I usually try to keep things pretty light and not too crazy personal around here, but sometimes there are things going on in my life that end up seeping into my baking/blogging world. And this is definitely one of those things…….for the past couple of years I’ve been dealing with some stomach problems and this summer it finally got bad enough that I decided to go see a doctor and really figure out what was going on. At first, they thought I might have Celiac Disease…..which was definitely not what I was expecting or wanting to hear (all I kept thinking about was baking and how everything would have to change). Thankfully, that turned out not to be the case. But what they did discover was almost as surprising (mostly cause I had no idea this was even a thing)……turns out barley and me don’t get along so well. I guess the technical term is “allergic” or “intolerant” but the general gist is I can’t eat a lot of barley.
When they first told me, my mind immediately went to beer. Which I love……like capital L-O-V-E love. While I was wrapping my brain around having to give up beer (and trying to figure out what I was going to do with all my cellar beers), I googled “barley allergy” and discovered barley is in a ridiculous amount of things. We’re talking bourbon, malt, and, worst of all, most of the flour blends on the market. I’m not going to lie – giving up beer was tough, but the hardest adjustment by far has been the flour.
It turns out the all-purpose flour I previously used contained barley. It took me a while to find a blend that was 100% wheat, but I finally found one from Bob’s Red Mill and I cannot properly express how grateful I am to them for making this flour. It has totally saved me….and my baking. (And FYI they also have an Almond Flour that I used to make these financiers). I still have to be careful eating anything with flour that I don’t make myself, but having an option for my home kitchen is seriously amazing.
So what does this mean for you guys? Well, it means you’ll probably start seeing some more recipes that use non-traditional flours like whole-wheat pastry flour or rye flour on here and you might even see some gluten-free recipes pop up…..like these Gluten-Free Almond Financiers. Most of what I post will still use all-purpose flour, but this is a great excuse for me to start getting creative in the kitchen and I’m all for it!
These financiers were a staple menu item when I used to sell retail and were always one of my favorites. Don’t let the fact that they’re gluten-free scare you off. The recipe contains very little flour, so you won’t even notice – I promise! These crazy delicious, buttery little almond cakes are not too sweet and I’ve been known to eat them for breakfast. Top them with some sugared cranberries and rosemary like I did in the pictures and they even make the perfect holiday treat!
Gluten-Free Almond Financiers
Makes 24 financiers
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons white rice flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup slivered almonds
¾ cup almond meal
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Raspberries, blueberries, or cranberries (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a mini-muffin pan with butter.
Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, until it smells nutty and fragrant and is a light brown color. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl (making sure to scrape in all those tasty browned bits….that’s what gives the financiers their amazing flavor) and set aside to cool completely.
In a food processor, combine the granulated sugar, confectioner’s sugar, rice flour, salt, slivered almonds, and almond meal. Process until the almonds are finely ground.
With the food processor running, slowly add in the egg whites. Then turn off mixer and add in the browned butter. Pulse until the butter is completely incorporated into the batter.
Evenly distribute the batter between each muffin cup. If desired, gently press the fruit of your choice onto the top of each financier.
Bake for 16 – 19 minutes or until the financiers are lightly golden brown. Be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking. Cool the financiers in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and let cool completely on wire rack.