Blackberries hold a very special place in my heart and always remind me of my childhood summers, walking along the quiet roads of my sleepy little French village, looking for the thorny but fruit-laden branches that would provide us with these delicious and dark berries. Most of them never made it home, but after an especially successful harvest, my Mom would sometimes make some jam and jelly that we could enjoy well after summer was over.
I am often disappointed by the enormous and slightly tart berries we can buy at the supermarket when I recall the juicy and sweet little ones we would pick, but I still love using summer fruit and was very excited when I read the following recipe in Bon Appetit:
1/2 cup plus 5 TBsp unsalted butter
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar; additional for dusting
5 large egg whites
nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups fresh blackberries, halved
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until browned bits begin to form. Continue to simmer, frequently scraping bottom of pan, until fragrant and dark brown but not burnt, 6-7 minutes. Scrape butter and all browned bits into a medium bowl. Let cool for 3-4 minutes.
transfer to a medium bowl; whisk in 1 1/2 cups plus 2TBsp powdered sugar. Add egg whites, mix until smooth. Fold in honey.
Fold browned butter into batter.
Arrange rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 375F. Coat mini muffin pan cups with nonstick spray. Pour 1 generous TBsp batter into each prepared cup. Top with 3-4 blackberry halves.
Bake until cakes are golden brown and just cooked through 15-16 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving if desired.