you would oil--actually in the industry it's referred to as butter oil because it lacks the water (which would make it sputter) and the milk solids (which would burn).

by the way, marie, i have the photo blown up stuck to the bedroom wall in hope where i look at it every night. yours look every bit as beautiful and luscious.

jini said...

i have to say marie these are more fancy pantsy than easy peasy. they are artfully constructed and your art teacher is nuts.
to rose, baking soda on the fire, but not salt works quite well.

Marie said...

I love it when you talk science!

Baking soda is the best for kitchen fires? Are you speaking from experience?

Goody said...

I should be ashamed, but I use quite a bit of butter for curries, baking and the like. I just *can't* tolerate margarine. I cut the fat in other places, and overall, with a meatless diet, I feel OK about it. We go through a fair amount of olive oil as well.

A couple years ago, I went through the whole stress-test, heart scan business because everyone in my family seems to drop dead in their forties and fifties from heart attacks. My initial reaction wasn't "Oh good, I'm healthy." It was, "Oh good, because butter is on sale for a dollar a pound and I wouldn't want to miss out on that."

Marie said...

I declared my kitchen a "margarine-free zone" many years ago, but I love olive oil too.

Vicki said...

Is there anything cuter or begs to be on a tea cart than a mini tart?
They are so cute in bakery cases.
These look delish!

On the hand-eye coordination thing, it's definitely possible to change through karate. My son had terrible hand-eye coordination, couldn't catch a ball if his life depended on it. Karate surprisingly improved it 100%

Marie said...

It seems a little late in the day for me to try karate, but maybe they have an elders' group.