Recipe: Raspberry-pistachio brown butter cake
I love the play of both flavor and color in this financier-like tea cake. The pistachios contribute a pretty green tint and green flecks throughout. Raspberries contrast beautifully, with their sweet tang and brilliant pink tone. You can substitute blueberries or sliced plums or peaches for the raspberries. If you are making the cake ahead, warm it in a low oven before serving if desired.
Makes one 9-inch cake
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for the pan
2 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup pistachio flour (see Tip)
¾ cup cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7 large egg whites ( ¾ Cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
TIP: Pistachio flour can be purchased in specialty stores or can be made at home: To make 1 cup pistachio flour, grind 1 cup unsalted pistachios and 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour in a food processor until fine.
Put the butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it is light brown and smells nutty, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.
In a large bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar, pistachio flour, cake flour, and salt. Whisk in the egg whites to combine. In a slow and steady stream, whisk in the strained butter. Cover the bowl of batter with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator until thickened, about 1 hour. (This batter can be prepared up to 1 week in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Pour the chilled batter into the prepared tart pan. Sprinkle the berries over the top, keeping the fruit . inch in from the edge of the pan. Sprinkle the berries and cake with the Demerara sugar.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until the edges of the cake are golden and the top is slightly springy to the touch, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, removing the outer ring of the pan, and let it cool. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.
The cake is best eaten the day it is baked but can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.
Varying your craft: Brown butter babycakes
Divide the batter among four buttered 4-inch springform pans or cake rings on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F, rotating the pan once, halfway through.
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Excerpted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox, Photographs by Ellen Silverman Copyright © 2009 by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox, Photographs by Ellen Silverman. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.