Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: The secrets to fine, evenly ground DIY nut flours that won't turn to butter on you.
To pulverize nuts in a food processor without turning them to paste, be sure that the processor bowl and blade are dry and cool (not hot from the dishwasher) and the nuts are at room temperature (not cold from the fridge or freezer and not hot from toasting in the oven). Pulse until the nuts are as finely ground as you like, scraping the sides and corners of the processor bowl with a chopstick from time to time.
If you follow these rules, there is no need to add flour or sugar from the recipe to keep the nuts from turning to butter, as is sometimes advised, although there is no harm in doing that either!
p.s. You can also make a fluffy nut flour or nut meal in the processor, using the fine shredding disk instead of the steel blade: the same precautions about the temperature of the nuts and the disk apply.
Alice's new book Seriously Bitter Sweet is a complete revision of her IACP award-winning Bittersweet, updated for the 54%, 61%, and 72% (and beyond) bars available today. It's packed with tricks, techniques, and answers to every chocolate question, plus 150 seriously delicious recipes -- both savory and sweet.
Photos by James Ransom