Dark Chocolate, Passion Fruit, and Hazelnut Layer Cake

It's my birthday!!!

It is 3:30 in the morning and I am getting ready for work, which will probably be a 12 hour day because we're in Christmas production mode and that shit is crazy. If you're a long term reader of this blog, that sentence may sound awfully familiar to you because I said almost exactly the same thing when I posted this chocolate cake for my birthday last year. Except last year, it was 6:30 am instead of 3:30 am. Not much has changed.

(Photos above by Mat)

I made my own birthday cake. Is that sad? No. Because I had a deliciously wonderful cake that was exactly what I wanted. I don't really trust anyone else to make cakes for me because I don't actually like most layer cakes. They're almost always dry and too sweet and the buttercream tastes like, well, butter and not much else. That's why I make my own cake and it's like an episode of Pimp My Ride, but more like Pimp My Birthday Cake.

Yo, we heard you like chocolate and passion fruit so we put chocolate in your cake and chocolate in your buttercream and passion fruit in your curd and passion fruit in your buttercream so you can eat chocolate and passion fruit while you eat chocolate and passion fruit.

If you don't get that reference, well, you clearly don't browse the internet as much as I do. If you do, I hope you let a little burst of air out of your nose and smiled reluctantly. Because that's what I did when I wrote that. 

I hope I'm making sense to at least some of you out there. It's 3:30 am after all, give me a break.

(Photos above by Mat)

Anyways, apart from this cake, I'm not doing anything crazy for my birthday, just like last year. I actually requested a chill day with my boyfriend for tomorrow (my weekend), completely with breakfast in bed, watching movies, maybe a nap, and indian takeout for dinner. I'll probably spend the whole day in my pyjamas. And that is exactly what I want to do on my birthday. 

I mean, I kind of want to dress up and have a nice meal at a nice restaurant. But then there's getting ready and putting on makeup and bussing downtown and the rain and the loud drunk young people in the streets and then bussing home when you're all full and sleepy and then taking off the makeup. Such a hassle.

I'm turning 23, not 83, but I don't blame you for thinking it's 83.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go to work for 12 hours and then come home and sleep. I'm a wild party animal, I know.

Dark Chocolate, Passion Fruit, and Hazelnut Layer Cake

Devils Food Cake

202 g all-purpose flour
62 g unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
5 g baking soda
1 g baking powder
2 g kosher salt
112 g eggs
252 g granulated sugar
4 g vanilla paste
172 g mayonnaise
210 g water, at room temperature

Passion Fruit Curd
Recipe from The Modern Cafe

79 g passion fruit purée
8 g lemon juice
100 g granulated sugar
105 g egg yolks
132 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Praline Paste

190 g hazelnuts
70 g granulated sugar
22 g water

Hazelnut French Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery

38 g granulated sugar
38 g granulated sugar
63 g egg yolks
75 g whole milk
250 g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, at room temperature
20 g praline paste

Chocolate Passion Fruit Buttercream

57 g egg whites
86 g granulated sugar
170 g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, at room temperature
75 g dark chocolate, melted
6 g passion fruit powder

Chocolate Ganache

100 g dark chocolate, chopped finely
50 g heavy cream
10 g light corn syrup

For the cake, preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray two 6 inch cake rings with non stick spray and place on a silpat lined baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt and stir to combine.

Place the eggs, sugar, and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on medium-low speed for about 1 minute to combine. Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then whip on medium-high speed for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. When the whisk is lifted, the mixture should form a slowly dissolving ribbon.

Add the mayonnaise and whip to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the dry ingredients and water in 2 additions each.

Portion the batter evenly between the two rings. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Remove from the rings and place in the fridge to make splitting the cakes easier.

For the passion fruit curd, combine the passion fruit purée and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl. Pour about one-third of the hot purée into the yolks, whisking constantly. Add the remaining hot purée. Place the mixture in a bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water. Cook the curd, whisking constantly, until thickened and the temperature is about 82 C. 

Remove from the hot water bath and whisk for a minute to cool it down. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer. 

Using a Vitamix or an immersion blender, blend on low speed for a few seconds, then add the butter 2 to 3 pieces at a time, blending until incorporated. Let the curd cool to room temperature.

The curd can be used at this point or transferred to a covered container. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Now, start on the nuts for the praline paste. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the hazelnut on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The hazelnuts need to be warm and de-skinned when they are added to the caramel.

While the hazelnuts are roasting, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and place over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and cook the syrup to 116 C. Add the warm hazelnuts now and stir to coat them evenly. Continue cooking the hazelnuts and syrup until they are a deep amber colour and no sandy white bits remain. Spread onto a silpat lined baking sheet to cool completely. Roughly chop around 150 g of hazelnuts into pieces the size of sunflower seeds. Reserve in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use. You can save some hazelnuts for garnishing the cake.

For the praline paste, the caramelized hazelnuts in a small food processor or vitamix. Blend until a smooth and liquidy paste forms, about 8 to 12 minutes. This will make quite a bit of extra praline paste, so use it in hot chocolate, porridge, yogurt, smoothies, ice creams, etc.!

Make the hazelnut french buttercream. If you wish, the buttercream can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Take the buttercream out of the fridge thirty minutes before you need to use it and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow it to soften and then mix on low speed until it is the proper consistency.

Whisk 38 grams sugar and the yolks together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine the milk and remaining 38 grams of sugar in a medium saucepan, set over 
medium heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. When the milk is just below a simmer, remove 
the pan from the heat and, whisking constantly, pour it into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and place over medium heat. Whisking constantly, bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 1 minute, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent the mixture from curdling. It should be very thick.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with a whisk attachment, turn the mixture to medium, and whisk for about 8 minutes, until the mixture is completely cool.

Add the butter, a few pieces at a time, to the egg yolk mixture. If at any point the mixture looks broken, increase the speed to re-emulsify it, then reduce the speed and continue adding the butter. Add the praline paste and beat until combined. Check the consistency: if the buttercream is too loose to hod its shape, it should be refrigerated for a few hours to harden, then beaten again to return it to the proper consistency.

For the chocolate passion fruit buttercream, whisk together the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and place over a double boiler. Whisking constantly, warm the egg whites until the mixture is no longer gritty. Immediately transfer to the stand mixer and whip on medium-high for 4 minutes, until glossy and no longer warm. 

Slowly add the butter, piece by piece, until the buttercream forms. The buttercream may look like it has split initially, but if you continue to whip, it should form a smooth, fluffy buttercream. 

With the mixer on lower speed, slowly pour in the melted chocolate, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Fold in the passion fruit powder until combined.

For the ganache, place the cream in a saucepan set over medium heat. Place the chocolate and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Once the cream has just come to a boil, pour over the chocolate. Stir with a rubber spatula until emulsified. Reserve warm until needed.

To assemble, once the cakes have cooled completely, split each one into 3 layers. (I messed up one layer and had to discard it, that's why my cake has 5 layers instead of 6!) Reserve each layer on a parchment lined baking sheet while you work on the cake.

Place one round on a cake turntable and spread an even layer of hazelnut buttercream. Top with a second cake round. Spread an even layer of passion fruit curd, then top with a third cake round. Repeat the process. Refrigerate until hardened, about 30 minutes.

Do a crumb coat of the cake with the chocolate passion fruit buttercream. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Mask the cake completely with the buttercream and refrigerate until hard, about 30 minutes.

Make sure your ganache is warm but not hot. Using a spoon or a small measuring cup, pour the ganache on the edge of the cake so it drips down the sides, then on the top. Garnish with caramelized hazelnuts if you want.

Serve at room temperature.

Apple Cider Loaf

Back when I was in university, over 4 years ago, before I had any notions of starting a blog, let alone going into the pastry industry, I followed one blog. I didn't know about any others and to be honest, I can't remember how exactly I stumbled across this one blog. That blog was A Cozy Kitchen.

I checked that blog every. single. day. And she posts every few days, which is just ridiculous. I went through the recipe archives and read every post there was to read. I would be taking notes on my laptop in my classical archaeology classes and in any spare minute that the professor wasn't talking, I simply typed in the letter "a" and it was autofilled to my favourite blog. I was obsessed.

Adrianna has such a distinct writing style that is casual and friendly and silly and it just feels like she's your best friend sitting next to you on the couch, enthusiastically telling you about mundane everyday things but making them sound exciting and hilarious. Her recipes were approachable, easy, and just, well, cozy. At that point in my life, my baking repertoire was limited to cookies and scones, but little by little, her recipes and photos and writing made me edge out and expand my baking horizons. 

My favourite recipe of hers is her apple cider muffins. They're simple, delicious, and subtly spiced, but the reason that I love that recipe is because I have a wonderful memory attached to those muffins.

I had just begun dating my boyfriend, four and a bit years ago now, and I was head over heels for this guy, but was trying to not let him know how much I liked him after such a short time. One day while in class, I read a post on A Cozy Kitchen about going apple picking with her friends and how she made the apple cider muffins. I searched up local apple orchards as a possible date with my boyfriend but found they were all at least two hours drive away. I thought that instead we could make the muffins together. He wasn't into baking but loved eating anything sweet, and I was getting into baking, so I thought it would be a great way to spend an afternoon. 

On the weekend, I woke up early and began measuring out all the ingredients and putting them in containers and plastic baggies. I measured out everything separately so that my boyfriend and I could mix it all together. I brought along my muffin tin and liners, but assumed that my boyfriend had things like a bowl, a whisk, and a box grater.

I went over to his place and brought out all the pre-measured ingredients out of my backpack.

"Okay, so we need a few mixing bowls to start with!" I said, excitedly, ready to get started.

He didn't have any. At all. 

I was a bit crestfallen and thought that our cozy baking afternoon was not going to happen after all. But, being the sweet guy that he is, he said that he would go buy one right then and there. So, he put on his jacket and ran to the dollar store a few blocks away to get a mixing bowl. When he came back, all proud of his quick fix, I said, "Awesome! Okay, can you get the whisk out for me?". His face fell.

No whisk.

Aaaaand for the second time in fifteen minutes, he ran to the dollar store to buy a whisk. I bet the shopkeeper had a little laugh at him. 

Thankfully, he had everything else that was needed. The muffins were mixed, baked, and were enjoyed with a warm mug of tea. It was a wonderful afternoon that I remember with a big smile on my face.

About a year after that, I started to think about getting more into baking. A staff member on a wildlife reserve that I volunteered at for a couple months in South Africa suggested that I pursue that instead of university, because I was just going to university because I didn't know what else to do with my life. With that idea planted in my head, I thought about starting my own baking blog. Maybe that would help my figure out if baking was something I really liked enough to make it a job.

Except…how does one start a blog? I had a basic DSLR camera that I'd had for a few years, I researched different blog hosting websites, and I tried to figure out a name for the blog. But I didn't really know how to get the ball rolling. I emailed Adrianna one day, asking a few questions about copyright infringement on recipes (was I going to get sued if I made someone else's recipe??) and just blogging in general. I half expected her to never reply because, you know, she was a big food blogger and I'm just this newb asking dumb questions. 

But she replied a couple hours later. And she was so friendly and kind and supportive! I was so blown away by her willingness to help and her thoughtful suggestions. It was the first time that I felt confident about starting a blog. She recommended I buy a book on basic recipe ratios called Ratio, so I did. I read that book in one night. 

So, I started my blog and put up a few posts. I would look forward to my weekend baking all week long. I asked for baking books for my birthday, I discovered new food blogs, and I thought more about pastry school. I went for a tour of one school and was equal parts pee-my-pants excited and poop-my-pants nervous. But it made it seem more real to me. I could do this. My parents were more onboard with my idea to go to pastry school because they could see that I was interested in baking through my blog.

I ended up enrolling in a pastry school a few months later, didn't enrol for another semester of university, and started pastry school a few months after that. 

So, you see, the only reason I started my blog was because of Adrianna and A Cozy Kitchen, which led to pastry school, which led to where I am now - top graduate in my class in pastry school, working in a high-end patisserie, and my blog has more readers than just my mom and dad. I believe that I owe my career in part to Adrianna. I 100% owe my blog to her, that's for sure. 

I don't think she knows the impact that she has had on my life because first of all, I'm terrible when it comes to telling people serious and meaningful stuff 'cause I always end up making it into a joke (a terrible joke, most of the time) and secondly, I'm worried that I'll sound like a crazy fangirl that's gonna appear beside her bed in the middle of the night, breathing heavily and hoping to snip off a lock of her hair to keep in a jar forever (I'm not, I promise). 

My way of saying thanks, albeit a very inadequate way, was to buy her new book, The Year of Cozy. I'm not one to buy a lot of blogger cookbooks, mostly because I already have 20-something professional baking books and I'm hesitant to put any more weight on my desk or else it'll collapse, but I couldn't resist hers. It's not just wonderfully cozy recipes for any season, it's also crafts and diy's and little ways to make your life more than just the everyday drudgery of work-eat-sleep. And, like her blog, her writing is the same we've-known-each-other-for-years way. 

While this recipe isn't from her new book, I couldn't think of a better recipe to show how much one little blog has changed my life and put me on the path that led to where I am now. I am so crazy grateful for her and her blog because I honestly don't know where I'd be without them.

Apple Cider Loaf
Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

175 g brown sugar
100 g granulated sugar
125 g neutral tasting oil
150 g eggs
300 g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
250 g apple cider
170 g sour cream
2 apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, grated, and juices reserved as part of the apple cider measurement

Coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray two loaf tins (or one large one) with non stick spray or butter.

Combine the sugars, oil, and eggs together in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. In a third bowl, mix together the apple cider and sour cream. 

Alternately add one third of the flour mixture and cider mixture to the eggs, folding to incorporate each addition before adding the next.

Gently fold in the grated apple. Pour into the prepared loaf tins and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. 

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the loaf springs back to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

S'mores Custard Cake

Every summer, I have to make a s'mores dessert. There's just something about the summer and the warm weather than makes me crave that graham cracker-chocolate-toasted marshmallow combo. Theres just no beating it. 

Way back in 2013, it was a

s'mores tart

. Last year, it was

s'mores cream puffs

. This year, I think I may have really outdone myself with this s'mores custard cake. I don't even know if I can make another s'mores dessert that


this cake because this is the pinnacle of s'mores reincarnations.

There's all kinds of s'mores things around the internet. I mean, s'mores might be one of the most popular flavour combos to exist based on all the different things you can do with chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows. Most are pretty straight forward and that's awesome because hey, original s'mores are as straight forward as it gets. There's nothing fancy about two graham crackers, a toasted marshmallow, and a square of chocolate. But that's the fun part about taking the flavours of something and making it into something different. You can take the flavours and the textures and kick it up a notch and turn it into something really extra special. It doesn't mean it's better than the original, it's just a different take on it. That's what I love about making desserts - the possibilities are endless.

As you can guess from the photos, this cake is a little more work than an original s'more but it's not that difficult. A little cake, some streusel, a custard, and a bit of meringue. You could make it in one day or stretch it out over a couple days. You could make these in glasses if you don't have ring molds (no freezing required if you do that) or you could even make this into one big cake (freezing times would be longer). But I love individual desserts because they feel so personal. Like someone made this little cake all for me, just me! Even I'm making it for myself, it still feels extra special. 

And once you've finished assembling all of the components, you've toasted your meringue, and are digging your spoon into that cake for the first bite, you'll see that all that hard work was so worth it. 

The light-as-air meringue, smooth and creamy custard, crunchy streusel, and dense chocolate cake all come together to make an unreal flavour and texture party in your mouth. The custard is my favourite part (custards are always my favourite part of anything) because it's basically a crème brûlée. I took a crème brûlée recipe and instead of cooking it in the oven, I continued cooking it on the stovetop, like a pastry cream. Once it cooled in the fridge, the texture was just like a crème brûlée! So silky smooth and velvety, plus all that chocolate makes it pretty rich. That richness is offset by the super light flavour and texture of the meringue, then the streusel comes in there with a kick of texture and the chocolate cake just rounds everything out. 

The biggest problem with this recipe is that it only makes three cakes (because I only have three ring molds). I ate one after I was done shooting (and during…), then took one to share with my boyfriend, and then took one to work. So while I still ate 1.5 cakes, it wasn't enough. I wanted mooooore. And apparently, other people wanted more as I got a call from my dad who had seen the

teaser on instagram

 and was wondering where his cake was. It's a good thing I still have some of the components left over so I can make these again for every one else (but mostly for me).

S'mores Custard Cake

Makes three 3-inch cakes

Devils Food Cake

Recipe from 

Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

101 g all-purpose flour

31 g unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder

2.5 g baking soda

0.5 g baking powder

1 g kosher salt

56 g eggs

126 g granulated sugar

2 g vanilla paste

86 g mayonnaise

105 g water, at room temperature

Graham Streusel

Recipe adapted from 

Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

50 g almond flour

50 g graham crumbs

50 g light brown sugar

25 g all-purpose flour

1 g vanilla powder

60 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch dice

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

233 g heavy cream

100 g whole milk

66 g granulated sugar

10 g unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder

1 g salt

66 g egg yolks

125 g dark chocolate, melted


50 g egg whites

75 g granulated sugar

1 g vanilla paste

To start, line three 3 inch diameter and 1.75 inch tall ring molds with acetate and place on a silpat lined baking sheet. Set aside.

For the cake, preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a half sheet pan with a silpat or spray lightly with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the parchment.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt and stir to combine.

Place the eggs, sugar, and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on medium-low speed for about 1 minute to combine. Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then whip on medium-high speed for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. When the whisk is lifted, the mixture should form a slowly dissolving ribbon.

Add the mayonnaise and whip to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the dry ingredients and water in 2 additions each.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using an offset spatula, spread it in an even layer, making sure that it reaches into the corners. Bake for 10 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out sean and the cake springs back when lightly touched. Set on a cooling rack and cool completely.

Lay a piece of parchment on the back of a sheet pan. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it and invert it onto the parchment. Remove the silpat or parchment from the top of the cake. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Cut out three 3-inch diameter rounds from the cake while it is still frozen and place in the ring molds. Wrap the remainder of the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks (this is extra).

For the


, preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the almond flour, graham crumbs, sugar, vanilla powder, and flour in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the butter and quickly break it up with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Spread the streusel on the baking sheet in an even layer and freeze for 10 minutes. 

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring the streusel every 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Spoon 40 g of streusel into each ring hold and gently press into the holds  Store the remainder in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

For the



 combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan set of medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cocoa powder until slightly paler in colour.

When the milk mixture has come to a boil, slowly pour a small amount into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Continue tempering the yolks with the milk mixture, then transfer all of back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon and a thermometer reads 82 C. 

Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set over an ice bath. While the mixture is still warm, add the melted chocolate and emulsify with an immersion blender. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Fill a piping bag with the chocolate custard and pipe into the molds until it reaches the top of the molds. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and freeze for 4 hours, or overnight.

Remove the rings from the cakes, but keep the acetate on. Add a second layer of acetate 0.5 inches higher than the original acetate over top the original acetate. Place the rings back on.

For the


, combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to 60 C, then transfer to the stand mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla paste and whip for 1 minute to combine.

Pipe the meringue into the rings until it reaches the top of the second layer of acetate. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and freeze for 30 minutes. 

Place into the fridge 4 hours before serving but remove the rings and both layers of acetate while frozen. When ready to serve, use a handheld torch to toast the meringue while being careful not to scorch the custard.

Strawberry Financiers

Aaaand the strawberry saga continues. First there was the strawberries and cream pavlova, then there was the roasted strawberry and balsamic vinegar ice cream sandwiches, and now there's strawberry financiers. And there's still one more strawberry recipe to post next week (hint: it's jam). This is what happens when you get 2 kilos of strawberries. Strawberry everything.

What is great about financiers is that they're super easy. There's not much work involved in them, not too many ingredients, but they still have a little fanciness to them. Or is that just because they're French and everything French is a little more sophisticated? Whatever, either way, they're delicious. And hello - brown butter. I don't need to say more.

If you follow me on instagram, you'll know that I recently got my motorcycle license and I bought a bike!! I've been pretty busy between work and riding my new bike, so I haven't been super active with instagram and updates between posts. But it's been really nice actually having a life for once instead of spending my whole weekend doing blog stuff! Don't get me wrong, I love my blog and I love creating content for it, but sometimes I like to just…not do any blog stuff and do me stuff. Not have to worry about how much time I have left to shoot or if the dessert will be finished in time to shoot or what if it doesn't turn out and there's no time to remake it. Just chill out and watch Netflix for four hours and have a nap. 

So, anyways, if you were wondering why I was a bit absent, that's why!

Strawberry Financiers
Recipe adapted from Frozen Desserts

61 g almond flour/meal
61 g all-purpose flour
144 g icing sugar
144 g egg whites
103 g brown butter, cooled to room temperature
100 g strawberries, diced
2 strawberries, thinly sliced

Lightly spray a standard muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed using the paddle attachment. Increase the speed to medium and add the egg whites in several additions, scraping the bowl between additions. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the butter until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in the diced strawberries.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins about two-thirds the way up. Place one strawberry slice on top of each financier.

Bake until golden brown and the financier is baked through all the way at its centre, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let the financiers cool in the tin.

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