Wake and Bake: Blueberry Breakfast Financiers

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Carrie Vasios

Financiers are essentially French teacakes. But the dainty proportions and restrained sweetness of the little almond-flavored cakes always struck me as somewhat akin to an all-American mini-muffin. Zut! I know I shouldn't even say such a thing, and I know there are plenty of differences that a Frenchman could extrapolate on at length, but that didn't stop me from thinking that, with a few tweaks, they would be the perfect breakfast sweet.

Let's start with what I kept: The moistness of the crumb. There is a heavy dose of butter in these little cakes, which keeps them supremely moist. I also kept the high almond to flour ratio because it is that subtle, floral nuttiness which makes financiers so delicious. The biggest difference in my version is that I don't brown the butter, which is typical in true financiers. Instead I add a drop of vanilla extract, which I think better compliments the fruity blueberries that I also pile in.

Friends who I employed as taste testers didn't seem to mind the changes. In fact the cakes were gobbled up so quickly that I barely had time to talk about my vision, about how I slaved to achieve the perfect fruit and nut balance, determined also to solve that annoying muffin top problem, before the platter was clean.

In all fairness, none of them are French.