Every cook should have a silver-bullet dessert. Here’s mine. Prep tips: The key to really red compote is a preliminary maceration (marinade) in sugar. This helps set the color and pull out some of the juice in the fruit. Serving tips: The compote can be added to the cake in two ways: A tablespoon of purée dropped on top of the batter before baking will settle nicely into the cake, or you can use it more like a sauce. I also recommend a little soft, sweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche.
Recipe Ingredient Details:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
2 1/2 ounces ground almonds (about 2/3 cup ground)
2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar (lightly spooned)
3/4 cup egg whites (5-6 eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
RHUBARB-STRAWBERRY COMPOTE (makes 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound rhubarb (sliced into 1-inch pieces)
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons port
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries (leave small ones whole; cut large ones in half)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
Make compote: Combine rhubarb, sugar, salt, and port in a nonreactive (nonaluminum) saucepan. Leave to macerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours, tossing occasionally. Add vanilla; cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every so often to discourage sticking. Stir in strawberries and cook 5 more minutes. Adjust taste with lemon juice and more sugar, if desired.
Make cakes: Cook butter gently in a saucepan over medium heat until milk solids become dark brown. This will take between 10 and 20 minutes depending on your stove. Slower is best. The milk will start to caramelize as moisture evaporates. I like to make the milk very dark. Be sure to scrape all the solids into your batter.
Combine ground almonds, flour, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites, vanilla, and salt with a wooden spoon. Add browned butter and all its bits in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Coat muffin pans generously with cooking spray. Fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350˚ for 20 minutes. Serve on dessert plates, topped with compote.
Recipe Additional Notes:
PER SERVING: 267 cal, 42% fat cal, 13g fat, 6g sat fat, 25mg chol, 4g protein, 34g carb, 2g fiber, 29mg sodium
Wed, 2009-04-01 15:04