Weekend Treat

This week I’m sharing my ‘Tuesday Treat’ a little early, so it’s become a ‘Weekend Treat’!…

(I’ll be back as normal on Wednesday 8th December with some delicious savoury recipes!)

White Chocolate, Pecan Nut & Oat Cookies (Gluten Free)

These are very good and very moreish, they are the type of cookie that can be easily eaten at just about any time of the day – you have been warned! The recipe is from the cookbook, ‘A Love of Eating: Recipes form Tart London’, written by Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones. In their recipe they use macademia nuts which I’m not so keen on, so I have substituted them for pecan nuts which are delicious with the sweet, white chocolate, a little like that other match made in heaven – pecan and maple syrup. This recipe works well with gluten-free flour, I use Dove’s. (Makes about 20 cookies)

150g unsalted butter, softened

130g light muscovado sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

50g plain flour (gluten-free if required – see note above)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

130g porridge oats

100g pecan nuts

100g white chocolate, chopped

*A couple of baking sheets, lined with baking paper.

  1. First, place the pecan nuts on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven, 180’c fan, for 5-10 minutes until golden and toasted. Remove from the oven, allow to cool then chop.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar together until soft and pale. Add the egg, vanilla, flour and bicarbonate of soda and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the oats, chopped white chocolate and pecan nuts, fold until combined.
  4. Take walnut size amounts of the sticky dough and place on the lined baking sheets, spacing them well apart. Bake in a preheated oven, 180’c fan, for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool….before eating…enjoy!!

Week Fifty Two

As we are fast approaching 25th November I think it’s safe for me to mention the ‘Christmas’ word, as it’s undoubtedly on all of our minds!… This year it should be a lot more joyous than last year, as without the stringent covid rules we will be able to entertain our friends and family. With this in mind, I thought that I would share a few recipes that are relatively quick to cook and will please the fussiest of guests, leaving you time to enjoy their company!….

Menu One is Chicken with Red Grapes and Marsala,  I adore cooking with Marsala wine, both in savoury and sweet dishes, as it lends a wonderful musky sweetness without being overpowering. In this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook ‘At My Table’, it is combined with grapes and chicken to make a classic dish, it is delicious served simply with steamed new potatoes. I love the uncomplicated elegance of Menu Two – ‘Hake with Capers, Saffron and Tomatoes’ is super quick and easy to cook – it really is my favourite kind of recipe! I have taken it from the cookbook ‘Memories of Gascony’ by Pierre Koffman, one of the world’s greatest Michelin starred chefs, so, without doubt, it is the type of dish that is equally good enough to serve to guests as it is to the family! Menu Three is ‘Pan-Roasted Duck with Spiced Peaches’, this is a very special dish, with a beautiful combination of flavours and magnificent colours. On paper, it seems a rather complex recipe, but it is actually straightforward!… I recommend that you serve it with two of my staple side dishes, ‘Sautéed Spinach with Garlic’ and ‘Concetta’s Potatoes’ (recipes below). Finally, this months ‘Blast from the Past Recipe’ is a recipe that I first shared last November, now that the season for game is well underway I think it’s a good time to re-share this recipe for pheasant. ‘Roast Pheasant with Whisky & Peppercorn Sauce’,  would be an easy and equally impressive dinner to serve over the festive season, it is particularly good with roast potatoes and buttered savoy cabbage (I’m also reposting these recipes!). Even if you’re not entertaining, these recipes will be the perfect complement to the festive season, and will be a good addition to any Christmas cooking list!… Enjoy!…

Menu One

Chicken with Red Grapes and Marsala (Serves 4)

I adore cooking with Marsala wine, both in savoury and sweet dishes, as it lends a wonderful musky sweetness without being overpowering. In this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook ‘At My Table’, it is combined with grapes and chicken to make a very elegant dish. In the photo above you can see that I used chicken supremes, which are chicken breasts with the bone still attached, they are particularly plump and juicy, however, this recipe would work equally well with regular skin-on chicken breasts (perhaps reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes if they are smaller). This dish is delicious served simply with steamed new potatoes.

120ml Marsala wine

120ml Chicken stock

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 Chicken supremes or chicken breasts with skin-on (see note above)

40 or so Seedless red grapes

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for decoration

  1. Mix the Marsala and mustard together.
  2. Heat the oil in a casserole dish or deep oven-proof frying pan, fry the chicken supremes, skin-side down for about 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Turn the chicken skin-side up and add the Marsala mixture to the pan, let it bubble up, then add the grapes and sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Bring everything to a gentle boil, then transfer to a preheated oven, 180’c fan, for about 20 minutes, until the chicken skin is bronzed and crisp and the meat is cooked through.
  3. Transfer the chicken and grapes to a serving plate. Place the pan with the cooking juices over a high heat and allow them to bubble away for a few minutes until they are reduced and thickened.
  4. To serve, pour the sauce around the chicken (avoiding the crisped skin) and scatter over some thyme sprigs.

Menu Two

Hake with Capers, Saffron & Tomatoes (Serves 4)

I love the simple elegance of this dish, it’s super quick and easy to cook – it really is my favourite kind of recipe! It is from the cookbook ‘Memories of Gascony’ by Pierre Koffman, one of the world’s greatest Michelin starred chefs, so it is the type of dish that is equally good enough to serve to guests as it is to the family! If you can’t get hold of hake, you could substitute it for cod steaks. This simple yet elegant dish is delicious with steamed new potatoes.

4 Hake steaks (see note above)

2 shallots, finely chopped

250ml dry white wine

A pinch of saffron

Sea salt

50g butter

50g capers

2 large tomatoes, skinned deseeded and diced

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Put the fish in a flameproof dish with the shallots, white wine and 50ml water, saffron and salt to taste. Bring to simmering point, cover with foil and place in a preheated oven, 190’ fan, for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the fish to a serving dish, keep warm. Place the dish over a medium/high heat and allow to bubble to reduce the cooking juices by half. Whisk in the butter and then add the capers and tomatoes, check the seasoning.
  3. Pour the sauce over the hake and sprinkle with the chopped parsley to serve.

Menu Three

Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with Spiced Peaches (Serves 4)Served with Sautéed Spinach and Concetta’s Potatoes

This is a beautiful looking dish, the colour of the peaches totally lifts the plate. Despite looking like a rather complex recipe it is actually very straightforward; you just need to have two frying pans on the go and read the recipe through first! If you are serving it to guests it is a good idea to prepare the peaches, sauce and duck beforehand (to stage 6) and then when your guests arrive, just oven cook the duck and finish off the sauce. You could use nectarines if peaches aren’t available. This is a recipe which I have taken from Daniel Galmiche’s cookbook, ‘French Countryside Cooking’. I like to serve this dish with my staple side dishes, ‘Sautéed Spinach with Garlic’ and ‘Concetta’s Potatoes’ (both recipes are below).

100g caster sugar

1 inch piece of cinnamon stick, broken

4 unripe peaches or nectarines

4 duck breasts

2-3 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns

50g unsalted butter

1 shallot, chopped

4 tablespoons sherry vinegar

125ml chicken stock

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. First place the Szechuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan over a high heat and ‘roast’ for a few minutes until aromatic. Then crush using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  2. Cut the peaches in half (I find it is easier to skin them if they are cut them in half before cooking). Put the sugar in a large pan with the cinnamon stick and 750ml water, cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the peaches and poach for about 5 minutes. Remove the peaches and reserve 125ml of the syrup. When the peaches have cooled, skin them, removing any stones, cut each half into slices. Set aside.
  3. Season the duck breasts on both sides with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the crushed Szechuan peppercorns over the skin. Place the breasts in a dry frying pan, skin side down, over a low heat to render down most of the fat, this may take as much as 10-15 minutes. When the fat is rendered, turn up the heat to crisp up and brown the skin (about 2 minutes). Finally, turn over to sear the underside for minute or so. Remove the duck breasts from the pan to a baking tray (keep to one side), pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the frying pan.
  4. To make the sauce, return the pan with the tablespoon of duck fat to the hob, heat gently over a medium heat, then add the shallot and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then pour in the sherry vinegar and deglaze the pan, stirring to remove any caramelised bits on the bottom. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer, stirring for 5 minutes until reduced by half.  Set the pan to one side.
  5. In another frying pan, melt 25g of the butter over a medium heat. Add the peaches and cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally until they are golden brown and slightly caramelised. Remove and leave to one side. Add the cinnamon and the 125ml of reserved poaching syrup to the pan. Cook over a medium heat, until then syrup turns a caramel colour and has slightly thickened. Return the peaches to the pan, toss gently in the syrup, then remove from the heat – cover with foil and leave to one side.
  6. To finish cooking the duck breasts, place the baking tray with the duck, in a preheated oven, 200’c fan, for 8-10 minutes (depending on their size). Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes, before cutting into thick slices.
  7. Meanwhile return the pan with the peaches and syrup to the stove and gently reheat. Remove the peaches from the syrup, put to one side and keep warm, reserving the syrup.
  8. Finally, gently reheat the sauce (with the shallots), then add the remaining 25g butter, swirl around to make a shiny sauce and add the juices of the rested duck and the reserved peach syrup, bring to the boil so that it thickens slightly.
  9. To serve, place each sliced duck breast on a plate surrounded by the peach slices and with the sauce spooned over.

Staple Side Dish’ – Sautéed Spinach with Garlic (Serves 4)

2 large bunches of baby spinach (washed) – about 400g

Olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until the garlic is beginning to brown.
  2. Add the spinach, turning it over to coat in the olive oil. Place a lid over the pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove the lid and stir. Return the lid and cook for a further minute.
  3. The spinach should now be wilted, add a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

‘Staple Side Dish’ -Concetta’s Potatoes (Serves 4)

I have named these after our Italian friend (and chef), Concetta, who gave me the recipe many years ago; they are simply sliced baked potatoes with garlic, rosemary and sage.

4 large potatoes – such as Maris Piper (roasting potatoes)

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried sage

Sea salt and black pepper

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Olive oil

  1. Peel and slice the potatoes, and parboil in boiling water for 4 minutes.
  2. Place in a roasting tin, sprinkle over the rosemary, sage and garlic, season with salt and black pepper and drizzle over some olive oil – mix well.
  3. Place in a preheated oven, 200’c fan, for 35-40mins until crispy and well browned.

Blast From the Past Recipe

Roast Pheasant Breast with Whisky and Peppercorn Sauce, Roast Potatoes & Savoy Cabbage (Serves 4)

If you have never cooked pheasant before, I urge you to cook this recipe, it is super easy. Pheasant meat can easily dry out during cooking, but by cooking bird whole and then removing the breasts, the meat remains juicy. I like to serve this with buttered savoy cabbage and roast potatoes (recipes below)

2 pheasants

1 onion cut into 4 wedges

Small bunch of thyme

40g butter, softened

800ml chicken stock

150ml whisky

300ml whipping cream

3 teaspoons finely chopped green peppercorns

1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley

  1. Place the pheasants in a roasting tin large enough to have at least 4 cm between them. Stuff each cavity with a wedge of onion and a few sprigs of thyme. Smear the butter over the breasts and legs and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast in a preheated oven, 190’c fan, for 45 minutes, basting twice during cooking.
  3. While the pheasants are roasting,  pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce by a third – you need about 500ml.
  4. Pour the whisky into a large frying pan, warm through and then carefully light with a match – flambé to allow the alcohol to burn off. Pour in the reduced stock, followed by the cream and leave the sauce to simmer gently until it is reduced and just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Finally stir in the chopped peppercorns and check the seasoning.
  5. Meanwhile when the pheasants are cooked, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10-15minutes.
  6. To remove the breasts from the bone, carefully run a sharp knife down one side of the breastbone and ease off the whole breast.
  7. Place each breast on a plate, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and pour over the whiskey and peppercorn sauce, and serve with buttered cabbage and roast potatoes. (as you will notice from the photo, I often place the legs on the plates too, more for decoration than for taste as there isn’t much meat on them).

Buttered Savoy Cabbage (Serves 4)

Such an easy and useful recipe to have…

1 Savoy cabbage, trimmed and finely sliced

25g unsalted butter

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Place the finely sliced cabbage in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes to blanch it. If you are not using straightaway, immediately refresh with cold water and drain well.
  2. When you are ready to serve the cabbage, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the drained cabbage and season well with salt and pepper. Toss over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the cabbage is just tender. Serve at once.

A Staple Side Dish – Perfect Roast Potatoes (Serves 4)

Everybody has their favourite roast potato recipe. I must admit that having tried various recipes, I have always returned to the one I found years ago in Delia Smith’s ‘Winter Collection Cookbook’ – you can’t beat it in my opinion. I use either olive oil or goose fat (I buy it in jars), depending on my mood. The olive oil gives a lighter, cleaner taste, whereas the goose fat has a richer flavour – both crisp up the potatoes equally well.

1.8kg Maris Piper or other floury, roasting potatoes

110g olive oil or goose fat (see note above)

Sea salt

  1. Place the fat in the roasting tin and place in the oven, 190’c fan, on the highest shelf so that the oil preheats whilst you prepare the potatoes.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into evenly sized pieces.
  3. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and add the salt. Simmer for 10 minutes until the outer edge of the potatoes is fluffy – test with the points of a fork.
  4. Drain the potatoes well and return to the saucepan. Place a lid over the pan and shake it vigorously. By shaking the potatoes in the saucepan in this way the cooked edges will become floury and fluffy – perfect for crisping up in the oven.
  5. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and place the potatoes in the hot fat – careful as the oil may spit! Baste them well and return to the oven for about 40 minutes until they are golden brown and crisped.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and serve straightaway – do not allow them to sit around otherwise they will loose their crunch (if they are cooked before you are ready, turn off the oven and leave them inside – but with caution, they don’t like to wait!)

Tuesday Treat

Bicerin (Serves 1)

As the evenings are closing in and the days are getting colder, I think we may all need a little ‘pick-me-up’ to take us through to Christmas… and so this week I thought I’d share a Bicerin!..

A Bicerin is a luxurious coffee-and-chocolate drink topped with cream that originates from Turin. Rather than being mixed together like a ‘mocha’, the espresso and hot chocolate are poured in layers and topped with whipped cream – so initially through the light cream you taste the sweetness of the velvety chocolate this is then followed by the punch of espresso coffee; it is heavenly! I first tasted it at Caffè Al Bicerin when I visited Turin a few years ago. Caffè Al Bicerin is a beautiful little cafe with just 6 or so tables, the interior is wonderfully antiquated and dimly lit by candles on white marble tabletops. It really is a ‘must-see’ place if you visit Turin (I would definitely recommend a long weekend in this historic Italian city!). The cafe is not only renowned for having invented the Bicerin, but it is also famous for its other delicious sweet treats such as Zabaione – but that’s another story… (I will be sharing that recipe in the future!).

Back to the Bicerin… If you love coffee and chocolate (and cream!), you can’t go wrong with this recipe. It is important to make it with the very best, strong espresso coffee and velvety hot chocolate; I think that the following recipe is pretty authentic!.. Enjoy!

50ml double cream

½ teaspoon icing sugar

125ml full fat milk

50g chocolate, roughly broken up

½ tablespoon caster sugar

75ml hot espresso coffee

  1. Firstly whip the cream with the icing sugar until is just forms soft peaks.
  2. Put the chocolate, milk and caster sugar in a small saucepan, whisk until it begins to boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a minute, continue whisking, ensuring that the chocolate has melted.
  3. Pour the hot espresso coffee into a heatproof glass. Carefully and slowly pour the hot chocolate over the top. Finally, top with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Heaven!

Week Fifty One

With the arrival of November, there can be no denying that we are in the midst of autumn. Although the mornings and evenings are darker, I think most of us appreciate the clear, bright skies we often get at this time of year, which along with the beautiful gold and red of the leaves falling from the trees make it a rather special time of year. I have been trying to embrace this autumnal beauty, but unfortunately, with the drop in temperature, it seems that the ‘common cold’, is doing the rounds in my area, so I’ve also been busy fending it off (and doing lateral flow tests!). We’ve all been there…that horrible feeling of the beginning of a cold – an itchy nose, dry throat and that general malaise when all we want to do is snuggle up on the sofa with either a good book or a film, but then there’s dinner to cook! So, with this in mind, I thought that this week I would share some recipes which are not only comforting and warming but also super quick and easy, so if you do have that ‘coldy’ feeling, you’ll have a quick dinner option and still have time to snuggle up on the sofa!… Menu One is ‘Chicken Open-Pot Roast’, it’s one of those recipes that I turn to time and time again when I want a quick, hands-free supper. You don’t need any accompaniments – it’s all in the pot! Menu Two is ‘Casserole of Lamb & Pomegranate Molasses’, the secret to the wonderful flavour of this casserole is the addition of the pomegranate molasses, their tangy sweetness really adds incredible depth to the dish – it’s the perfect meal when you’re feeling under the weather! Finally, Menu Three is ‘Garlic Mushroom Linguine’, there’s not much to this recipe, yet it always pleases, what’s not to like – mushrooms and garlic are a match made in heaven and it will be on the table in 15 minutes!…

To suit my mood, the music in my kitchen has been pretty relaxed. One of my favourite albums of all time is Carol King’s ‘Tapestry’, it always lifts my spirits and I often turn to it when I’m feeling under the weather. So, my newest playlist features a few tracks from this album; ‘Music to Cook to….MenuMusic Sixteen’ starts with some upbeat songs then slips into some mellower music – it’s a little like my energy levels at the moment!…listen to it here – Enjoy!

Have a good week, see you next week for my Tuesday Treat!…

Menu One

Chicken Open-Pot Roast (Serves 4)

This is one of those recipes that I turn to time and time again when I want a quick, hands-free supper. You don’t need any accompaniments – it’s all in the pot! By keeping the lid off the pot the skin of the chicken becomes beautifully crisp and golden. This recipe is taken from Rachel Allen’s cookbook ‘Easy Meals’!

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 chicken jointed or 6-8 chicken thighs with skin

450g new potatoes, unpeeled, halved if large

2 small leeks or 1 large leek, trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths

250ml chicken stock

1 sprig of tarragon, plus 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Put the olive oil in a casserole over a high heat, then season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place skin side down in the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes or so until a deep golden brown (you may find it easier to do this in batches). Flip over and quickly sear the underside before removing to a plate.
  2. Add the potatoes and leeks to the casserole, stir around in the hot fat for a couple of minutes before returning the chicken, skin side up.
  3. Pour in the stock and add the sprig of tarragon. Bring to the boil, then place the casserole, uncovered, in a preheated oven, 200’c fan. Cook for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove from the oven and stir in the chopped tarragon, Dijon mustard and lemon juice (to taste) and serve immediately.

Menu Two

Casserole of Lamb & Pomegranate Molasses (Serves 4)

This is my new favourite casserole, taken from my new favourite cookbook (yes, another!!), ‘French Countryside Cooking’ by Daniel Galmiche. The secret to the wonderful flavour of this casserole is the addition of the pomegranate molasses, their tangy sweetness really adds incredible depth to the dish. This recipe is quick enough to cook midweek for the family but special enough to serve to guests – a great dish to have up your sleeve! It is delicious served with ‘Creamy Garlic Mashed Potato’ (recipe below).

20g unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 kg boneless shoulder or neck of lamb cut into large cubes

500ml lamb or chicken stock

1 sprig of rosemary

1 handful of good-quality stoned black olives

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5-8 minutes until soft but not coloured.
  2. Turn up the heat to high, add the lamb and sauté for 12-15 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Add the stock and rosemary and bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid without closing it completely (a little gap will allow the condensation to escape so that not too much liquid is produced) and simmer over a gentle heat for 1¾ hours, making sure that the liquid is barely simmering rather than bubbling.
  3. Check that the lamb is tender and that the liquid is reduced by half, no more, (if not continue to cook for a further 15 minutes). Add the olives and pomegranate molasses and cook gently for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is lovely and shiny. Finally, add the lemon zest to taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with ‘Creamy Garlic Mashed Potato’ (recipe below).

‘Staple Side Dish’ – Creamy Garlic Mashed Potato (Serves 4)

In this recipe, I have simply added an extra garlic clove to my ‘Favourite’ Mashed Potato recipe to enhance the flavour of the garlic

1kg potatoes (floury, such as Maris Piper)

100ml full-fat milk

100ml double cream

3 garlic cloves, sliced

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into even sized chunks. Steam until completely cooked through.
  2. Put the milk, cream and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  3. Mash the potatoes, adding the milk mixture a little at a time. Season well with salt and pepper.

Menu Three

Garlic Mushroom Linguine (Serves 4)

There’s not much to this recipe, yet it always pleases, what’s not to like – mushrooms and garlic are a match made in heaven!…I particularly like this recipe with chopped tarragon, but if you can’t get hold of it, chopped parsley also works well.

400g linguine or spaghetti (gluten free if required)

50g butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

500g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced

Juice of ½ lemon

20g fresh tarragon (or parsley), chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic for a minute or so. Add the mushrooms with the lemon juice and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice until tender. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the drained pasta to the pan with the mushrooms, adding the chopped tarragon (or parsley), toss well and serve with the grated Parmesan.

Tuesday Treat

Almond ‘English’ Macaroons (Makes about 20)

These biscuits always remind me of my late mother-in-law, Deitha, she was a wonderful traditional cook and at Christmas time would always cook me a batch of these delicious biscuits! They aren’t quite as fancy as their ‘French cousin’ the Macaron, which come in chic colours, but they are just as moreish and in my opinion, slightly more satisfying with their crisp exterior and wonderfully chewy middle. Even better, unlike the French macaron, they are incredibly easy to make, you just need to bake them on confectioners edible rice paper as it adds to the chewy texture – it is readily available online if you can’t find it in your local supermarket.

200g ground almonds

250g caster sugar

1 rounded tablespoon ground rice

1 tablespoon orange flower water

Few drops of real almond extract

3 large egg whites

Sheets of edible confectioners rice paper (approx. 4 x A4 size)

About 20 whole blanched almonds

You will need 2 large baking sheets

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, apart from the whole almonds, in a large bowl. Then add the orange flower water, almond extract and egg whites. Beat vigorously to form a soft paste.
  2. Line the baking sheets with the rice paper (shiny side up). Take a large walnut-sized piece of the paste, form into a round patty and place on the rice paper. Repeat with the rest of the paste, leaving plenty of room between each patty. Put a whole almond on the top of each one.
  3. Put the baking sheets in a preheated oven, 170’c fan, for about 20-25 minutes until they are a light golden colour.
  4. Leave to cool on the rice paper, then gently tear the macaroons from the rice paper sheets, leaving a disc of paper in place on the bottom of each one.