Almond Florentines Fit For A Queen

Ingredients: (Almond Florentines Fit For A Queen)

1 cup sliced almonds 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons — heavy cream 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup dark brown sugar — firmly packed 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon grated orange peel 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 4 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate — chopped 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate — chopped

Directions: (Almond Florentines Fit For A Queen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Line 2 large, heavy baking sheets with aluminum foil. Lightly butter the foil. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, just until the sugars dissolve and the butter melts. Add the almonds, flour and orange and lemon zests. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Drop 1 rounded teaspoon batter (batter will be runny) onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with more batter, spacing the cookies at lest 2 inches apart. Repeat with the second baking sheet. Bake until deep brown, about 8 minutes, switching the pans and rotating a half turn halfway through baking. Remove from the oven. Slide the foil off each sheet with the cookies in place. Line the same sheets with new foil, butter the foil, and repeat with remaining batter. While all 4 sheets of cookies are cooling completely on their pieces of foil, line the baking sheets with new foil. Carefully peel the cookies off the foil and arrange them, smooth side up, on the newly covered baking sheets. Combine the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl. Place over simmering water in the bottom pan and heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Using an icing spatula or a knife, spread the chocolate over the flat side of each cookie and return to the baking sheets, chocolate side up. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the chocolate sets. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Almond Mousse Au Chocolate

Ingredients: (Almond Mousse Au Chocolate)

1 package unsweetened gelatin powder
1/4 cup cold water
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares
1 ounces semisweet chocolate square
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup blanched almonds
toasted and chopped

Directions: (Almond Mousse Au Chocolate)

Soften gelatin in water. Melt chocolate in milk over boiling water. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves completely. Let it cool. Whip cream until it stands in soft peaks. Stir almond extract and chopped almonds into cooled chocolate. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Then fold in remaining cream. Pour into an attractive serving bowl and let set in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 2 hours or overnight. Decorate with whipped cream, candied violets, grated sweet chocolate or toasted almonds before serving.

Almond Bar Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients: (Almond Bar Chocolate Sauce)

4 bars milk chocolate bars with almonds  (1.05 ounces each)
1/4 cup hot water

Directions: (Almond Bar Chocolate Sauce)

Makes 1/2 Cup 1. Melt milk chocolate bars in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. 2. Add hot water, all at once; stir to blend until smooth. Serve as a hot topping.

Peach & almond tart

Instructions: (Peach & almond tart)

500g pack puff pastry
a little flour, for dusting
3 ripe peaches, each cut into 6 wedges
creme fraiche , to serve
[For the filling]
175g ground almonds
50g toasted flaked almonds, plus a handful more to decorate
250g tub mascarpone
25g butter, softened
200g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp to decorate
2 eggs
½ tsp almond extract

Directions :(Peach & almond tart)

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until big enough to line a 23cm tart tin with an overhang. Line the tin with pastry, gently folding overhanging pastry down the outside of the tin, then prick all over with a fork. Line with greaseproof paper; sit a 20cm sandwich tin on top (it should fit snugly). Fill with baking beans, then blind-bake for 20-25 mins until the sides are set. Remove the beans, tin and paper and cook for 10 -15 mins more until golden, risen and crisp. Cool a little, then trim the overhang and press down any risen bits.
Lower oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Beat together the filling ingredients, spoon into the tin and top with the peaches. Scatter with 1 tbsp caster sugar and extra flaked almonds, then bake for 40 mins until puffed up and golden, with a slight wobble in the center . Cool to room temperature and serve with creme fraiche.

Chocolate-Almond Saltine Toffee



Ingredients: (Chocolate-Almond Saltine Toffee)

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (6 ounces)
Approximately 60 saltine crackers (not low-sodium)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 sticks (3/4 pound) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Directions: (Chocolate-Almond Saltine Toffee)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for about 6 minutes, until golden.
  2. Line a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or lightly buttered parchment paper. Arrange the saltine crackers on the baking sheet in a single layer, patching any holes with cracker bits; slight gaps are okay.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and corn syrup and cook over low heat until the sugar is melted. Brush the side of the pan with a moistened pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals. Cook the syrup over moderate heat without stirring until it starts to brown around the edge, about 5 minutes. Insert a candy thermometer into the syrup and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon, until honey-colored caramel forms and the temperature reaches 300°, about 6 minutes longer.
  4. Slowly and carefully pour the caramel over the crackers, being sure to cover most of them evenly. Using an offset spatula, spread the caramel to cover any gaps. Let cool for 3 minutes, then sprinkle the chopped chocolate evenly on top. Let stand until the chocolate is melted, about 3 minutes, then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. Spread the almonds evenly over the chocolate. Freeze the toffee until set, about 15 minutes.
  5. Invert the toffee onto a work surface and peel off the mat or paper. Invert again, break into large shards and serve.

Vetri’s Almond-Ricotta Tortellini with Truffle Butter



Ingredients: (Vetri’s Almond-Ricotta Tortellini with Truffle Butter)


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup semolina
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


1 cup fresh ricotta (1/2 pound)
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
White truffle puree (see Note)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Thyme sprigs, for garnish

Directions: (Vetri’s Almond-Ricotta Tortellini with Truffle Butter)

  1. Combine the flour and semolina in a food processor and pulse to mix. With the machine on, add the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil and process until moist crumbs form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until silky and smooth; knead in more flour if the dough is too sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Line a strainer with a coffee filter and spoon in the ricotta. Set the strainer in a bowl, cover and let drain overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds on a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Let the nuts cool completely, then finely grind them in a food processor and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Puree the drained ricotta in a food processor until creamy. Add to the ground almonds along with the Parmesan and season with salt and white pepper. Stir in the truffle puree and then the beaten egg. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch-round tip or to a sturdy plastic bag with a corner snipped off. Refrigerate the filling.
  5. Cut the pasta dough into 6 pieces and let it return to room temperature. Using a hand-cranked pasta machine, roll 1 piece of dough through successively narrower settings to the thinnest setting. Lay the pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with flour and cover with a piece of wax paper. Repeat the process with the remaining pasta dough, dusting the sheets with flour and layering them between wax paper. Using a 2 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds from each pasta sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Pipe a scant 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of a dough round. Fold the dough over the filling to form a half moon and press the edges to seal; lightly brush the dough with water if it becomes dry. Bring the corners of the half moon together around a finger, overlapping them slightly and pressing them together to secure. Fill and shape the remaining tortellini, transferring them to a tray lined with floured wax paper as they’re shaped.
  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook, stirring occasionally, until they rise to the surface and the pasta is cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the tortellini and transfer to a large bowl.
  8. In a saucepan, bring 2 tablespoons of water to a boil. Add the butter, shaking the pan to combine. Add a few dabs of truffle puree and season with salt. Add the sauce to the tortellini. Transfer the tortellini to warmed bowls, garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.

Duck with Miso-Almond Butter



Ingredients: (Duck with Miso-Almond Butter)

1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons white miso paste
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 moulard duck breasts (1 1/2 pounds total), fat trimmed and skin scored in a crosshatch pattern
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons marcona almonds (5 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek
Kosher salt

Directions: (Duck with Miso-Almond Butter)

  1. In a bowl, mix the garlic and 1 tablespoon each of the miso and the oil. Set the duck in a glass baking dish and rub all over with the miso mixture; refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a blender, process 1 cup of the almonds, the water, honey, sambal oelek, 2 tablespoons of the oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of miso until smooth. Press the miso butter through a strainer into a small bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°. Rinse the marinade off the duck; pat dry. Lightly season the skin with salt. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet. Add the duck, skin side down, and cook over high heat until some fat is rendered, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the skin is golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 10 minutes, until the duck is slightly firm to the touch and the meat is medium. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Coarsely chop the remaining 2 tablespoons of almonds. Spoon the miso-almond butter onto plates. Thinly slice the duck breasts crosswise and arrange the slices on the almond butter. Garnish with the chopped almonds and serve.

Raspberry-Almond Financiers

 Ingredients (Raspberry-Almond Financiers)

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 8  tablespoon(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3  cup(s) honey
  • 2  cup(s) sliced blanched almonds (6 1/2 ounces), lightly toasted and finely ground
  • 1/2  cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/4  cup(s) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4  cup(s) sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2  teaspoon(s) salt
  • 5  large egg whites
  • 1  cup(s) raspberries (fresh or frozen), pureed and strained (1/2 cup)

Directions (Raspberry-Almond Financiers)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add honey, and whisk until combined. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine almonds, sugars, flour, and salt on low speed. Raise speed to medium-high, and add egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low, and add warm butter-honey mixture in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to high, and beat for 45 seconds.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each halfway. Spoon a scant 1/2 teaspoon raspberry puree near one edge of each cup. Draw a skewer or the tip of a paring knife through puree toward opposite edge of cup to form a heart shape.
  5. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in tins on wire racks. Using a small offset spatula, carefully unmold financiers, and transfer to rack. Financiers are best served warm or the same day they are baked, but they can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 days. If desired, serve or package financiers in decorative paper liners.

Strawberry-Almond Scones

Ingredients: (Strawberry-Almond Scones)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (also called Sugar in the Raw)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Pinch of salt

Directions: (Strawberry-Almond Scones)

Preheat the oven to 400° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flours with the granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk and carefully fold in the sliced strawberries.
Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop the dough into 16 mounds on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the scones are golden and cooked through; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Let the scones cool on a rack for 30 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the buttermilk, almond extract and salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
Drizzle the scones with the glaze, then top with the almonds, pressing to help them adhere. Let dry for 10 minutes, then serve.

Chicken and almond ribbon sandwiches

Ingredients: (Chicken and almond ribbon sandwiches)

1 barbecue chicken, skin and bones removed, coarsely shredded
1 cup (235g) mayonnaise
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs lemon juice
4 celery sticks, finely chopped
1/2 cup (65g) toasted slivered almonds
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 loaf sliced wholemeal sandwich bread

Directions: (Chicken and almond ribbon sandwiches)

  1. Combine the chicken, mayonnaise, mustard and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the celery, almonds and tarragon and gently stir until just combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange half the bread slices on a clean work surface. Spread the chicken mixture evenly among the bread slices. Sandwich together with remaining bread slices. Use a serrated knife to remove the crusts from each sandwich. Cut each sandwich lengthways into thirds. Arrange on a platter to serve.