I know how popular Birchermüesli is in Switzerland but it never looks appealing to me, I see them serving in the hotel breakfasts all the time but I never dare to try. The reason is mainly because I did not like its soggy appearance.
I have been busy with Spring cleaning, never like cleaning but don’t know why I got into mood of tidying up things. There are days like this, I suppose. Our garden is now in good shape & the terrace is finished, many thanks to my in-laws and my hubby : ) Now we have to wait for the terrace furniture but unfortunately gotta wait until late June as the model we chose are selling too well. I guess the shop does not expect to have such good response in the current economic environment and did not dare to keep too many in the inventory.
And in the coming days, we have to start working and planning for our vegetable garden, really looking forward to having your own vegetables again, they really taste better and more special.
As for cooking, these two weeks I have been exploring in making ice cream without electric ice cream machine, after the big success with the Giandaja Chocolate flavor, I could not wait to explore other flavors. I made a green tea flavor for my friend Carmen, I made it without yolks since she is expecting a baby and it’s better to be on the safe side, and I found out that using sweet condensed milk is a great solution to avoid egg yolks and the ice cream came out as creamy.
I have been missing the Japanese ice cream, the most popular flavors are probably green tea and black sesame. I could get green tea in the Japanese restaurants here in Switzerland but no luck for the black sesame flavor so I attempted to make myself and it proved that it’s actually not that difficult. My version is probably more fibery as I grounded 90% of the toasted sesame seeds and the rest were keep ungrounded. So here is another long-lost taste I have rediscovered, and I can sit back and relax my favorite ice cream at home, even freshly made.
Make almost 3 cups (700ml)
- 1.5 cups (360ml) full cream
- 0.5 cup (120ml) semi skimmed milk
- 80 ml sweet condensed milk/ maple syrup
- 1 tsp castor sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 50g black sesame seeds
- 50g white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- The method is not much different to the Gianduja Chocolate flavor, except I have used 4 yolks instead of 3 this time and have used sweet condensed milk instead of castor sugar. You can refer to my other Gianduja chocolate ice cream for more information of my first ice cream making experience.
- Several hours ahead, place a stainless steel bowl in the freezer.
- Toast the sesame seeds on a pan, be careful not to burn them. Ground 90% of the seeds with a pestle & mortar. The rest keeps aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar & vanilla essence for a minute or so.
- In a large saucepan, pour in the milk, full cream and sweet condensed milk (maple syrup), heat it up without boiling. Stop when you can see hint of steam coming up. Keep stiring to avoid burning. Pour this mixture into the beaten eggs gradually. Mix with an electric blender at medium speed.
- When the cream and egg mixtures are mixed together, turn the mixture back to the saucepan and put the heat on again. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, you will see the custard mixture will get thicker very quickly, you can stop when the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon. Your ice cream mixture is now ready.
- Take the pre-frozen stainless steel bowl out from the freezer. Pour the ice cream mixture to the bowl, add in the all the toasted sesames, stir with the wooden spoon until mixed and put the bowl back to the freezer.
- Take the bowl from the freezer every 30-40 mins, stir with the wooden spoon. You will see the sides of the ice cream mixture begins to freeze, scrap them off to mix with the non-frozen mixture. The sesame seeds may sink to the bottom, stir until mixed again. Repeat until the ice cream mixture gets thick enough, close to the consistency of the ice cream. This will take 4-5 times.
- Transfer the ice cream mixture to a plastic container and freezer for another 1-2 hour or until the ice cream is fully set.
- Scoop to a nice bowl and enjoy!
With some asparagus and lemongrass stock left from the asparagus bacon risotto. I made two glasses of asparagus cappuccino as starter the following day, it was like the frothy soup I have tried in the gourmet restaurants : ) This soup is very light and healthy, you will be amazed that you can get a creamy result without using cream.
- 150g asparagus stems, trimmed & chopped into small pieces
- half small onion, finely chopped
- Semi-skimmed milk 50ml for the soup, 100ml for frothing
- 200ml Lemongrass stock
- 2 tsp Unblanched ground almonds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat up the olive oil in a deep aluminum pan, add the onion the let it sweat for a few minutes at medium high heat. Keep stiring.
- Add in the asparagus and stir fry for a few minutes until they turn a little like transparent.
- Pour in the stock, bring to boil and then simmer at medium heat for about 30 mins and until the liquid is reduced one-third. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the soup back to the pan, add in 50ml milk, warm it up again but be careful not to overheat. Taste to see if need to season with some salt.
- To serve, warm up 100ml milk, using a cappuccino frother to whiz the milk to make it frothy.
- Pour the soup into 2 glasses and top up with the frothy milk.
- Garnish by sprinkle some unblanched ground almonds on top and serve immediately.
I was meant to finish posting this a few days ago but was distracted with other things in particular in doing the ground work for moving to my new domain. And today I have finally made it. Maybe you do not notice by my previous blog address has automatically directed you to my new blog home. I have changed the blog name slightly as Gourmet Traveller 88 and also if you see up there I have changed my tagline too. This is just the first stage of the moveover, there is still a lot to do behind the scene. A lot of hardwork but it is fun to be able to learn new things at the same time.
Last Wednesday was my hubby’s birthday, I wanted to make something special for him and coindentally I saw the 3 ingredients chosen by the previous month winner of the Royal Foodie Joust, 5 Star Foodie are: asparagus, lemongrass and almond. My hubby likes asparagus and almond. When I found that it is quite tricky to put these three ingredients together but it’s fun to be a little creative to come up with something new.
The day before Peter’s birthday, he was supposed to fly to UK but en route there was a serious car accident which made him missing the flight so I offered to cook his birthday dinner for him a little early. I came up with Baked fish filet with coriander, mint, lemongrass and almond crust and baked asparagus. The food tasted very nice but the picture was not satisfactory. So the following day I came up to a Plan B and he earned an extra Birthday lunch. We both found this risotto was very special with a tint of lemongrass taste but did not feeI heavy at all. I like the presentation of this dish more so here is my submission:
An Unordinary Asparagus Bacon Risotto
- 16 spears asparagus
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup Korean Sweet Rice
- 3/4 cup Arborio risotto
- 100g smoked bacon diced
- 2 sprigs coriander, finely chopped the leaves
- 5-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small glass of white wine (about 150
- 4 tbsp ground almond
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 50g unsalted butter
- 8 sticks of lemongrass (only the outer layers are used in the stock, the inner most tender stalks were used for the almond crust last night)
- 2 stalks from the mint
- 2 tsp chicken bouillion powder
- 800ml water
Step 1-5 can be prepared in a few hours before cooking:
- Soak the Korean Sweet rice in a bowl of hot water.
- Prepare the lemongrass stock by simmering the lemongrass stalks and mint stalks in a pan for an hour. When this is cooked, discard the stalks, use a sieve to transfer to another pan, if necessary. Dissolve the chicken boillion powder in the stock, bring to boil and then turn off the heat and set aside.
- Prepare the lemon butter by squeezing the lemon juice to a saucepan, pour 1/2 cup of the prepared stock into the pan, bring to boil and then at medium high heat, reduce the liquid to about half. Turn to low heat at this time and melt in the butter in two portions. Swirl or stir constantly until melt without burning the butter. Season with a little ground salt and pepper. Pour to a sauce pourer or small bowl and set aside.
- Trim the asparagus, cut the tips (about 6-7cm) and leave aside. Cut the rest of them into small pieces. (half of the asparagus stems was saved for making asparagus soup)
- Finely chop the coriander and mint leaves.
- Heat up a large pan, add in the smoked bacon dices (no need to use oil) and stir fry them until they are cooked. Transfer this to a bowl and set aside.
- Turn to medium heat, add in 1 tbsp of the lemon butter into the pan and a little olive oil into the pan. Add in the chopped garlic and then the asparagus tips and followed by the rest of the small pieces. Stir fry them for a few minutes until they are cooked and crunchy. Separate the tips and the small pieces into 2 bowls. Set aside.
- Clean and dry the pan, heat up again at medium high heat and add in 1 tbsp of lemon butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil, the reason why I mix with a little olive oil is because it makes the butter less easy to burn I find. Add in the onion, stir and let it sweat for 1 minute of so, then add in the Korean Sweet rice (discard the soaking water) and Arborio risotto. Stir to mix together with the onion. Stir for another minute or so at medium high heat.
- Pour in the white wine, turn to high heat let it boil or bubble for one and a half minute. Keep stiring.
- Add in the lemongrass stock bit by bit, keep stiring until the risotto becomes al dente. We like it a little bit more than al dente. Add in the chopped coriander and mint leaves in the end, stir to mix.
- Place the asparagus spears on the plate sides, when the risotto is ready, pour to the plates, place the bacon on top of the risotto and lastly sprinkle the ground almonds on top. This is used in place of the parmesan cheese we normally used.
Enjoy and vote for me in the Forum!
What is Gobo (burdock root)?
Gobo is a root vegetable and also known as a medicinal herb. It is a very common in Japanese cuisine.
Gobo, before peeling
The first time I tried Gobo was in Hong Kong some years ago when I had omakase in a Japanese restaurant, they served each of us a petit dish of burdock as a free appetizer. Because of the minute quantity, it makes it feeling more precious. Burdock roots comes in different sizes, some are thicker than the other. I have tried ones that are thin enough to prepare as they are without cutting into thin slices. In the Japanese supermarket, my mom will buy the very thick ones which she will prepare a simple clear vegetable soup with sweet corn, carrots and dried figs. which was said to have a diuretic effect and can help detoxing our blood. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can find these thick ones in Switzerland. The above gobo you see in the picture is bought from Japan Centre, London. They are not cheap at all, almost £6 for just 2 sticks but I really want to try to cook them myself and enjoy at home. They can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks if you do not feel like to cook them yet. One problem with me is that from time to time, I would look for those long lost tastes : ) therefore I did not mind to give an effort to search for the food I miss/ like/ crave.
To prepare them, I have adapted the recipe from About.com, my favorite place for authentic Japanese recipes. I did not add carrots to mine as described in the original recipe, although it seems to be common to have carrots added to it but the ones I had in the restaurants do not have carrots in them. In this way I can concentrate chewing the crunchiness and unique flavor of the gobo. The cooking itself is very simple and easy, it was the cutting process which took the most time but absolutely worth it.
- 2 pieces gobo (burdock root)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp mirin
- 1/2 tbsp sake
- cooking oil
- sesame oil
- ground black & white sesame seeds
- seven spices (optional)
Gobo after peeling
- Peel the gobo, cut into 5-6cm sectors, and julienne the gobo into long very thin strips.
- Place the gobo strips in a large bowl of water and let them soak for about 15 mins.
- Discard the water and drain them on a sieve for a few minutes or pat dry with kitchen towel.
- In a small bowl, mix all seasonings and stir to help melting the sugar for as much as possible.
- Heat a little cooking oil in a frying pan, and stir fry the gobo strips for a few minutes.
- Add all seasonings in the pan and stir-fry well.
- Turn off the heat, drizzle a little sesame oil to enhance the fragrance.
- Divide the gobo strips into small serving plates, leave the excess liquid in the pan.
- Garnish by adding some sesame seeds (use sesame seeds mill if you have one) & add a little seven spices if you like a little spiceness.
- You can serve this as a side dish to any Japanese main dishes or noodles.
- I like it so much that I could just eat a little like a salad.
- If there is seasoning left in the pan, kept for use in other cooking, too good to discard them!
I have converted to metric units for my future convenience.
- Preheat the oven to 177°C. Butter 2-4 ramekins. Sprinkle each with sugar, invert it, and tap to remove excess sugar.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the all but 1 tablespoon of sugar until very light and very thick; the mixture will fall in a ribbon from the ends of the beaters when it is ready. Mix in the melted chocolate until well combined; set aside.
- Clean the mixer (very important to do this, no egg yolk should get into the egg whites!!!) Beat the egg whites with the salt and tartar until they hold soft peaks; continue to beat, gradually adding the remaining tablespoon of sugar, until they are very stiff and glossy. Stir a good spoonful of the whites thoroughly into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it; then fold in the remaining whites, using a rubber spatula. Transfer to the prepared soufflé dishes (at this point you can cover and refrigerate the soufflés until you’re ready to bake them).
- Bake until the center is nearly set, 20 minutes for individual soufflés and 25 to 35 for a single large soufflé. Serve immediately. (see feedback below)
- You can prepare the soufflé 1-2 hours before baking. Keep in the fridge in the meantime.
- I only have small ramekins so I made 4 soufflés instead of 2, the first time I baked for 20mins and they were rather cakey. The second time, I baked the two for 12 mins and came out perfect. I suppose the timing depends on individual oven and the ramekins I used here are small.
- You can actually beat the egg white first and then egg yolk, in the way, you will not need to clean the mixer.
- My personal tips is that as soon as the soufflés have risen, you will need to bake for about another 5-6 mins and can then remove them from the oven.
If you loves white chocolate, I have made a white chocolate soufflé with orange liqueur sauce immediately the next day which was irresistible as well!
Onigiri, the Japanese rice balls, is very common to eat at lunch or as part of the bento (lunchbox), in the past I would occasionally buy a piece of onigiri from the Japanese supermarket and eat as a quick lunch.
I have bought this onigiri mold (Fig. 1) for some time and it’s really handy and clean. I had a lot of fun just making them this evening. There are many flavors you can make or create, I have chosen to have salted salmon with Umeboshi plum paste.
- 150g salmon fillet
- 1 cup Japanese rice
- 2 tbsp umeboshi plum paste (Fig. 2)
- 2 sachets of onigiri seasonings* (optional) see (Fig.2), you can find different flavors in the Japanese shop
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar**
- black & white sesame, grinded with sesame mill
- nori (seaweed), cut into long pieces
- spicy mayonnaise sauce for dipping: mix 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and 3/4 tbsp of Sriracha chili sauce together
- Make in advance the salted salmon fillet by sprinkle coarse sea salt on both sides of the fillet and leave for at least 30 mins***.
- When it’s time, rinse the salt off the salmon and pad dry with kitchen towel. Heat a little olive oil and pan-fry the salmon in a skillet until cooked. (Fig 3).
- Let the salmon to cool down and then break the fillet into very small pieces like flakes and set aside.
- Cook the rice in the rice cooker or in a saucepan.
- When the rice is cooked, open the lid and let it cool down for a few minutes and then add 1 tbsp of rice vinegar into the rice and mix.
- Transfer the rice to a big bowl when it is still warm, add in the onigiri powder and the flaked salmon and mix thoroughly.
- Wet the onigiri mold in water and then spoon a layer of the rice mixture into the mould, use the teaspoon to help to make the rice mixture fill up the bottom of the mold.
- Use another teaspoon and put a little plum paste onto the rice (Fig. 4) and then cover another layer of the rice mixture on top, now put the mold cover on top and insert some pressure to make the rice stick together.
- Grind some sesame on a plate, release the molded rice onto the plate and dust them with the sesame (Fig.5).
- Now the onigiri are ready, you can either serve them just like this (Fig. 6) or wrap a piece of seaweed each one , if desire(Fig. 7)
- Or if you like them warm, you can brush some olive oil on both sides, grill or panfry until lightly brown, serve immediately when hot (Fig. 8.)
- Dip some of the spicy mayo sauce, it’s awesome (Fig. 9) .
- Serve with a miso soup/ green tea & perhaps a glass of Choya Plum Wine.
*The onigiri seasonings is nice to have but not compulsory.
**Normally you don’t need rice vinegar in onigiri but I like the rice vinegar which make the rice a little more shiny, and a few drops won’t be overpowered.
***I like to prepare the salted salmon fillet in advance by seasoning it with salt and put in the freezer immediately after purchase without rinsing the fish, you can season one or more fillets in advance and use it anytime when you feel like it.
- 4 very fresh scallops (Sashimi quality)
- 2 tbsp Tonkatsu sauce (you can buy this from Japanese Groceries store or make it yourself, thanks Tess for your recipe)
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Nori, cut into square pieces, big enough to wrap the scallops
Heat up a skillet in high heat
Brush some olive oil on both sides of the scallops, and then sear the scallops, 30 secs on each side.
Then brush some Tonkashu sauce on the scallop, does not need too much, just want to have a hint of the sauce.
Sear further for one minute on both sides until lightly brown, grind a little sea salt and black pepper as seasoning.
Take out the scallops and dry on a kitchen towel to absorb the liquid, since they are not fully cooked, there may be some liquid coming out after remove from heat.
Wrap the scallop with a piece of nori and serve immediately.
If you have sake that will be nice to go with otherwise a glass of white wine or a hot green tea will be great too.
I still have a pumpkin bought from a farmers’ market earlier on in late Autumn keeping in the garage, I have not checked for a long time and thought it has turned bad and luckily it is still in very good condition. Instead of making pumpkin soup again, I wanted to try something different. I used half of it and made two different dishes in the last two days: cameralized roast pumpkin risotto TRIO with grilled prawns and ricotta ravioli with pumpkin sauce (coming in the next post).
Thanks to the wonderful recipes by Aum Shanti of A Life (Time) of Cooking, her rustic way of cameralized roast pumpkin is unbelievably easy to make. It was so easy to scrape out the seeds and take out the pumpkin flesh, I also find this method, you will waste the pumpkin flesh even less than removing the skin prior by knife. I added some cumin seeds, some bay leaves from Tuscany given by my friend Carmen and my second last head of violet garlic from Sarlat, France.
When I took the baking tray out of the oven, the fragrant was so powerful, inviting and tempting. It was really irresistible that I had to try a piece immediately. So here it is, you can prepare the cameralized beforehand in early afternoon, set aside at room temperature when it is time to prepare dinner.
As for the risotto itself I was wondering if I could make a little tweak. Risotto is actually the name of the finished dish, not the rice itself. So I looked into my cupboard and thought of mixing with other types of rice. I picked the rice that would give a creamy or gooey texture and have come up with this risotto TRIO : 1/3 arborio rice; 1/3 barley & 1/3 Korean brown sweet rice (the one used for ginseng chicken). I had another rationale behind, that was to make the risotto less heavy and high in fibre.
The outcome was indeed delicious, I did not feel too full after dinner and still have room for dessert as I have used 50% pumpkin and 50% rice. And the grilled prawns were just perfect matched to the pumpkin risotto. To grill the prawns, I simply deveined and grilled them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I am not going to write out the whole recipe here again. Please click the above links to try out, am sure you will not regret it. This is surely a culinary dish I will keep in my list for my guests in the future. It’s just so healthy and tasty at the same time!
One little note, I noticed that some people will opt out the white wine in cooking the risotto, I would not do that unless you are against of alcohol whatsoever as this is what making it an Italian risotto but not a Chinese risotto.
PS. I have made a TAKE 2 last Sunday for my friends on request and this time I think I could even better control the time and it turned out even better, also, my first time to try to use SLR to take my food photos.
My hands are getting itchy from not needing to do any cooking in the last days. Therefore I have offered to prepare the New Year’s Dinner at my in-laws home for the family. I have prepared Indian dishes for the main meal. And for desserts we had opa’s oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts) & oma’s appelflappen (apple fritters), so have a peek at our dinner menu at Bergweg 28:
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Cucumber & coriander raita
- Saffron Rice
- Naan Bread
Desserts (see pictures at bottom).
- Oliebollen: I have heard so much about opa’s famous Oliebollen, those who have tried, will never forget them. Finally I could look over opa’s shoulder to see how he made them. I have tried the ones prepared in the restaurants, although they look bigger and rounder but they are not as airy as opa’s ones.
- Appelflappen : Oma’s appelflappen is not the normal apple turnover you see out there, she used the same oliebollen batter mix but with some beer add to it, stir briskly to mix thoughoutly to air as much as as possible. She then coated the sliced apple in the dough and then fry them. They can be served warm or cold.
Note: only Goudreinet apples are used in a truly authentic dutch way, the same type of apples for Dutch appeltart!!!
And here I would just share my experience on my naan bread, they were great success, because I don’t have my bread recipe book with me, so I did some searching and found quite a few bloggers have used Anjun Anand’s recipe in BBC Food. Other recipes I found consist eggs but as far as I can recall, the recipe I used consists of yogurt and no egg, so I used this recipe as the backbone and adapted it to become to the closest recipe I used previously. Anyway, this was my second time making homemade naan bread and they were awesome and even better this time after gaining some experience from my first time. And they are just so easy to make, once you have experienced the fresh ones made by yourself, you will never buy the ready made ones ever again.
as seen in Tastespotting #30226, 03.01 09
Preparation time: 1-2 hours
Cooking time less than 10 mins
For the dough
- 250g plain flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 3.5g (half pack) of 7g instant yeast
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 130g warm low-fat plain yogurt (please take note that I used gram and not ml as in Anjum Anand’s
- 80-100ml warm milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- Cumin seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chopped garlic and/ or fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp butter, melted, for brushing on top when the naan is cooked.
- Mix all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder & yeast) in a bowl and then transfer to a large working surface area and make a well in the middle (just like making pizza dough)
- Warm the milk and yogurt.
- Pour in the milk, yogurt and olive oil into the centre of the flour mixture. Slowly draw the flour from the edges of the well into the liquid mixture to make a small dough. Knead for 8 minutes until a smooth dough is formed, if the dough is a bit sticky, adjust by adding more flour to it.
- Place the kneaded dough in a floured bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave it in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until the dough has risen and doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough back to the working surface and remove the air by knocking the dough back
- Divide the dough into five small doughs.
- Preheat the grill to medium and grease a baking tray with a little oil to avoid from sticking.
- Roll the small doughs into thin and teardrop shape, you can get this shape by gently pull on both sides longitudinally.
- Place the shaped dough immediately to the upper shelf of the grill and heat for 2-3 minutes on both sides until they are lightly brown. You can grill 2-3 pieces at a time.
- If you do not like plain and like some variation, you can sprinkle over your chosen topping and press into the surface of the dough.
- Serve immediately when hot with your favorite Indian curries and raita.
The oliebollen were gone in minutes!
Be patient, the Oliebollen are not cooked yet!
Look at the airy texture, the tip is not to fiddle too much with the dough, spoon and fry immediately.
The apple was very soft inside : )
And here is my previous post for Grandma’s Erwtensoep (Dutch Split Green Peas Soup) if you are interested.
For more Dutch food pictures please go to my flickr!
When I woke up this morning, I see everything was covered white outside. It was said that it may still be snowing for the next couple of days. Luckily my car has just got in time changed to winter tires today.
And I have stocked up yesterday from the supermarket so I can stay peacefully at home baking more cookies and amaretti. I am flying to UK tomorrow and will take them with me to give out to my friends.
Also I was experimenting the best baking time and temperature for my oven. And this afternoon, I think I have got the hang the best temperature for my chewy chocolate cookies, of course it’s a matter of personal taste. The best was to eat them when they are still a bit warm. Last time I said I have used 170ºC but with a few more attempts, I can’t agree more with Mrs. Field that it is better at 150ºC. So I have amended in my recipe from 170ºC to 150ºC. Although 170ºC is already chewy but 150ºC does make the cookie even more chewy. There is no need to worry that they are still rather soft when out of the oven. They look so good when the chocolate are somewhat melted and looks a bit shining. Not only I like eating the cookies, I enjoy taking photos for my cookies, I created a new term for myself ‘food modelling’…..
Learnt from Rosa’s Yum Yum’s post on Pecan Sandies that there is a worldwide cookie event called “Eat Christmas Cookies” by Susan at “Food Blogga” (USA), so I thought I can submit my amaretti too. This is already Season 2 of this event, you can see the round up so far here. The deadline is 21 December so there is still time to submit for all of you!
The chewy cookies quest has got me went on to explore how to make amaretti. Amaretti is my husband favorite, he was so happy when the first batch of the amaretti came out of the oven to be a success. I have never thought that they are so easy to make. The beauty is that I can buy the ground almond easily in Switzerland, saves a lot of time from grounding. The Swiss loves almond flavored desserts, the ground almonds was run out from Coop and I have to run to next door Migros to buy them, Migros has almost run out too so I immediately stocked up 6 packs of 100g in case I fail in my first attempt. Now that they come out so nicely, I have already received a pre-order from my in-laws to take over to Holland when we visit them over Christmas. This will keep me busy in the next days in the kitchen : )
- 300g ground almond (200g blanched & 100g non-blanched)
- 280g fine sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 3 egg whites (use large eggs)
- 1 tbsp white flour
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- pinch of salt
- a little of lemon juice
- 1 tsp bitter almond essence
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- butter and flour for baking paper
Make: 32-36 pieces
- Line the baking sheets on the baking trays, butter and flour them accordingly .
- If you cannot find ground almond, you will need to ground the almond (with skin removed) using a food processor. Otherwise mix the ground almond with the sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice until you get a dense white foam.
- Gradually fold in the almond sugar mix, flour and corn starch using a spatula. Make sure there are no lumps, use a colander where necessary.
- Add in the bitter almond and vanilla essence, blend well until it is throughoutly mixed.
- You should now have a very nice almond dough. Place teaspoon size of the dough in the buttered and floured baking sheets. The doughs can be quite close together about 2cm aparts, as they will not rise much. Each amaretti will be about 5cm x 5cm. Use your finger to help shaping the amaretti a little if necessary.
- Dust the dough with powdered sugar and leave them in a cool place for 4-5 hours before baking.
- Preheat oven to 170°C, half an hour before baking.
- Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 25 mins or until subtle golden brown. This will give you crispy sides and nicely chewy in the middle. If you like them more crispy, you can add a few more minutes accordingly to your preference.
- When out of the oven, let them cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transfer them to the cooling rack.
- Serve when cooled or store them in air-tight metal cookie tins.
- Don’t forget to prepare a nice coffee or expresso to go with them.
Note. My first attempt turned out to be so good that I went to make a second batch but this time I have left them overnight and it turned out that they only need to be baked for 20 mins, and they turned to golden yellow and still soft inside so I turned them to cooling rack straight away. Alternatively, you can turn the oven to 150°C for 24 mins . It’s really a matter of adjusting between time and temperature and of course knowing your oven : )