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Cover: Make your cake…and eat it

Recipes with almonds

08Aug 12

Apple Meringue Pie

Apple Meringue Pie
A traditional Swedish dessert, this apple meringue pie is a real treat for the apple pie connoisseur.  With a crispy crust, scrumptious strawberry and tart apple filling, all covered with a light and delicious meringue, this pie is sure to satisfy even the most demanding of palates.  Although the recipe and finished product appear to be quite complex and difficult, in reality, it’s quite the opposite.  You’ll have it ready in just over an hour, and judging by past experience, it’ll only last about half that time before disappearing!

For another fruity meringue treat, try this iced fruit mountains and hot chocolate snow recipe.

 

Apple Meringue Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
A traditional Swedish dessert
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 75g butter
  • 3tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 95g flour
  • 30g chopped roasted almonds
  • 1tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 5 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • 65g granulated sugar
  • 1.5tbsp lemon juice
  • 160g strawberry jam
  • FOR THE MERINGUE:
  • 2 egg whites
  • A few grains of salt
  • 4tbsp granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. FOR THE CRUST:
  2. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  3. Cream the butter with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  4. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
  5. Add the flour, almonds, lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and blend well.
  6. Press the dough onto the bottom and sides of a pie pan.
  7. Brush the crust with a little unbeaten egg white.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven.
  10. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling as follows:
  11. Combine the apple eighths with the granulated sugar and remaining lemon juice in a saucepan.
  12. Cover and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  13. Spread the strawberry jam evenly over the baked crust.
  14. Arrange the cooked apples over the top of the strawberry jam.
  15. FOR THE MERINGUE:
  16. Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff but not dry.
  17. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating continuously.
  18. Mound the meringue over the apples and return to the oven.
  19. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the meringue is just lightly browned.

 

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19Jul 12

Hazelnut Torte

Hazelnut TorteA simple, yet satisfying, hazelnut torte recipe that is quick to prepare, and even quicker to disappear! (For those of you who like hazelnuts mixed with chocolate, you should definitely try this white birthday cake with nutella frosting as well.)

 

Hazelnut Torte
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 175g hazelnuts
  • 100g finely sliced almonds
  • 255g caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 3tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp fresh strained lemon juice
  • 250ml double cream, whipped
  • 2tbsp granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 240ºC.
  2. Butter and flour two layer-cake pans and line them with baking parchment. Set aside for later.
  3. Spread the hazelnuts along the bottom of an oven-safe pan and roast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the skin cracks open and the nuts are toasted. Shake the pan every few minutes to keep the nuts from burning.
  4. Remove the nuts from the oven and pour them onto a clean kitchen towel.
  5. Reduce the heat of the oven to 150ºC.
  6. Rub energetically with the towel to remove the skins.
  7. Grind the skinned nuts with a nut grinder or food processor.
  8. Sift through the ground nuts and eliminate any large pieces.
  9. Grind the larger pieces again and add back to the rest of the ground nuts, along with the almonds.
  10. Beat the caster sugar into the egg whites a little at a time.
  11. Continue beating another few minutes after all the caster sugar has been added.
  12. Add two teaspoons of the vanilla extract and all of the lemon juice to the mixture and beat for two or three more minutes to ensure that all of the sugar has been completely dissolved into the egg whites.
  13. Carefully fold a little more than three-quarters of the ground nuts into the mixture.
  14. Pour half of the mixture into each of the buttered and floured cake pans.
  15. Bake in the 150ºC oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cakes are firm but not browned.
  16. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks and remove the baking parchment.
  17. Allow the cakes to cool.
  18. While the cakes are cooling, mix the whipped double cream with the granulated sugar and the remaining vanilla extract.
  19. Fold the rest of the nuts into the whipped cream.
  20. Place one of the cooled cake layers on a serving plate and spread the whipped cream and nut mixture on top of it.
  21. Carefully lay the second layer on top of the first and serve immediately.

 

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03Jul 12

Nutty Meringue Cake

Nutty Meringue CakeThis nutty meringue cake is a light and nutty delight that makes for a perfect treat on a hot summer’s day. Although the end result is quite impressive and looks like it was difficult to make, the process itself is actually rather simple.  Just be careful to not leave the meringues in the oven too long so that they don’t burn!

For a fruity meringue flavour, try this iced fruit mountains and hot chocolate snow recipe.

Nutty Meringue Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1.5tbsp cornflour
  • 55g peanuts, shelled
  • 55g almonds
  • 6 stiffly beaten egg whites
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Butter and flour a baking sheet and two standard sized flan rings (about 23cm wide by 2-3cm deep).
  3. Place the rings on top of the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Mix together the granulated sugar and cornflour.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared rings and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the meringue cool in the rings.
  8. While the meringues are cooling, grind the peanuts and almonds together in a blender or food processor. Put them in a bowl and mix them with the cream cheese, vanilla extract and all but 1 tablespoon of the icing sugar. This is the icing mixture.
  9. Mix well and ensure that the icing is well blended.
  10. Remove the rings from the two meringues.
  11. The side that was touching the baking sheet will be very flat. Place one of the meringues on a serving plate with this side down.
  12. Spread about 75% of the icing evenly on top of the bottom meringue layer.
  13. Place the other layer of meringue on top of the icing and bottom layer.
  14. Use a spatula to spread the rest of the icing over the sides of the cake, partly covering the top meringue layer.
  15. Put the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a sieve and sprinkle over top of the meringue to create a light chocolate blanket.
  16. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  17. Serve cold, cut into small wedges.

 

 

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21Jun 12

Almond and Chestnut Cake

Almond and Chestnut CakeA traditional Czech dessert, this almond and chestnut cake (called Dort Kastanovy in the Czech Republic) is very hearty and rich.  Chestnuts are not easy to find most of the year except in the autumn, so this is a great seasonal recipe to keep in mind when the leaves start turning colour. I really like the combination of chestnuts and almonds, but if you prefer just almonds, I recommend this almond cake with orchard fruits recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 500g chestnuts, washed, shells and skins left on
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 70g butter, softened
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, yolks separated from whites, whites stiffly beaten
  • 175ml almonds, blanched, peeled and ground
  • 500ml double cream, whipped

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Butter a 20cm spring-form cake pan and dust with breadcrumbs.
  3. Make an incision on the rounded sides of the chestnuts with a sharp knife and roast them on a baking tray in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes to loosen the shells and skins.
  4. Remove from the oven and peel, then cook them on the stovetop in the milk for about 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat of the oven to 150ºC.
  6. Set aside 50ml of the chestnuts and purée the rest through a strainer while they’re still hot.  Add any liquid that wasn’t absorbed during cooking.
  7. To prepare the cake, cream the butter very well with the granulated sugar and the egg yolks.
  8. Mix in the ground almonds and the puréed chestnuts.
  9. Fold in the egg whites.
  10.  Pour the batter into the buttered and dusted spring-form pan and bake in the 150ºC oven for 45 minutes to one hour, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  11.  Cool the cake in its pan for about 10 minutes, then remove the rim.  Run a spatula or knife under the cake to loosen it and then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack.
  12. When it has cooled, split the cake into two layers.
  13. Fill and cove the cake with the whipped double cream.
  14.  Shred the remaining chestnuts (or leave whole according to preference) and sprinkle them over the top.
  15. Slice and serve.

Prep Time:  45 minutes

Cooking Time:  60 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:  Medium

 

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08Jun 12

Apricot Squares

Apricot SquaresI love making cakes; they’re my favourite food bar-none, but sometimes for a party it just seems like too much bother to have to serve it on plates with a fork and knife, as well as all the extra washing-up this means later on.  So for my latest party, I decided to make squares instead, as they can be served on a napkin and eaten with your fingers if need be.  They’re not any more difficult to make than a regular cake, but just as tasty!

As an optional “extra,” you can also concoct an orange icing to top it off. Depending on your sweet tooth (or that of your guests), you can give it a try. With the icing, the mix of apricots, almonds and orange in these apricot squares is truly astounding, as I’m sure my guests would attest to!

For those who like to combine fruit with chocolate, I recommend this chocolate and apricot wrap cake.

Ingredients:

For the squares:

  • 160ml dried apricots
  • 114g butter
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 165g sifted flour
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml chopped almonds
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs

For the icing:

  • 75g butter, softened
  • 190g icing sugar
  • 40ml orange juice
  • 1/2tsp fine orange zest

Instructions:

For the squares:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC.
  2. Butter and flour a 20cm square baking pan.
  3. Rinse the apricots, cover with water in a small pot and boil for ten minutes.
  4. Drain off the water, let cool and then chop up the apricots.
  5. Mix the butter, sugar and 125g of sifted flour until a crumbly mixture is formed.
  6. Pack this mixture into the bottom of the square pan and bake for 25 minutes or until the top turns light brown.
  7. Sift the remaining 40g of flour together with the salt and baking powder.
  8. In a separate bowl, beat the brown sugar into the eggs and then add the flour mixture a third at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  9. Add the apricots, almonds and vanilla and mix well.
  10. Spread this mixture over the already baked layer.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  12. Let cool.

For the icing:

  1. Mix all the ingredients well, either by hand or with an electric mixer.
  2. If the icing is too runny, add more icing sugar.  If it’s too thick, add more orange juice.
  3. Spread the icing over the cooled apricot square.
  4. Cut into squares and serve.

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time:  65 minutes

Serves:  8-10

Difficulty:  Medium

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24Apr 12

Mint Chocolate Cake with Almond Frosting

Mint chocolate cake with almondsChocolate and mint, it’s a combination made in heaven!  This mint chocolate cake with almond frosting is so delicious it’s hard to resist a second or even third serving, so if you’re watching your waistline, you’ve been warned! (Also try these chocolate lava cakes.)

I used to make this sponge with mint chocolate frosting too, but I eventually had to admit it was too rich even for my taste and decided to try almond flavour frosting instead.  I think the result speaks for itself, so get baking and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

  • 220g butter
  • 600g granulated sugar
  • 3tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 2tsp coffee liqueur
  • 3 eggs
  • 285g cake flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 250g cocoa powder
  • 315ml buttermilk
  • 2tbsp fresh mint  leaves

For the frosting:

  • 375g icing sugar
  • 6tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 60ml water
  • 1tsp almond extract
  • 20g almond shavings

Instructions:

For the sponge:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Grease and flour a 23cm cake pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually add the sugar and beat until it turns light in colour.
  5. Add the coffee granules and liqueur and mix well.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
  8. Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  9. Stir in the mint leaves. Mix until just blended.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  11.  Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  12. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in its pan on wire cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes.
  13. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and continue to cool on the wire rack.
  14. Remove and discard the baking parchment.

For the frosting:

  1. Blend the icing sugar, almond extract, cocoa powder and water with an electric mixer until just blended.
  2. Beat on medium speed until thick and smooth.
  3. Spread on the cooled cake with a spatula.
  4. Sprinkle the almond shavings on top.
  5. Serve immediately.

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  70 minutes

Serves:  10

Difficulty:  Medium

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14Feb 12

White Birthday Cake with Nutella Frosting

White Birthday Cake with Nutella FrostingBirthdays! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they come around every year!  And although I adore cheesecake, there is just no better way to celebrate than with my white birthday cake with Nutella frosting!  I admit it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but that’s why birthdays are only once a year.

This hearty and delicious white birthday cake recipe was a staple around my house at birthday time when I was growing up.  It was handed down to me by my mother, who got it from my grandma, who got it from her mother, who supposedly invented it – although I make no claims as to the authenticity of this fact!  Either way, the cake is absolutely scrumptious and the Nutella frosting (my own addition) provides a great nutty/chocolaty contrast to the spongy white cake base.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try cutting the cake into two layers (after cooking and cooling, of course).  You can fill the middle layer with more Nutella, or strawberry jam, or any other flavour of jam, or whatever else tickles your fancy.  You could also garnish it with sliced almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, or whatever other nut you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • 2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 400g jar of Nutella

Instructions:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy.
  2. Add the boiling water and the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously.
  3. Add the vanilla and stir well.
  4. Add the baking powder and stir it in to the mix.
  5. Add 1 cup of flour and 1 egg, mixing vigorously.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all the flour and eggs have been added.
  7. Pour the mixture into an approx. 23cm round tube cake pan.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 160ºC for one hour or until a toothpick inserted at the top comes out clean.
  9. Turn out onto a cake rack and let it cool.
  10. Spread the Nutella over the outside of the cake and serve.

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serves:  10

Difficulty:  Medium

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