Rosemary Walnut Financier & Pisces Gift Guide

If you don’t want to hear about astrology, just scroll down to the recipe and remember to keep any snide remarks to your own digital space!

I am a Pisces. Some people are surprised by this. I have a Virgo rising (the polar opposite of Pisces) and that is more how I present outwardly. In the deep winter (from New Year to my birthday) I tend to limit the time I spend presenting outwardly. I stay at home and get into deep Pisces mode. I cook and do other creative projects that no one but me (and my husband) ever see. I spend time with my cats. I take a lot of baths. Sometimes I drink too much or get depressed. Even if I am not depressed, I cry a lot. I have dreams that are like chapter books…I just pick up where I left off the night before. I remember hundreds of things from my childhood that I had forgotten, every day.

Most years, I don’t want to celebrate my birthday by socializing. I am not the only Pisces who is like this. How many birthday parties are you invited to between mid Feb and mid March? Probably none. Then Aries season rolls around and you could go out multiple nights a week to celebrate those folks with drinks, dancing and wild shenaningans. It’s real.

Perhaps you have a Pisces in your life, and are wondering how best to celebrate them? Here are some ideas. I am a lucky Pisces. I have many people in my life who understand how to help me enjoy my birthday. Here are some things that the Pisces experts in my life have done for me. They are very me specific, but they should give you the vibe and help you think of something appropriate for YOUR Pisces. Also, I have consulted with Mya Spalter, fellow Pisces, author and witch for confirmation and additional ideas.

  • Take them for a walk on the beach… yes in February/ March… yes even though it is cold. Better yet, take them on a boat ride or a vacation on a houseboat. Or take them to a rainforest if you have access to that!
  • Give them floral arrangements. If you live in Brookyn, Les Blooms Floral has an excellent subscription delivery service.
  • Give them weird plants. I suggest epiphytes or Lithops, which look like a tiny precious stone pebble and which you do not water for half a year and then drown the other half. No one has ever given me a carnivorous plant, but someone should (Mya has a pitcher plant that she loves and she agrees with me).
  • Take them to a Sauna, Turkish or Russian Bath or Korean Spa or buy them a pass so they can go alone.
  • Give them dozens and dozens of bath bombs. My sister has gotten me into the ones from Lush. I recommend Twilight, Wild Remedy, Black Rose and Sakura.
  • Mya wants a good body oil or lotion. We don’t have a recommendation, please help us find this. Use the comment section!
  • If they like perfume, give them scented candles (but GOOD ones) I like Bergamont Superior from DS & Durga and Baies from Diptyque. Or perfume sample sets ( I like DS & Durga, Maison Villhelm, Heretic, House of Kerosene and Floraiku)
  • Give them beeswax candles, carved candles or candles in the shape of things they like.
  • Make them a music mix.
  • Give them a food pet like a sourdough starter, kefir grains, sprouting kit or mini mushroom farm (Mya suspects that this suggestion might be coming from my Virgo side, so assess your Pisces interest in caretaking a food pet before moving on this one).
  • Give them a minature world like an ant farm or mini biosphere.
  • Recommend a REALLY good movie they have not heard of.
  • Give them stones, pieces of wood or other natural things that are small and interesting and feel good in their hand or that can go on their pockets, alters or in their curio cabinets.
  • Give them a beautiful pillow or blanket.
  • Give them really comfy warm socks. Pisces rule the feet and we get cold.
  • Take your Pisces favourite shoes or boots to the cobbler to be repaired and shined.
  • Make art or a song for them.
  • Give them hand-me down fashion or jewelry or take them thrifting.
  • Take them out for a seafood tower or oysters or send them caviar. I like to order caviar from Paramount. They can ship anywhere.
  • Buy them colored glassware.
  • Give them a spice they have never heard of, or one that is very precious and rare. SOS Chef, Kalustyan’s and Penzey’s are all good places to look for this.
  • Give them something special and non-alcoholic to drink. I like JONI which a delicous Verjus drink that is like a perfectly balanced dry cocktail. I will also always accept #10 blend from Murchies Tea Company, which is simply the best tea blend ever made, since it was first blended in 1909.
  • Give them interesting visual reference books or books of folktales or poetry. My current favorite book is Werner’s Nomenclature of Colors. Years ago, before my husband and I were dating, he gave me a book about the life of Remedios Varo (Unexpected Journeys) that I read cover to cover while spending an entire day in bed.
  • Give them very sharp scissors or some other tool that is lacking in their house, but they just don’t ever seem to get around to replacing. Carbon steel knives are underated. My husband recenlty gave me tiny floral snips to assist in my every other day trimming of my floral arrangements, and I love them. Also titanium fabic scissors are really good. Really it does not have to be a sharp thing… just replace someting that they have allowed to become tattered and sad. My friend Claudia once bought me a new phone case becasue mine was so sad and upsetting and it was a really thoughtful and appreciated gift.
  • Bake or cook them something, or eat and enjoy something they have baked or cooked. See recipe below!

Below you will find a recipe for good Pisces birthday cake (in my opinion). This is the kind of cake a squirel might make for their rabbit friend in their very cozy winter burrow. It is not too sweet and tastes like nuts and evergreen needles. I made with all the leftover egg whites that I froze during the fall when I cook with a lot of egg yolks. Not wasting food makes me really happy, so that is like a little birthday gift to myself. Also, this cake tastes better the next day and even better after two days. So, it is a good cake for a Pisces who is not celebrating socially but who cannot eat an entire cake by herself in one day.

Rosemary Walnut Financier

for the cake

If you are not gluten-free replace the rice flour, tapioca starch, and arrowroot starch with 1 cup total all-purpose bleached wheat flour

  • 10 tablespoons butter, plus extra for buttering the tin
  • 4 oz of walnuts, lightly toasted and totally cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, divided in half
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 sprig, plus 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • the zest of 1/2 to 1 lemon (depending on how much you like lemon zest)
  • 8 room temperature egg whites (about 1 cup)
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a  9 or 10 inch round springform cake tin.  Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper too (don’t skip this).
  2. Put the butter and the rosemary in a small saucepan and heat it over medium high heat until the solids seperate and begin to brown just a little bit.  Set it aside to cool. Once cool, remove the rosemary saving the leaves and discarding the twig. The leaves should be crunchy and will go on the topping!
  3. Combine the toasted, cooled walnuts with 3/4 cup sugar and minced rosemary in a food processor or blender and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Then combine the nut and sugar mixture with the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot and lemon zest in a large bowl.  
  4. In another clean large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a steady stream, beating until the mixture forms soft peaks again.
  5. Starting with the dry mixture and ending with the melted, cooled butter, alternately fold the dry mix and the melted butter into the egg whites, one-third at a time.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, top it with the sliced almonds and bake for 50 minutes. You can make the caramel topping while it bakes.
  7. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes before unmolding and decorating it.

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup or Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole raw shelled walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar to sprinkle on top
  • The rosemary reserved from the brown butter
  1. Combine the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat and melt until it’s smooth.
  2. Add the syrup, heavy cream and walnuts and bring to a boil slowly. Remove from the heat .
  3. Sift the powdered sugar onto the cake. Pour the caramel into the center of the cake.
  4. Sprinkle the crisp rosemary leaves reserved from the browned butter on top of the caramel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s