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Archive for January, 2014

Makroner

These are Danish Makroner cookies and I use the word cookie here very loosely. They are not really the kind of cookies that you snack on, well I guess you could, but they are very sweet. These cookies are crispy and airy and they are meant to be crumbled up and used in the making of other desserts such as Danish Æblekage (apple cake), Lagkage (layered cake) or Chocolate Amaretto Pudding.

This recipe calls for Hjortetaksalt which is a common leavening agent used in Denmark. Hjortetaksalt is Ammonium Bicarbonate also called Baker’s Ammonia or Hartshorn. The Ammonia gives a lighter and crispier result but can be substituted with baking powder or baking soda. A word of advise about baking with Hjortetaksalt. Do not keep your head directly over the door when opening the oven because the fumes will be very strong initially when the door is first opened, however there will be no after-taste at all from the Hjortetaksalt in your cookies. I did not have any Hjortetaksalt on hand and so I tried it with baking soda and the result was very good. The cookies were crisp and tasted exactly right. They did not rise much and I am wondering if they would have risen more with the Hjortetaksalt?

Makroner

Ingredients:

100 gram blanched almonds (3.5 oz)

100 g confectioners sugar (3.5 oz)

just a pinch of Ammonium Bicarbonate (called Hjortetaksalt in Danish) or baking powder or baking soda

2 egg whites

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 degrees C).

Place blanched almonds in food processor and blend until a fine powder. Combine ground almonds, confectioners sugar and Hjortetaksalt in a bowl. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the almond mixture in increments, this may require a bit of patience.

Place teaspoon size dollops of dough onto baking sheet and bake in the middle of oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before storing in baking tin with a tight fitting lid. Enjoy!

Source: Bente Kilian – Maduniverset

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Chocolate Amaretto Pudding

Chocolate Amaretto Pudding

This is a very easy dessert to put together but somehow I managed to make it really complicated. You would think that after all these years living in the US that I would have some sort of sense of how much a liquid ounce is, but nooooo. So I am making this lovely dessert and measuring out the amount of Amaretto. The measuring glass I am using is small with tiny numbers on it and I need approximately 2 1/2 ounces. I see the number 5 and figure I need about half that amount. I go about my business and finish the dessert. Now tasting time, that’s funny, I don’t taste any Amaretto, only delicious chocolate. I then go back and look at the measuring glass again, this time putting on my reading glasses and see that what I thought was a 5 really said .5 🙂 No wonder I don’t taste any Amaretto. Round two, so I make another portion, determined that I want a pudding that is loaded with wonderful Amaretto flavor and the second time around I finally succeeded. This is indeed a lovely, lovely Amaretto pudding.

How many Smiths does it take to make a hammer head?

How many Smiths does it take to make a hammer head?

But the story doesn’t end there. You see, this makes 6 small or 4 good size portions and the pudding is to be served for the ABGT blacksmiths and these guys are not small portion kinda guys and I need at least 6 portions. So what’s a girl to do? I want to make some cups with Amaretto pudding and some with the plain chocolate pudding. But my husband suggested that if I mix it all together it might still taste like Amaretto. Big mistake, the wonderful Amaretto flavor has virtually disappeared. Oh well 😦 but it doesn’t stop there. So I send Joe on his way with the pudding only to realize, I didn’t get any finished pictures of the pudding. So the pictures in this blog post is courtesy of my blacksmith husband Joe, which may I add, did an excellent job taking them. Thank you honey 😉

Chocolate Amaretto Pudding

Chocolate Amaretto Pudding

Chocolate Amaretto Pudding (makes 4 to 6 servings)

Ingredients:

500 milliliter whole milk (17 fl oz)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoon sugar

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

80 milliliter Amaretto liqueur (2.7 fl oz)

100 gram dark chocolate (3.4 oz), chopped finely

50 gram unsalted butter (1.7 oz)

Topping:

whipped heavy cream, optional

Danish Makroner or Amaretti cookies, crushed, optional

Directions:

Warm milk in a saucepan over low heat. In a second cold saucepan add flour, sugar and vanilla seeds, whisk to combine. Whisk in the warm milk, a little at a time, until smooth. Place saucepan on stove and heat to medium-low stirring frequently. Whisk in Amaretto liqueur and continue to stir until you start to see a slight bubble, remove pan from heat. Add chocolate and butter, continue to stir until it starts to thicken a little. Pour pudding into storage container or serving dishes and chill in refrigerator 4-6 hours before serving. To prevent skin from forming on pudding surface, place plastic wrap directly onto surface before chilling. To serve top with whipped cream and crushed Danish Makroner or Amaretti cookies. Enjoy!

Source: Gennaro Contaldo

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