Out of the Fire: Daniel Skurnick's Roasted Sour Cherry Financier
Daniel Skurnick 's BBQ Eats & Drinks
As a renowned Pastry Chef, Daniel Skurnick is no stranger to cranking out desserts in high volume kitchens for nearly one thousand covers per night. His twenty plus year career in the industry has led to helming the pastry side of kitchens of both behemoth high-end restaurants such as Buddakan, and Michelin-starred, fine dining establishments including Gramercy Tavern, Le CouCou, Jean-Georges, often working sixteen hour days, seven days a week. While one would think the Pandemic might have hindered his thriving career, Daniel, instead, is emerging in a new relationship thanks to him also opening up his own bakery, Foxbread, during this time.
Roasted Sour Cherry Financier
Like his innovative pivot in the pandemic, Daniel made the most out of his tools at his disposal to create his Roasted Sour Cream Financier dessert: by combining his traditional pastry training with the elements of BBQ, along with adding his modern touch and flair.
While still a traditional financier cake, Daniel made his with almond flour, brown butter, and vanilla bean topped with roasted cherries. As Daniel explained, "My background has been making classical French pastries for years now. I've never been able to cook the summer cherries with cherry soda and vanilla over a wood-fired grill, but it added such a nice touch to the sweet buttery almond cake."
And as if the cake alone wasn't enough, Daniel also whipped creme fraiche to accompany his dessert by hand using a whisk and a bowl tableside in the backyard.
Roasted Sour Cherry Financier Recipe
8 oz. OLIPOP Cherry Vanilla Soda
12 oz. - Fresh or frozen sour cherries
20 oz. - Pitted Sweet Cherries
½ cup - Sugar
1 bean - Vanilla Bean
Almond Financier Batter
2 sticks (½ lbs.) - Butter
½ cup - Cake Flour
⅔ cup - Blanched Almond Flour
2 cups - Confectioners Sugar
1 tsp - Baking Powder
8 - Egg Whites
Whipped Creme Fraiche
1 pt - Creme Fraiche
2 tbsp - Sugar
1 tbsp - Vanilla Extract
Step 1: Roasted Cherries
Preheat the oven to 325F. Combine all ingredients in an oven-proof roasting pan. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, stirring gently after the first ten minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Reserve.
Step 2: Almond Financier Batter
Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir gently, and continue to cook until the butter has stopped foaming and the milk solids have settled to the bottom of the pot, coloring a golden brown color and the butter is fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and blend until homogenous. Slowly start adding the egg whites while blending on slowly. Continue until all the egg whites are incorporated, and a smooth batter is formed. Now, slowly begin adding the brown butter in a steady stream, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Set the finished batter aside.
Step 3: Baking & Finish
Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease the bottom of a 9” cake pan, then line with a circle of parchment paper. Spoon an even layer of roasted cherries across the entire bottom of the cake pan, filling every gap with fruit and straining away as much liquid as possible. Pipe the financier batter on top of the cherries. Bake the financier in the oven until the top springs back with a gentle push, roughly 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely, at least 1 hour, and ideally overnight. Invert onto a serving tray and peel away the parchment paper. Serve with whipped creme fraiche and any reserved roasting liquid.
Whipped Creme Fraiche
Combine all ingredients and whip until soft peaks form.
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