Butter Exploration

Cashew Butter Blondies with Cashew Brittle

Makes 18 servings

For the Cashew Butter Blondies:

  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoon. baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon. sea salt
  • 3 cup cashew brittle
  • 1 ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. butter, lightly softened
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter
  • 2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4  eggs

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Stir together the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Combine about two tablespoons of your dry mix with your salted cashew brittle and your chocolate chips in a separate bowl and set this aside as well.
4. Place the lightly softened butter, cashew butter and both sugars in to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on to medium speed and allow the mix to blend sufficiently until it is light and fluffy and well mixed. It should not look waxy.
5. Combine the vanilla extract with the eggs.
6. Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add the eggs to the mixer (one at a time) making sure the egg is fully absorbed into the sugar base. Repeat until all of the eggs with the vanilla have been incorporated.
7. Add all of your dry ingredients (not including the brittle and chips) and mix on low until barely combined.
8. Turn the mixer off, add in the bowl containing the brittle and the chips and turn machine back on and mix until no flour is visible.
9. Spread blondie batter onto a baking tray which has been sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with parchment paper. Be sure to spread the batter evenly.
10. Bake the blondie in a 350 degree oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the blondie is firm to the touch with a golden brown color.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to fully cool (overnight is best) prior to cutting.
12. Cut into small 1 ½ x 1 ½ inch square and store in an air tight container for up to three days.

For the Salted Cashew Brittle:
Makes 3 cups

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ stick butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups cashews, toasted (toast for 7 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

1. Place sugar, light corn syrup, water, butter and salt in a medium size pot. Gently stir to combine.
2. Bring syrup to a boil over a low to medium heat. Be sure to wash the sides of your pot down to prevent the sugar syrup from crystallizing. (to do this, dip your pastry brush in to a small container of water and apply the wet brush to the sides of the pot)
3. Once the syrup comes to a boil, insert a candy thermometer and allow the syrup to cook until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit, turn the flame off and remove it from the stove. Be sure NOT to stir the syrup as it boils.
4. Stir in your vanilla extract and the toasted cashews.
5. Wait about 30 seconds before stirring in the baking soda. (The addition of the baking soda helps aerate the brittle and gives it a more delicate bite.)
6. Pour the hot brittle on top a baking tray lined with a non-stick silicon mat and with a buttered spatula, working quickly, spread the brittle as thin as you can.
7. Allow the brittle to cool sufficiently before breaking it apart into small, bite size pieces.
8. Store the broken brittle in an air tight container for up to two days. 

Maple Crepe Cake

Makes 1 cake

For the Maple Crepe Batter:
Makes approximately 30 crepes

  • 7/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple butter
  • 1 1/3 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 5 eggs
  • ¼ stick butter

1. Crack the eggs and whisk them together with the whole milk, maple butter and maple syrup. Reserve in a pitcher and keep cold.
2. Combine your dry ingredients; all purpose flour, oat flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Create an opening in the center of the bowl and begin to slowly pour your liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients a little bit at a time to avoid any lumps from forming. The batter will be very stiff initially however as you incorporate more liquid to it it will begin to thin out. Use all of your liquid, making sure to avoid any lumps from forming.
4. Melt the butter in a small pot then whisk the warm butter into the crepe batter. Stir to evenly combine.
5. Strain the crepe batter through a large mesh strainer making sure to remove any large lumps in the process. Store the crepe batter in an air tight container for up to two days.

To make the crepes:
1. Gently heat a non-stick pan or a cast iron pan over low heat. Allow the pan to sufficiently warm up.
2. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using a small ladle, add some crepe batter to the pan and quickly rotate the pan to evenly coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
4. Cook the crepe until the batter has set and it begins to curl up around the edges. Flip the crepe over (You can use a small rubber spatula for this) and cook the other side. The whole cooking process for one crepe is roughly 2 minutes.
5. Shingle crepes onto a cookie sheet unit all of the crepe batter has been used.
6. Wrap the cookie sheet with plastic and place crepes in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

For the Pastry Cream:
Makes 2 cups

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ stick + 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar in a medium size bowl and set aside.
2. Place the milk into a medium size pot and slowly bring to a boil over a low flame.
3. Whisk the whole eggs then the egg yolks into the cornstarch mixture.
4. Pour 1/3 of the boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to thoroughly combine. Return the remaining milk mixture to a boil.
5. Whisk the egg mixture into the boiling milk. Make sure to whisk and stir with a spatula until the pastry cream comes back to a boil. Maintain the boil for another minute, making sure to whisk and stir with a spatula to avoid any scorching.
6. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract.
7. Pour the pastry cream onto a plastic wrap lined cookie tray and spread it out into a thin layer. Place another piece of plastic wrap directly touching the hot pastry cream so a skin doesn’t form. Poke a few small holes with the tip of a small knife in the plastic to vent out some of the steam.
8. Place the pastry cream in the refrigerator until it cools down and feels cold to the touch.

For the Maple Glazed Bananas:
Makes 2 cups

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons maple butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 5  bananas, ripe
  • 1. Melt the butter in a 12” sauté pan over a medium low flame.

2. Stir in the maple butter, vanilla extract, light brown sugar, maple syrup and the sea salt.
3. Bring this mixture to a boil and allow to boil for one minute.
4. Peel the bananas and cut them into half inch slices.
5. Immediately place the bananas into the maple-butter mixture and glaze the bananas for 1 minute in the hot mixture.
6. Remove the crepe cake from the refrigerator and generously spoon the maple glazed bananas on top of the crepe cake, allowing the maple glaze to run down the sides of the cake.
7. Cut the cake into wedges and serve immediately.

Sunflower Seed Financier

Makes 15-18 servings

  • 1 ½ sticks butter
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cup egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 2/3 cups sunflower seeds, toasted (350 degrees for 7 minutes)
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 *if using a convection oven, lower your temperature down to 325 with low fan.
2. Place 1 ½ stick of butter, the half of vanilla bean and the ½ TBL of salt into a small pot and begin to melt over a very low flame.
3. Whisk together your egg whites and sunflower seed butter to form a smooth paste. Set aside in a small bowl.
4. Combine the toasted sunflower seeds, powdered sugar, all purpose flour and the cornstarch in the bowl for a food processor and turn on. Process the dry ingredients until the sunflower seeds are ground fine.
5. Place the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl for an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
6. Add the egg white-sunflower paste and whisk to evenly combine and form a stiff batter. Turn the speed down to low and wait for the butter to brown.
7. Increase the flame on your melting butter and continue to cook the butter until the butter begins to turn a deep golden brown and a nutty aroma is present. Whisk the butter to incorporate the toasting milk solids at the bottom of the pot and continue cooking the butter further until it foams. Once the butter is a dark, amber brown turn the flame off.
8. Increase the speed on the electric mixer to medium and steadily pour the browned butter into the bowl containing the cake batter.
9. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, turn the mixer on high to thoroughly blend all of your ingredients.
10. Turn the machine off and place some of your cake batter into a piping bag (or you can just spoon it out of the bowl into your molds).
11. Portion your sunflower seed batter into greased molds or tins and garnish the individual cakes with some dried cranberries.
12. Bake the cakes at 350 degrees until there are golden brown around the edges and they gently spring back when lightly touched.
13. Allow the cakes to cool in their molds for fifteen minutes before unmolding on to a clean tray or plate.

These cakes will last up to one day in an air tight container.


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