Pumpkin Seed Butter Financiers (GF, DF)

In the world of financiers, these little cakes are practically a health food. Their richness comes not from the traditional beurre noisette, but rather from ground pumpkin seeds and olive oil. The combination of almond flour and quinoa flour makes them particularly high in protein. The omission of egg yolks typical of financiers and subsequent increase in egg whites also raises their protein level and lowers the fat content. Yet these financiers by no means fall into the category of tasteless health foods consumed only for the misplaced feeling of virtue we feel after suffering through them. While they may be lacking in gluten and dairy, they leave nothing to be desired when it comes to taste. The pumpkin seeds add a subtle, earthy flavor. They are smooth, rich, and cake - the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee, afternoon tea, or post dinner espresso. 
I found the recipe on Cannelle et Vanille's blog. I love her blog because many of the recipes are gluten-free, but are nevertheless tastier than anything that I have ever made with gluten. She made hers in cupcake liners and topped each with a Rainier cherry, but I chose to omit the liners and the cherries altogether. When mine had finished baking, I sliced off the little madeleine-like hump that had formed on top and flipped them over to make them look more like little cakes than little muffins. I brushed each with a little melted butter and dipped the tops in finely chopped pumpkin seeds. Some salted caramel pieces left over from making David Lebovitz's salted butter caramel ice cream (which, by the way, is absolutely incredible) were the final garnish. My only other variation from the recipe was the cooking time. She baked hers for about 25 minutes while mine took at least 30. 

Pumpkin Seed Butter Financiers (GF, DF)
Slightly adapted from Cannelle et Vanille.
Makes 7 financiers.

   4 egg whites
   115 g granulated sugar
   80 g almond flour
   30 g quinoa flour
   Pinch of salt
   50 g toasted pumpkin seeds + 30 g finely chopped for optional garnish
   30 g olive oil
   1 tbsp melted butter for optional garnish

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a muffin tin.  
When the pumpkin seeds have cooled, grind them in a food processor fitted with the steel knife blade. When they form a fine powder, drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor runs. It will form a paste, similar in consistency to runny peanut butter.
 Whisk together the almond flour, quinoa flour, and salt. 
Whisk together the egg whites and sugar, either by hand or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Do not overbeat.   
Add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add the pumpkin seed butter and combine.  
Divide the batter among 7 molds in your muffin pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, checking frequently when they are almost done. When they are ready, they should be golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. They should also form little humps in the center, similar to madeleines. 
 Cool and serve as they are, or slice off the humps with a serrated knife and flip them upside down. Brush each with melted butter and dip them in the finely chopped pumpkin seeds. 


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