Dizzy Swallows

Summer Harvest & Chocolate Blackberry Financiers

Summer Harvest & Chocolate Blackberry Financiers

October 11th, 2011

The dying throes of summer have lingered in the occasional crisp autumnal sunshine, but that fairer season will soon be buried by blustery winds and the omnipresent Seattle rain. However,
I take comfort in the knowledge of the lustrous little morsels of summer tucked away in our freezer. Like good Northwesterners, we managed a last blackberry harvest before the Fall weather came rolling in. I wanted to share a few photos from that expedition as well as a delightful recipe for gluten-free, blackberry and chocolate financiers!

bush 3

Our chosen spot is a coveted family secret, but I can tell you it is on Whidbey.


It offers a perfection of rolling bramble thickets, accessible from both sides, with a view and sweet little meadow that can’t be beat.

bush 1


My fellow harvesters also happen to be two of my favorite men in the world, my dearest Jacob and my cousin Brad.


Industrious gentlemen that they are, they went straight to work, dodging thorns and vines to reach the juicy prizes hidden among the leaves.

bush 2

Naturally, I let myself be distracted for a time by the beauty around me, snapping photos, exploring, and even finding an eagle feather which I promptly dyed with berry juice.



dandylion wish

single berry


Despite my forays, I managed to hold my own with the boys, filled just as many tubs and with riper berries too, I’ll warrant. Ha!

Work done, we rested in the shade while I took the opportunity to make a bit of thorn art. I’m thinking it will be all the rage next year.

thorn art

me with feather

At least some of these berries found their way into the delicious, fluffy little bits known as financiers. Enjoy the recipe below, it is scrumptious and gluten-free!


Chocolate & Blackberry Financiers

I’ve adapted this recipe from Aran’s fabulous blog, Cannelle et Vanille. Her site is a treasure trove for photographers, foodies, and gluten-freers alike.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup high quality sugar (Aran suggests coconut palm)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • Approx. 4 oz blackberries, fresh or frozen

In a small pan, heat butter until foamy and beginning to brown on the bottom. It should start to smell like delciously nutty. Strain the brown butter into a small bowl and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, almond meal, and cocoa powder. Slowly whisk in the cooled butter and stir until incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

Prepare a muffin pan with baking papers, and fill each of the cups about half way with batter. To avoid a mess, you may want to use a frosting sheath, or a bag with the corner cut off. Place a few blackberries into the center of each cup (I did two each), so that the float half way in the batter. Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Enjoy hot or cold.

Makes 12 financiers

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