I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon assisting Nina Oortman, with one of her basic bread making classes, which 3 terrific women had signed up for. One, a PA in the City wants to get into private catering, another, a new mum, wants to open a cafe and the third wanted to improve her skills. All three ladies went home with a huge amount of information, newly acquired bread making skills and lots of freshly baked bread and rolls.
Nina runs really small, relaxed classes and I can’t recommend them highly enough. She has had people come from as far as Oxford and Brighton proving that the classes are not limited to people who live locally! Take a look at her site to see what she offers and when – http://breadangels.com/profile/nina-oortman – the Party Breads class looks fantastic! After all the dough has been kneaded, proved and shaped, Nina breaks for a light lunch/tea offering cheese, some just made soda bread, jams and home made cakes. This time she also brought in a stack of her Rye Crackers (Party Breads) which are amazing. She suggested that I make something and bring it along to showcase my blog. As you can imagine, she did not have to ask twice!
I have had this recipe for Almondines for some time – it probably came from a magazine in a waiting room where I often scrawl down recipes, and yes, I do know that people rip out the recipe pages but I find that intensely irritating and rude, so I don’t. This recipe is for a lovely short biscuit base topped with honeyed sliced almonds and citrus zest. If any of you know the provenance of this recipe, please do leave me a comment.
Almondines are incredibly quick and easy to make, especially if you are using a food processor. I have also given instructions for making it without.
For the base:
- 120g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
- 3 Tbsp golden caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 90g cold, cubed butter
- 1 egg yolk (large)
- 2 – 3 Tbsp water
- ½ tsp vanilla paste or extract
For the topping:
- 60g butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Zest of one lemon or orange
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g flaked almonds
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F. Line an 8 inch square tin with with non-stick foil or grease proof paper. See No 18 on my tip and tricks page for an easy way to do this.
- Place the the flour, almond meal, sugar and salt in the processor bowl and pulse a few time to mix.
- Add the cubed butter and process until mixture resembles damp sand.
- Tip the yolk, 2 Tbsp of water and the vanilla down the chute and pulse until the dough come together when pinched. You may have to scrape the sides down once. Add a little extra water if necessary.
- Place the the flour, almond meal, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk well to mix.
- Cut in the butter until the mix resembles damp sand.
- Whisk the egg yolk , vanilla and 2 Tbsp of water together and add to flour mix.
- Using your hand, mix until dough holds together when pinched. Add a little extra water if necessary
- Press the crumbly dough into your prepared pan. I wet the bottom of a flat bottomed glass and tamped down gently until the base was covered.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly coloured.
- In the meantime, place the butter in a small pan to melt over medium-low heat.
- Add the zest, honey, salt and vanilla and stir until the honey has melted and everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the almond flakes.
- Tip out the topping onto the warm base, spreading out as evenly as possible. There will be a bit of liquid but don’t worry – just spread it as evenly as you can.
- Bake for another 10-12 minutes until the almonds are golden and before the edges catch (ahem)!
- Let cool in the pan for 10 or 15 minutes, then using the foil/baking parchment as handles, remove from pan and lay on a wire rack to finish cooling.
I find that the best way to slice these sort of bakes is as follows:
- Using a long sharp knife slice the bake in half.
- Then slice each half into two equal slices so you now have 4 long equal slices.
- Spin the paper a quarter turn and do the same again – slice in half and each half in two. You should have 16 fairly equal squares.
Store in an air-tight tin and eat within two or three days if they last that long!
20 thoughts on “Almondines”
But I shan’t be making them … I live entirely on my own, without a soul to ask in for tea; so I’d only eat the lot. But they sure do look YUMMY !!! I wish to all the gods I had someone here is Sydney offering small bread-making classes. I make just the one loaf, and there ain’t no skill in it at all. It’s very small, too – and round. I want to be able to make a rectangular loaf that’s easy to cut. Sorry for the whinge. :-\
I am so sorry to hear that…I must admit that I only make them if I know that there will be others around to eat them. If you want to make a rectangular loaf, then you need to buy a small 1lb tin, grease it really well and pop your dough in to prove for the second time – that is what we do in the class…hope that helps!
Just gorgeous! Xx
Thanks my lovely xx
What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Almondines look golden and glorious x
It was a really lovely afternoon – the sun was shining, birds were singing and the smell of bread baking…heaven!!
Those look absolutely delightful. Thanks for sharing!
Pleasure and thank you – they were delicious!
This looks lovely! I love the entire recipe – and the zest brings such a freshness to the entire picture! With honeyed almonds, too – I bet this is divine :)
It is really lovely – very light but aromatic and crunchy…and so easy to make too!
Thanks Sophie :)
The classes sound wonderful and these look amazing!!!! I bet they didn’t last long at all…! X
Delicious!! I have made a similar Almondine recipe for years, but like you have no idea where it came from originally, probably a magazine clipping. It’s always fun to take cooking classes, I’m continually surprised by the new tricks I learn.
I used to be a great gatherer of recipes from magazines and other people’s books but have stopped as there is so much available on the internet now. I do love taking classes even if it’s just to meet the people who take them!
These look really good, I will save the recipe for sure.
Thanks! Let me know how you get on – you can post a photo on my Facebook page too…
These sounds like something I would looove!
These look absolutely delicious, thank you for sharing the recipe, I’ll add it to my binder now too!
Thank Chloe! They were! The crunchy honey sweet nuts are really well complimented by the zest. Let me know if you give them a go.