Just watching the monumental efforts of the Tour de France participants is enough to work up an appetite. Which is why I wanted to create a fuel recipe that pays tribute to the great nation of France that is hosting the riders as they battle the mountains in the pursuit of a yellow jersey. Likely one of the hardest athletic endeavors imaginable.
Financiers are traditional light and moist French mini cakes. Its defining ingredients are ground nuts, browned butter and egg whites. A trio that creates a two-bite luxurious cake that is a total taste bud party. Financiers are often formed into small rectangles, but I’m partial to using mini muffin cups to make them easier to transport in a jersey pocket. Small vessels of joy when enjoying the great outdoors.
For a recent ride, I teamed up the financiers with Mini Mediterranean Muffins and Enduro Balls from the pages of ROCKET FUEL for the ultimate exercise snack pack. Now doesn’t that look more tasty than a packaged energy bar?
With this collection of edible goodness on hand, I’d be ready to challenge Chris Froome up any incline. Well, maybe for the first few pedal strokes.
Bob’s Red Mill is a good source of both almond and hazelnut meal, which are simply ground up whole nuts that also includes their skins, but if you can’t locate this product you can grind nuts in a food processor or high powered blender until powdery. I don’t own a cherry pitter, so I just push the smaller end of a chopstick through the ends of each cherry which will push the pits out.
Grand Tour Cherry Financiers
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
2/3 cup almond meal or hazelnut meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
3 tablespoons honey
12 pitted cherries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly, until it browns and smells nutty, scrapping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Be careful not to burn butter.
Stir together nut meal, flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites. Stir in butter. Stir in honey.
Divide mixture among 12 mini silicon or greased metal muffin cups. Gently press a cherry into each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and tops are set. Let cool for a few minutes before unmolding. Cool completely on a metal rack.
Rocket Fuel provides a bounty of recipes that will give you the quality carbohydrates needed to keep up with the competition. Oats and sweet potatoes, anyone?
In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.
Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada
Food photography by Aaron Colussi.