Tag Archives: almonds

Roasted almonds

1 Dec

Roasted almonds

Every Christmas, my sister-in-law made these salted almonds.

Even as a child, I didn’t have much of a sweet tooth, and I looked forward to salted almonds at least as much as the cherry slice, Nanaimo bars and shortbread. (Though maybe not the butterscotch fudge…) Continue reading

Pear frangipane tart

6 Oct

Pear frangipane tart

The Great British Bake-off signature bakes seem to be increasing in complexity as the weeks go by – which is as it should be I guess.

Still, I find myself watching in trepidation, wondering what challenge I’ll be inflicting on myself next…

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Sugar-free orange cake

29 Sep

Sugar-free orange-almond cake

When the Great British Bake-off contestants were tasked with making a sugar-free cake, I immediately thought of Claudia Roden’s orange cake.

This Judeo-Spanish cake relies on puréed whole oranges for much of its sweetness, which I thought would make it relatively easy to adapt. And because it calls for ground almonds instead of flour, it’s gluten-free as well, which seemed in the spirit of the challenge.

As this was my first attempt at baking with agave nectar, I did some reading first. The recommendations are to cut the quantity of sugar by about quarter, reduce the liquid in the recipe and lower the oven temperature – all of which I did.

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Cranberry and almond biscotti

13 Sep

cranberry almond biscotti

Biscotti is the second signature bake on this year’s Great British Bake-off. I’ve eaten plenty of biscotti, and even knew that the name means “twice cooked” in Italian because they are baked once as a log, and again in slices. But I had never tried baking them myself. Continue reading

Frangipane tarts

21 May

frangipane-tart-1

Frangipane is such a beautiful word, conjuring up images of sugar and spice, flowers and French patisserie. These tasty little numbers with their moreish almond filling, tart slick of raspberry jam and flaky crisp pastry are as delicious to eat as the name suggests.

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Almond-feta dip with zahatar

19 Mar

Almond-feta dip

One of my favourite Christmas gifts was the bag of Middle Eastern spices my friend Mary brought me from Bahrain. The zahatar is particularly wonderful, and I’ve been having fun adding to all sorts of things ever since, such as this feta cheese and almond dip.

Feta cheese makes a great base for a dip, and combines really well with nuts. I also make this with walnuts, but I happened to have a couple of bags of smoked almonds hanging about. I liked the smokiness so much, the next time I make it with regular almonds I’ll try adding smoked paprika. Continue reading

Spinach, date and almond salad

6 Sep

Spinach, date and almond salad

This spinach, date and almond salad from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook was all over the food blogs a couple of years ago. With good reason – it’s a stunner of a salad, and relatively straightforward to prepare.

Dates and onions are marinated in a little vinegar, chunks of pitta and almonds fried in butter and dusted with chilli flakes and sumac, before being tossed with baby spinach. I ottolenghed it up for my brother and his family when they  arrived visited from Canada. Continue reading