Thursday, 6 August 2015

Aldmond financiers

Almonds are almonds. It seems quite evident, as a matter of fact. But if you always buy them packed, it is difficult to imagine all the work that lies behind those tiny things. I did not know it  until my uncle's almond trees started to produce. You had to pick the fruit, remove the wrapper it has to leave only the shell, remove the shells one by one, blanch to remove the skin and then finally toast them before eating them. A couple of times he gave us several boxes, and after all the process, my mum prepared an absolutely spectacular nugat. However, I never forget all the work behind those almonds  and they were only a few tens of kilos.

Almond Financiers 

Ingredients (for about 10 units)

120 grams of egg white
125 grams sugar
55 grams of flour
 55 grams of almond flour
zest of 1 lemon
150 grams of butter

Heat the butter over high heat in a medium saucepan. When you begin to acquire a tan and the smelle of hazelnut (noisette point), remove from heat immediately to avoid burning and acquiring a darker color. Pass through a fine sieve and let cool.

Mix egg whites with sugar. Add the flour and ground almonds and mix. Slowly add the clarified butter while continuing mixing. Leave this mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours (or 20 to 30 minutes in the freezer if you are in a hurry). Preheat oven to 180 º.
Paint your moulds with oil, divide dough among them, and bake at 180 º for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and unmold.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Coffee, lemon and cardamom granita

For someone who loves coffee anytime and in almost all versions, coffee granita is a common dessert. In summer it is refreshing and closes a meal by mixing dessert and coffee. Now, it is more or less the same idea. This recipe gives you a point of extra flavor by adding lemon and cardamom. The result is more refreshing thanks to the lemon juice and more intense due to cardamom. If you prepare it  with decaffeinated coffee, you can have it any time without fear of spending the whole night awake. Just a precision: with or without caffeine, coffee for this grantia should always be a good espresso.

Coffee, lemon and cardamom granita
Ingredients (for 2)

1/2 liter of espresso (can be decaf, but espresso)
Sweetener to taste
Juice of a lemon 
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Put the coffee in a metal container that can be introduced in the freezer, add sweetener and taste. It should be rather sweet, because freezing  will make it bitter. Add the lemon juice gradually, testing, and do not incorporate all of it  if it gets too acid. Add the cardamom and mix well. Put in the freezer and stir with a fork every hour or so to prevent freezing altogether.
Serve with a slice of lemon.