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Ollalieberry Financiers & Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Olallieberry Financiers

It only took twelve years to admit this but I must say that in spite of the heat and humidity I really love summers here in the South. Yes. I’ve said it. Love them. You might wonder what else is to summer here that would make me forgive the mosquitoes, head bashing heat and stick-to-your-clothes-like-frosting-on-a-cupcake humidity. Well…Thunderstorms! Rain! Afternoon showers! Tea breaks and evening swims!

Olallieberry Financiers

It was not until a recent conversation with my parents that I realized what summer here was like versus what I thought it should be: it’s like back home. Just a tad stronger. Every afternoon around 4pm the skies darken and the rain slowly moves in. Thunder. Lightning. The skies get a thick cloud cover and the house is nothing but shadows. It reminds me so much of the summer months of my childhood that it makes it bearable.

Fresh Figs & Financiers

This weekend was no exception and we gladly took the opportunity to do as much as early as possible and cozy up in the afternoon. That’s the thing to do during summers here, start early and keep going until the rain stops you or the craving for a cold drink and a sit down become too strong. We set up on the dining room table and started working on our respective tasks, facing each other. Looking up once in a while. Bouncing ideas off of each other as they came along. Drawing directions and paths to the life we want to live.

Olallieberry Financiers

We did just that on Saturday in the later part of the afternoon just as the rain was starting to fall against the window and we sat there quietly listening. A new summer ritual. A good cup of French press coffee or a cold glass of milk, a plate of still warm tea cakes or a handful of cookies. I suddenly got a hunkering for the coconut ice cream I had made specially for profiteroles to celebrate our anniversary the next day. Instead of a snack we stayed true to the past 12 years being married and did the opposite of what was planned. We had dessert before dinner.

Olallieberry Financiers & Coconut Ice Cream

Toasted coconut ice cream from David Lebovitz via my friend Jen, financiers made with the olallieberry jam that Anita had given me in Boulder, a plate of fresh figs. The first we’ve had this season.

I like summers here after all…

Olallieberry Financiers

Olallieberry Jam Financiers:

Makes 12

Note: you can substitute any type of jam for the one I used here. You can also use about 3/4 cup of fresh cut fruit or 3/4 cup fresh berries instead.

1 stick (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (100gr) unsifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup (60gr) ground almonds
1/4 cup (30gr) rice flour
pinch of salt
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup olallieberry jam

Preheat your oven to 375F and position a rack in the center. Lightly butter the inside of 12 financiers molds or muffin tins and place them on a baking sheet. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium high heat, melt the butter until it turns to a rich hazelnut brown color. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve.
Mix together the powdered sugar, flour, ground almonds and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the egg whites and mix on low speed until all the ingredients are coming together. Add the brown butter, increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth.
Divide the batter among your molds, drop about 1 to 2 teaspoons of jam in the middles and swirl with the tip of a knife. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

1 cup (230gr) dried shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
1 teaspoon rum

Preheat the oven to 350ยฐF (175ยฐC). Spread the coconut on a baking sheet line with parchment paper and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning. Keep a close eye on it as it toasts rather fast and goes from perfect to burnt even faster. Remove from the oven when it is golden brown and let cool completely.
In a large saucepan set over medium high heat, warm the milk heavy cream, salt and add the toasted coconut. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Re-heat the cream mixture over medium heat until hot. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Slowly pour the cream mixture over the egg yolks, stirring as you do. Whisk well. Place the mixture back into the saucepan over medium and cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spatula. Remove from the heat and pour it through fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Press the back of your spoon against the coconut to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible. Add the rum and let cool to room temperature (you can place a piece of plastic wrap and poke holes through it to prevent condensation if you are concerned about leaving things uncovered at your house).
Once cooled, refrigerate the mixture until completely cold (I let mine in the fridge overnight) then freeze in your ice cream machine according to its manufacturer’s instructions.

– flower bowl: GreenGate
– cupcake liners and paper straws: Bake It Pretty
– plates: Gleena
– green bottle: Stein Mart
– stamped flatware: Monkeys Always Look on etsy
– linen napkin: Jewelweeds on etsy

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The Duo Dishes July 13, 2010 um 4:26 am

You are brave to admit that you can take that summer heat. Of course, summer is much more than just sweating. It's about eating ice cream too!

MollyCookie July 13, 2010 um 4:31 am

I love the thunderstorms too. When the thunderstorms happen it makes the hot days worth it.

Anita July 13, 2010 um 4:36 am

You used the jam!!! And in such a perfectly delicious way! Hope you liked it!

Sara July 13, 2010 um 4:47 am

Wow, this dessert looks fantastic! I adore ollaliberries, and they sound fantastic in these financiers. Great pairing with the coconut…yum!

Jules AF July 13, 2010 um 5:15 am

Those financiers make me want to give up my new healthy living plan.

Kitchen M July 13, 2010 um 5:17 am

Though I don't really enjoy thunderstorms, I do miss humid & hot summer. Even after living in the SF Bay Area for over three years, I'm still not used to their cold summer nights and mornings.

BTW, congrats on your anniversary! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rosa's Yummy Yums July 13, 2010 um 6:45 am

Great financiers. Perfect with that ice cream. An exquisite dessert!



Steph (desserts for breakfast) July 13, 2010 um 6:57 am

I absolutely *love* that strong directional light in the last photo! And one thing I do wish we had more here in California were afternoon thunderstorms. There's something just incredibly romantic about them.

Cherine July 13, 2010 um 8:36 am

Wonderful financiers. A fabulous treat!

Paula July 13, 2010 um 9:11 am

what a great pic with an ice cream!

have a nice day!


Jessica @ How Sweet July 13, 2010 um 10:31 am

I love a good summer thunderstorm. I think we are in for one today!

Jennifer July 13, 2010 um 11:40 am

I *love* a good thunderstorm in the heart of summer! and coming to your blog…oh my your photos are always so incredibly enchanting to me and inspirational! What perfect financiers and more perfect with such a lovely icecream!

Shelby July 13, 2010 um 12:36 pm

When I was a child – back in the days of no seat belt laws – I used to lie in the back seat window of the car and watch the lightening as we would be driving. I also remember sitting on the front porch watching the rain come down and watching the lightening. Something that used to scare my Nanny to death was very comforting to me for some reason!

Now, having dessert first on your anniversary is an absoultey perfect way to celebrate! Everything looks awesome and I am really liking the Coconut Ice Cream!

Carrie Pacini July 13, 2010 um 12:53 pm

The financiers look wonderful and I love the pairing!

Cookin' Canuck July 13, 2010 um 1:00 pm

"Drawing directions and paths to the life we want to live." I love that! You paint such a vivid picture of your summer days and your photos make me want to jump right into the scene.

TKW July 13, 2010 um 1:41 pm

Did you say Toasted Coconut Ice Cream?!? Oh my, that sounds so delicious. Plus, it's a David recipe, so I'm sure it's sound. I'll be trying this!

cinnaliina July 13, 2010 um 3:00 pm

Wow! That coconut icecream seems delisciuous. I will definitely give it a try. I just love coconut. Thank you for the recipe and inspiring photos. Here in Finland we have now 88 fahrenheit (31 celssius) in the shadow… just little bit too hot for me ๐Ÿ˜‰ If this continues I hope that I will get used to it. Have a nice day!

kamran siddiqi July 13, 2010 um 3:13 pm

Helen, your writing style makes me jump into anything I am reading of yours, and the photos are always perfect!

BTW, random: I believe I have the same knife as in the photo of the figs!

Bonnie July 13, 2010 um 3:28 pm

I love, love Charleston. And figs…oh my so jealous. We absolutely can't grow figs anywhere near here and I love them so. I want to be there with you all in the rain.

Kelley Petkun July 13, 2010 um 3:36 pm

Oh, what wonderful memories you brought to mind!

I grew up in Colorado. Get up very early,do the "stuff" around the house before it got too hot, settle in for the afternoon and then watch the awe-inspiring natural fireworks of the nightly thunder storms.

cindy* July 13, 2010 um 4:24 pm

i loooove! dramatic thunderstorms in the summer…that is probably the best part about northern nevada summers…ominous clouds rolling over the sierra nevada's, amazing!

the financiers and ice cream look great! i actually made the same toasted coconut ice cream last week, so tasty!

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking July 13, 2010 um 6:33 pm

Absolutely lovely, as usual. What a splendid combination of flavors!

Salsa Verde July 13, 2010 um 8:28 pm

Divine that combination!

Maria July 13, 2010 um 9:16 pm

I love Anita. Great way to enjoy the jam!

Deliciously Organic July 13, 2010 um 9:54 pm

I'm couldn't agree more. I love the summers in the south. Feeling the warm moist air in the evenings is calming compared to the dry/windy heat in the desert. Lovely post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rachel @ Working Out Wellness July 14, 2010 um 12:01 am

I agree entirely with you! Even though the humidity sometimes gets on my nerves, I really do love living in South Carolina. It's beautiful here.

Truly Smitten July 14, 2010 um 1:45 pm

oh my! such little deliciousness =)

[email protected] July 14, 2010 um 2:22 pm

Yeah to dessert before dinner! Sometimes in Southern California I wish for those days where we are forced inside to ponder & create. Growing up back east we had many such days. When I am in Telluride next month I will embrace the afternoon monsoons to cuddle up with my kids, get creative & cook up goodies. Your financiers and coconut ice cream look delicious! xxoo

Ingrid July 14, 2010 um 7:03 pm

Just bought an ice cream maker…Going to try your coconut ice cream for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

Elizabeth July 14, 2010 um 8:57 pm

Oh how I envy you right now, it is winter here, I'm in the other hemisphere ๐Ÿ™‚
I will try that recipe for the Olallieberry Jam Financiers. Only since last month that I started baking and i love it!! Haven't tried using almond and rice flour, can't wait to see what happens! Sometimes with my baking you never know lol!
Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
Elizabeth, NZ.

Sweet Pea Chef July 14, 2010 um 10:06 pm

Again, I'm just in awe of your beautiful pictures. You use light so masterfully. Well done! Keep up the good (and tasty) work! ๐Ÿ™‚

jenn at muchtomydelight July 15, 2010 um 1:12 am

Just discovered your blog, and I have to say, I think you could make a tuna noodle casserole look attractive. You do such beautiful work styling and photographing your food! Gorgeous!

Jerilea Hendrick July 15, 2010 um 1:52 am

I'm going to have to make the coconut ice cream. I had some in Germany when I lived there but haven't found any since that was comparable. The kind I had, had toasted bits of coconut swirled into coconut ice cream. Yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚

M @ Betty Crapper July 15, 2010 um 2:32 am

Congratulations on your anniversary. What a wonderful way to celebrate with dessert before dinner. May you enjoy many more.

kami @ July 15, 2010 um 4:12 am

Those straws in the milk…oh the cuteness!

Jen Yu July 15, 2010 um 4:26 am

Is that ice cream the bomb or what?! The Lebovitz never disappoints. Congrats to you and B. Yay for little pastries and scoops of ice cream and more years of love and happiness. Double happiness. xo

Tara Barker July 15, 2010 um 4:38 am

I love thunderstorms! I remember as a child being allowed to sit in the way-back of my parents' (parked) station wagon with the door open, watching the storms roll in over the mountains around our home. It was a compromise – I wanted to be *in* the storm, my parents wanted me out of harms' way!

Congrats on your anniversary! I can't say enough good things about doing the opposite of what's planned. ๐Ÿ™‚

MMM July 15, 2010 um 11:08 am

this receipe is so delicious and your pics are always wonderful!! grat blog =)
visit us on

Katie @ goodLife {eats} July 15, 2010 um 6:09 pm

I have been wanting to make toasted coconut ice cream but I'm afraid I'll eat the whole thing myself. It's so good!

My Man's Belly July 15, 2010 um 7:23 pm

I miss summer thunderstorms here in LA, but not that humidity. Love the financiers paired with the coconut ice cream.

citymouse July 16, 2010 um 2:19 am

What a lovely, romantic post. Doing what is unplanned can be one of life's greatest joys. I am jealous that you have figs already! Cheers.

SimplySandi July 16, 2010 um 2:59 pm

This is my first visit to your blog. I love it! Off to explore more

magda July 18, 2010 um 3:49 pm

Hello Helene. I tried the ice cream recipe and used 230 g of desiccated coconut. It seemed to me more than a cup but I added it anyway. The coconut absorbed almost 80% of the cream mixture leaving me with a very small amount of actual cream in the end. I don't know what went wrong. Is desiccated coconut the same as dried shredded coconut? Maybe there lies the problem? I'm still waiting for it to chill and put it in the ice cream machine. I'm sure it will taste fantastic but I wish there was more of it.

Helene July 18, 2010 um 8:51 pm

magda: hard for me to tell I have never made it with desiccated coconut so I could not tell you if 1/the weight is the same 2/the absorption is the same. Apparently not.
Maybe you can try to press the coconut really well on the sieve next time or wrap it in cheesecloth and squeeze it dry.

April July 22, 2010 um 3:52 am

Where did you get that pretty olive green bottle? Antique or recent purchase?

gowns July 22, 2010 um 3:44 pm

The ollalieberry is my most favorite berry in the worl. In California we get them for a few weeks fresh and the pies they make are heavenly. I think I will have to go to the market today for some jam if they have some just to warm it a little and pur over vanilla ice cream. Thanks for the memory

Hi! My name is Janet. July 26, 2010 um 12:16 am

can i ask where you found such adorable drinking straws?? I love them!

Helene July 26, 2010 um 3:11 am

Janet: check the prop list and resources at the end of the post for a link to the site where I got them, Bake It Pretty.

Eggton November 12, 2011 um 5:18 pm

Helene, I am making this right now and I have all this revived coconut in the sieve that I'm sad to throw away. Could I make a coconut icing from it, do you think? Like for a german chocolate cake? Or is it just going to be icky now? Thanks!

Eggton November 13, 2011 um 1:34 am

The more I think about this, it seems obvious that everything good in the coconut is gone– it has been sucked up by this AMAZING ice cream. It was a total success. Seriously maybe the best ice cream I've had (outside of Italy, but you can't blame the recipe for that!)

I doubled the rum, and it took a little longer to come into the ice cream state because it decreased the freezing temp a bit. But it worked beautifully.

Thank you!

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