Tag Archives: almonds

Stollen with Marzipan

I have mentioned before that I believe in eating Christmas treats out of season. One benefit of this, when it is a dessert that you like but is not popular with others, is that you don’t have to share it with people who are unworthy of it. Another is that you don’t have it in a season when most of us really don’t need more dessert options. You can eat it when you are able to truly appreciate it.

Recently, I decided to make this favourite of mine, fruit stollen. This recipe is a quick bread, rather than a yeast bread, which means it is fast to put together. The dough includes cream cheese, which makes it easy to work with. It comes from Anna Thomas’s lovely cookbook The Vegetarian Epicure.

I mostly follow the original recipe. I use orange juice, not brandy, to soak the dried fruit, and I double it. I also double the cardamom, using 1 teaspoon. I follow the original recipe for the fruit ingredients. It uses sultanas, currants and candied peel (1/2 cup, 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup for one loaf). The dough gets some of its richness from ground almonds. And I use a gluten-free flour blend.

The dough requires a bit of patience, but eventually the flour gets absorbed, and you are left with a pliable dough. You can then pat this out by hand, on parchment paper, to the size of your choice. The original recipe calls for an oval 8 x 10 inches, which you then fold over just off centre. This time, I made my oval slightly bigger. If you adjust the size, keep this in mind when baking it, as making it thinner or thicker will affect the baking time.

One other change I make is to add about a cup of marzipan to the centre. This bread is lovely as is and the marzipan is not needed, but it is does make it quite special. When it is finished, you dust the whole thing generously with icing sugar after it has cooled a little.

The flavours improve over time, making it better a day or two after baking. I enjoyed the piece above at my desk the day after it was made. The rest I have portioned out and frozen, ready for me to enjoy later this summer.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Almond Biscotti

almond biscotti-sm

Apparently, I am on a biscotti tear. I made these biscotti last night, using a gluten-free flour blend. They are packed with almonds and the batter is flavoured just with vanilla.

In this recipe, you roast the almonds before you add them to the batter. The cookies have a good crunch and, like the chocolate ones I made last week, they are not too sweet.

I am rarely content to leave a recipe alone, so I upped the almond content to two cups from one. Just so no one doubted that they were in fact almond biscotti. (This is generally my approach. If an ingredient is in the title of a dish, I am likely to go overboard with it.)

I made these so I would have a holiday treat to give to someone who is gluten-free. I have a feeling I will have no trouble disposing of the rest of them.

 

Tagged , , , ,

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

biscotti-small

I made these vegan biscotti the other day, and they were a big hit.

I made them using a gluten-free flour blend. Instead of using chocolate chips, I just doubled up on the almonds. This meant they were packed with toasted almonds, which was fantastic. I also added some instant coffee powder into the liquid to help add depth to the cocoa flavour.

This is my second attempt at making gluten-free baking that is also vegan. My first attempt was a bit disastrous (that’s a story for another day…), but this time I was much stingier with my ground flax seed.

The finished cookies were a bit delicate, but surprisingly crunchy. I made them for an office function and impressed my colleagues, most of whom are used to eating biscotti made with wheat and eggs. I am now thinking about other biscotti flavours to try.

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Almond Coconut Banana Bread

banana bread

As much as I love eating leftover dessert cake for breakfast, I sometimes want something a little simpler. When I first stopped eating gluten, banana bread was one of the little things I missed, so I started looking for a reliable gluten-free alternative.

The first time I tried to make a gluten-free banana bread was also the first time I baked with coconut flour. I had no idea how different coconut flour is from other flours. The result was dense, leaden and dried-out mini loaves of banana bread that tasted good but fell far from my ideal.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Spring Cleaning

granola
Since going gluten-free, I have found breakfast to be a real challenge. I have never been a toast person, and most store-bought gluten-free bread is really only good for toasting. I also have found my appetite has changed. I don’t crave food the way I used to, and I am often not hungry at all when I wake up. This means I need something easy to eat that is filling and packed with real food.

I recently realized I needed to clean out my pantry, which led to the happy accident of a delicious version of homemade granola. The great thing about home cooking is that you get to put in lots and lots of whatever you like best. I worked off a recipe, but mainly based my amounts of things on what I had on hand.

I ended up with a cereal packed with protein and fibre that is not too sweet. It’s got sesame seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds and unsweetened coconut. Whole quinoa makes a nutty addition to cereal when it’s roasted, so I threw in what I had on hand of that, plus several cups of quinoa flakes. I used up bits of dried fruit I had too: it’s loaded with apple pieces, chopped figs and raisins. It has a touch of vanilla and honey, as well.

The best part is having both a cleaned-out cupboard and tonnes of great cereal waiting for me first thing in the morning.

Tagged , , , ,

Kalakand

kalakand

Kalakand is an Indian sweet. My mother, who was born in New Delhi, loves this treat. My brother and one of my sisters don’t think much of it, but my other sister and I adore it, just like our mother. We three kalakand lovers aren’t sad that it’s not to everyone’s taste, because that means there’s more for us.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,