I have my appetite back! After a very miserable few weeks being incredibly sick I am finally starting to get my meg-back. And this, if you know me well, means also getting my appetite back. My loss of appetite was the biggest sign to my husband that I was actually very sick. Throughout all of my illnesses & surgeries over the years, I've never once stopped eating, I even woke up from bowel surgery and that night had king prawns for dinner in hospital (Melbourne hospitals were kind of amazing). But for four entire days last week I was too sick to eat. Me, not eating! I then started back with simple things like mashed potato and now am happy to report, am back to thinking about food for 60% of the day again and even want to cook a little!
One thing I craved yesterday was cake. I'm making veggie juices and making sure I'm getting loads of nutrients to keep fighting the lurgy, but also, I needed some cake. Being gluten intolerant, in a city that doesn't cater terribly well for such specialities means I can't just duck into my nearest store and get a freshly baked cupcake, so I made some. It took most of my energy for the entire day, but I think we can all agree it was energy well spent.
Based off my old original recipe for blueberry financiers, these ones have some added pear and a little macadamia nut crumble on top, just for some more indulgence. If I wanted to lie to myself a little I could pretend it was for some extra fruit and protein, but really, I wanted a taste of Australia, and it may as well be in the form of a macadamia crumble.
1 cup almond meal/ground almond
1 2/3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup polenta
5-6 egg whites
6oz melted butter
2 pears, peeled, sliced and softened in a pan with a dash of butter
Macadamia nuts to top (make a little crumble with sugar & butter)
1. Combine all ingredients except for the pear, and mix well.
2. Prepare baking molds by spreading melted butter around the base and edges.
3. Pour batter into moulds and half fill each one. Then add a few slices of pear to each mould and add the rest of the batter. Sprinkle the crumble on top of each mould and place in the oven.
4. Bake on 450F/230C for 7 minutes until the edges start to brown a little, and then turn the oven down to 400F/205C and bake for another 10 minutes. The addition of the pear will require a slightly longer cooking time, but watch the closely.
5. When they are golden brown on top, let them cool in their tins for another 7 minutes.
The first night we had them fresh out of the oven with a hot cup of tea, but the next time was even better. We popped them back in the oven for a few minutes to warm them up again, and had a generous dollop of clotted cream with them. There's just something magical about clotted cream isn't there!
Moist, dense and a lovely balance of sweetness from the pear, but the polenta keeps the financier from being overly sweet, with a crunchy nutty topping. A good return to the kitchen for me!
Whats your comfort food that you crave when you aren't feeling your best? Are you more practical than me and crave something healthy and fulfilling like chicken soup?