Bavel’s Peach Cobbler with Ricotta Ice Cream

There are three basic components to this dessert—peaches, ice cream, and cake—but if you had to pick one thing that could really stand on its own, it’s the cake. Technically a financier, this molded almond flour–based cake is a lightly modified version of a recipe by Craig Thornton of the L.A. supper club Wolvesmouth. I’ve made many different financiers in my day, but I tried Craig’s version once, and it just blew my mind. As one of my pastry chefs accurately described it, “it’s like a madeleine with more oomph, with an incredibly buttery, almost creamy inside and a crispy shell outside.” It’s so good that I built an entire dessert around it.

What I love about this elevated version of a peach cobbler is that each element is cooked separately, so you have a lot more control over the cooking of the peaches. Instead of baking them with the cake, they’re lightly sautéed in a peach syrup, so the texture and flavor are more like a great fresh peach. If you’re going to make the

whole cobbler, do as we do at Bavel and dust the dessert with the Baharat Spice Blend (page 34). If you are going to make the cakes on their own, as I regularly do for my daughter (they are her favorite treats in the world), then you would add the baharat spice to the batter for an incredibly fragrant financier.


Note: I highly recommend weighing the ingredients for the financier recipe. However, I created the cup measurements that are slightly altered for ease.

If you are well-versed in measurements, you will notice that the two don’t line up with each other; this is purposeful. the cup measurements were altered so it looks like a recipe that belongs on planet earth.



Special equipment:

Twelve 2½- to
3-inch aluminum financier molds
Ice cream maker


1⁄2 cup (50g) almond flour
1⁄4 cup (25g) cake flour
3 tablespoons (25g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the molds
1 1⁄4 cups (147g) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons Baharat Spice Blend (page 34); optional
1 teaspoon (3g) fleur de sel
9 tablespoons (125g) browned butter (see page 238)
2⁄3 cup (125g) egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons (3g) vanilla extract (Tahitian preferred)
Butter for greasing the molds

3 to 4 large peaches
1⁄4 cup peach Syrup (recipe below), warm
Ricotta Ice cream (page 262)
Baharat Spice Blend (page 34)
for serving

Peach Syrup


13⁄4 cups (375g) cane sugar

1⁄4 cup (67g) crème de peche liqueur
1 cup (250g) moscato
1 teaspoon citric acid


To make the batter: In a large bowl, sift together the almond, cake, and all-purpose flours, sugar; and spice blend (if using). Gently stir in the salt.

In a small saucepan, warm the butter over very low heat, while stirring, until just melted and warm.

If you heat up the brown butter over any higher heat, it will burn. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and vanilla extract.

Beat on medium speed until foamy, like a jacuzzi circa 1985, about 5 minutes. Then add the bowl of dry ingredients and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Once fully incorporated, very slowly drizzle in the brown butter on medium-low speed and mix until the butter is fully incorporated and disappears. You will need to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl multiple times to make sure the butter is as evenly absorbed as possible. Transfer the batter to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.

Butter and lightly flour the financier molds, tapping out any excess flour. Place the molds on a sheet pan and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or until you’re ready to fill them.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Fill the chilled molds two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 25 min- utes, depending on your mold size, until golden and

a bump has formed in the center. Remove the molds from the oven and let cool for just 2 minutes before removing the financiers from the molds. If they cool all the way, they will stick to the mold because of the high sugar content.

To prepare the peaches: Slice each large peach into eighteen to twenty 1⁄4-inch-thick slices and set aside. In

a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 1⁄4 cup of the peach syrup and cook until the syrup begins to bubble. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the peach slices in a single layer. Sauté for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the heat.

When ready to serve, add five peach slices and 1 tea- spoon of the peach syrup into the bottom of a shallow bowl or plate. Add 1 financier, a scoop of the ice cream, and a generous dusting of the spice blend. Serve immediately.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the sugar, liqueur, moscato, and citric acid. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Leftover syrup is a delicious sweet- ener for iced tea. Woo hoo!

Ricotta Ice cream



1 cup (227g) whole milk
1⁄2 cup (120g) heavy whipping cream
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
2 cups (453g) whole milk ricotta
1⁄2 cup (115g) buttermilk
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt


Combine the milk, cream, and 3⁄4 cup (150g) of the sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture just begins to bubble. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the remaining 1⁄4 cup (50g) sugar. Slowly pour the warm cream mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Then pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over very low heat, stirring continuously with a spatula, until the mix- ture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta

and buttermilk. When the ice cream base has thickened, pour it through a very-fine-mesh strainer or chinois into the bowl with the ricotta and buttermilk and stir to combine.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the ice cream base to avoid forming a skin, and refrigerate until very cold, 8 hours or overnight.

Just before churning, stir in the lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Reprinted with permission from Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East by Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis and Lesley Suter, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Nicole Franzen. Illustrations copyright © 2021 by Kathy Kim


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