Reminiscent of the crisp tops of berry corn muffins, these golden little cakes are absolutely irresistible. The cakes have a delicious sugary crust like muffin top, but unlike muffins, the crumb is moist, buttery, and very tender. Serve them with tea, or pair them with ice cream or fresh fruit for dessert.
Makes: 12 muffins or 6 small cakes
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter
- 2 2/3 cups (306 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup (89 g) almond flour
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (64 g) cake flour
- 1/4 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
- 8 large egg whites
- grated zest of 1/2 orange
- 1 cup (138 g) black currant or blueberries
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to let the butter cook until some of the white milk solids fall to the bottom of the skillet and turn a rich hazelnut brown. Strain the browned butter through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and discard the solids.
Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, cake flour and cornmeal. Place the sifted ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. On the lowest speed, add the egg whites and zest; mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium-low and stir in the browned butter. Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the black currant or blueberries. (The batter can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead.)
Butter and flour the muffin tin, small cake pan or 2-inch mini tartlet pans. Spoon the batter into the pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes (14-16 for the mini tartlet pans), or until the cakes are golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Inspired by “The Last Course” by Claudia Fleming (Random House, 2001)