Posts Tagged ‘almond’

Cocoa Almond Meringues

Spring has sprung in New Jersey!

To celebrate, I made my first ice cream purchase of the year. Neapolitan was the lucky flavor. Boy loves Neapolitan.

Way back when- as in, beginning of second year of medical school- we instituted this policy of dinner on Tuesday nights. Boy would go off to the gym around 8.30 every Tuesday (as well as other days.. don’t want you to think he’s a one-time-a-week gymming kinda guy) and in an effort to see him more often (we weren’t REALLY dating yet) I offered to make him dinner and have it on the table by 6 so that his belly could rest up before exercising. And every Tuesday we did just that. Even when we became official. When was that, you ask? No one knows. We have no anniversary date. It sort of just.. happened.

But then third year sort of just happened and Tuesday night dinners fell apart. I had no time to cook (and I was not home by 6 half the time let alone have time to cook a meal by then). And he stopped going to the gym at the same time every week. So no more Tuesday night dinners. Until last week. I happened to have the afternoon off (yippee skippee!!) so I offered to make dinner and he agreed. I settled on these meringues by Dorie to accompany the ice cream I already knew I wanted to buy since the weather had warmed up a bit. (Also, I decided to make dessert POST-trip to the store and happened to have all these ingredients on hand. Sweet!) Big hit. The fluffy and crunchy meringues went really well with the different flavors of smooth, silky ice cream. We’ve been eating bowls of the stuff all week.

And have been running every other day.

Win/win.

Cocoa Almond Meringues
adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 30.

Ingredients
1 c confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/3 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
4 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c finely chopped bittersweet chocolate [I used 3 squares of a bittersweet Ghirardelli baking bar]

Instructions
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 300F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Sift confectioners’ sugar, ground almonds and cocoa. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer or stand with whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt until the whites are opaque. Increase to medium-high speed and continue to whip while adding the granulated sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Whip until stiff peaks form but they are still shiny/glossy. Beat in vanilla extract.

Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chopped chocolate, with a large rubber spatula. The whites will inevitably deflate a bit, but fold quickly and gently to minimize this.

Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheets spacing them about 2 inches apart. Dust the tops lightly with confectioners’ sugar.

Bake at 300F for 10 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, lower the temperature to 200F and bake for 1 hour more. Remove from oven and allow meringues to cool completely on the baking sheet. Carefully peel meringues off the parchment.

Con helado, por favor. (With ice cream, please.) Perfect springtime dessert!

– Sharlene

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Almond Cakes

I am a stress baker through and through. At times when I’m already feeling overwhelmed with school and life (which is pretty much a daily event) I make time to bake (for my waistline’s sake, I resist the urge to bake every day). It’s not even always a relaxing experience to tell you the truth. Sometimes I wake up with this urge craving burning desire RESOLVE that I’m going to bake that day. Often this is after a day or two of wanting to bake but not being able to for various reasons. I have no butter. I’ve been on my feet for 12 hours straight and didn’t eat and all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. It’s 8pm, I just got home, I have to be up at 4, and I still have 3 hours of studying to do along with making and eating dinner. Sometimes, though, I randomly wake up and decide before I even get out of bed that today is a day for baking. And once I make that decision, it has to happen even if all those excuses I mentioned still apply. Therefore, I end up staying late and getting 5 hours of sleep because I was creaming butter and sugar instead of studying the management of diarrhea.

Does anyone else have this compulsive baking problem?

No?

Just me?

Okay then.

Yesterday was a different story. I didn’t wake up with the need to bake. I baked this past weekend, why did I need to bake again so soon? (Incidentally, they were green tea cupcakes with strawberry mascarpone filling — deliciousness. Recipe will be up after next weekend when I bake them for a friend’s sister’s baby shower.) I didn’t even have a busy day. I sat around in lectures and wasn’t particularly tired. And yet, I felt like baking.

I had spotted these Almond Cakes a little while ago and have been wanting to make them especially since I attempted to make mochi last month and had leftover glutinous flour. They were exactly what I needed. I used a mini muffin tin instead of a regularly sized one since the post mentioned that the original cakes these are modeled after were half-dollar-sized. Little bites of slightly sticky almond goodness. And so simple they were on my table and cooled in an hour. My kind of recipe.

Almond Cakes

adapted from a bird in the kitchen

Makes 18 mini-cakes or 8 (per original recipe) cakes.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut milk
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Garnish
1 tablespoon ground almonds [I tried to use the almond meal/flour you see in the picture. Note: this did not do anything.]

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare mini-muffin/cupcake tin with non-stick cooking spray [I tried the cupcake liner thing and don’t recommend it. The cakes are so sticky that they just stuck to the liners.]

Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg, almond extract, and coconut milk. until thoroughly combined. Add rice flour and baking powder.

Divide among muffin tin. Sprinkle ground almonds over batter if using. Bake for ~ 20 minutes or until golden (original recipe has 30 minutes for regular sized cakes). Remove from muffin tin immediately and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Bon appetito!

– Sharlene