Saturday, December 24, 2011
The extent of my Christmas baking
3 egg whites
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup plain flour - sifted
1/2 cup self raising flour - sifted
125g whole almonds with skin on or use half almonds with the other half made up of pistachios or roasted hazelnuts. The pistachios give a lovely pale green outline but use whatever makes you happy. If you really like glace fruit, use a half quantity in place of half of the nuts - the result looks pretty but I don't like glace fruit enough to bother.
Heat oven to 180C/350F. Beat egg whites until stiff and beat in the castor sugar until dissolved. Gradually add the flour and stir in the nuts. Transfer into a greased bar tin (I use a tin 8.5cm wide and 25.cm long and cook for approximately 40 minutes. Allow to go completely cold and leave over night. Slice into very thin slices (I get Stos to do this with a serrated knife) then lay out on baking sheets and dry out in a slow oven (150C/300F). I find that about half an hour does it in my oven and the thinner bits dry out more quickly. The slices should be dry, but still pale in colour. Well that's the theory - I always find I have a few brown bits but they still taste good. Once cold, serve with coffee and stand back and accept the compliments, or package as gifts. The recipients will think you are a genius - if only they knew!
This recipe doubles quite well although the froth of 6 egg whites starts climbing up the beaters in the first stage of the recipe. And if you hate waste like I do, the left over 6 egg yokes are the perfect quantity for the base of home made ice-cream. Or use for proper egg custard for the Christmas pudding. Enjoy!