Me again, at last!
Every time I write a blog entry it takes me even longer to write the next. I don’t seem to have had much time to spare recently. I started my latest new job three weeks ago, and hopefully I’ll stay at this one! I finally get to work normal hours with every weekend off, although this Monday to Friday 8.30 to 5.30 lark is actually quite tiring. The weekends go too fast. I also seem to have developed a social life again, going out most weekends and doing lots of things for the Guide group I’m a leader for on Mondays. So, that leaves me with little time to bake, let alone write a blog and share my recipes with you all. Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes it’s nice to do sod all.
At least things are on the up. I have a job that is permanent. I’m a Claims Handler for an insurance place- or will be when I’m trained! It’s going well so far. The staff are all really nice and the place is relaxed. Not like the backwards phone company that sells phones to you but shall remain nameless. Another reason to be happy is that spring is here and every morning and evening when I walk to and from work I walk past lots and lots of beautiful yellow daffodils. The past few days have felt like summer. My ‘big’ coat has been discarded and my bare arms have been exposed to the sun. I get an hour for lunch at work so quite often I go for a walk. I can feel all that vitamin D being absorbed into my skin. My skin feels like it’s glowing already.
I did happen to read a while back that almonds are good for your skin too. With this in mind, I decided this weekend to bake lots of things with almonds. You see, you can safely justify eating cake when the main ingredient has such excellent health benefits. In between going to the pub and drinking a fair amount of red wine, which remember is good for your heart, I baked an almond cake, an almond and apple tart and a batch of almond (kind of) tuiles (the ‘kind of’ meaning that they didn’t quite turn out to Masterchef standard in terms of shape, but they still tasted extremely good).
Almond cake has become one of my favourites. It’s really easy to make and it tastes delicious. Light, moist and delicate. It looks wonderful too with dark chocolate drizzled over the top.
To make it you need:
225g/8oz butter or margarine
175g/6oz light brown sugar
1tsp almond essence
125g/4oz self-raising flour
175g/6oz ground almonds
50g/2oz chopped almonds
25g/1oz dark chocolate
– Preheat the oven to Gas mark 2 (150°C/300°F) and oil and line a 20.5cm/8 inch deep cake tin.
– Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Beat the eggs and the almond essence together and add to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix well.
– Sift the flour and mix with the almonds. Add to the egg mixture and beat until smooth.
– Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Scatter the chopped almonds over the mixture.
– Bake in the oven for 1 hour, although it may take longer. A skewer inserted into the mixture should come out clean.
– Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack.
– In the meantime melt the chocolate in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water then drizzle over the cake.
Enjoy in the afternoon with a cup of tea.
My next recipe is another delicate delight. An apple and Almond tart. I made it for our Sunday dinner desert. It rounded off the dinner perfectly. It’s not too heavy after a huge meal either so you won’t feel guilty eating it- not that you should feel guilty eating what you enjoy anyway- within reason. The pastry is deliciously buttery and the filling soft and tasty. The apples round it off with extra flavour and fruitiness.
To make it you need:
1 egg yolk
125g/4oz plain flour
15g/1oz ground almonds
70g/2 ½ oz butter or margarine
100g/4oz brown sugar
100g/4oz ground almonds
1 egg plus 1 egg white
2 large apples cut into thin slices, Granny Smiths work well with this
– Make the pastry by creaming the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Mix in the egg, flour and ground almonds. Add enough milk or water to form a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for 2 hours.
– Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190°C/370°F) and grease a 23cm tart tin. Roll the pastry and line the tin with this- it may fall apart but you can press it together in the tin.
– Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill the pastry case with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes.
– When the pastry case is cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool.
– Make the filling by mixing the butter, sugar and almonds together. Beat in the egg and egg white and mix till smooth.
– Pour into the pastry case. Arrange the apples on the top of the filling.
– Bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling is golden.
– Leave to cool then serve with cream.
Delicious. And finally, just in case you need a snack after doing all that baking, try an almond kinda tuiles. When I say an almond kinda tuile, I mean five, because they’re like Pringles. If you have one, you have to have more.
– 75g/3oz butter or margarine
– 75g/3oz caster sugar
– 50g/2oz plain flour
– 75g/1oz ground almonds
– 1 egg white
– 1 tsp almond essence
– Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190°C/370°F) and grease a baking tray.
– Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon.
– Sift the flour and add with the almonds to the butter mixture.
– Beat the egg white into the mixture and the almond essence and beat until well mixed.
– Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking tray and spread the mixture into thin circles using the back of the spoon.
– Bake for 6-8 minutes until the edges start to brown.
– Remove the biscuits from the oven and curl round a rolling pin until the biscuit sets.
– Leave to cool then eat.
And there you have it. Recipes for beautiful, youthful and glowing skin. Why spend all that money on anti-aging cream when you can just eat cake?!
That’s what I’m going to do.
Bye for now,
*Beauty is an illusion that fades with time. True beauty is flawless, inside you it shines.