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Warm Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake with White Wine Poached Pears, Thyme Ice Cream, and Pear Consommé
Pastry Chef Neil Robertson of Canlis – Seattle, WA     
Adapted by StarChefs.com
January 2009
Yield: 4 Servings

Thyme Ice Cream:
550 grams whole milk
535 grams heavy cream
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
225 grams sugar
3 grams ice cream stabilizer
120 grams egg yolks

Hazelnut Financier Batter:
120 grams butter
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
220 grams powder sugar
80 grams hazelnut flour
80 grams all-purpose flour
2 grams baking powder
20 grams Trimoline or invert sugar
220 grams egg whites
10 grams pear eau de vie

White Wine Poached Pears:
3 Bosc pears
250 grams water
500 grams white wine
1 lemon, juiced and 2 strips of zest reserved
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
6 peppercorns
½ cinnamon stick
½ vanilla bean, split
150 grams sugar

For the Thyme Ice Cream:
Heat milk, cream, and thyme in a pot. Whisk together 150 grams of sugar and stabilizer in a bowl. Pour into milk mixture and bring to a simmer, or until mixture reaches about 85ºC/185ºF.  Whisk together yolks and remaining 75 grams of sugar. Temper mixture into hot milk and cook until thickened, or until mixture reaches about 82ºC/180ºF. Chill overnight to allow thyme to infuse ice cream base. Remove thyme and stir mixture well before spinning in ice cream maker. Freeze until ready to serve.

For the Hazelnut Financier Batter:
Heat butter and scraped vanilla bean until butter browns. Combine sugar, both flours, baking powder, and invert sugar in a standing mixer with paddle attachment. Add Trimoline, but do not mix. Remove vanilla bean from butter. Pour browned butter, while still hot, into mixing bowl. Mix until well blended. Gradually add egg whites, with the mixer on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eau de vie and refrigerate batter overnight.

For the White Wine Poached Pears:
Peel pears, slice in half, and remove cores. Combine remaining ingredients including lemon zest in a saucepan. Add pears to mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover surface with parchment circle and poach until pears are tender. Cool pears in poaching liquid. Remove pears from saucepan and strain poaching liquid. Discard herbs and spices and reserve poaching liquid for pear consommé.

For the Hazelnut Financier:
Preheat convection oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Butter ring molds well and pipe financier batter into each mold. Slice poached pears thinly. Fan a quarter of a pear slices on top of financier batter in molds. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until exterior is a rich, golden brown color and the inside is a little under-baked.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place the warm financier in a shallow bowl and top with a quenelle of thyme ice cream. Pour one ounce of reserved hot pear consommé around the financier.

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