Absolutely almond cake
Simply heaven for almond fans, but you could make it with ground pistachios if you prefer. Best served in very small squares alongside an espresso to balance the sweetness. Keeps for up to five days in an airtight tin.
Makes 30 pieces
250g butter, melted, plus extra for brushing
350g ground almonds
225g granulated sugar
4 tsp almond extract
Zest of an orange (optional)
50g almonds, roughly chopped
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cut a rectangle of baking parchment to line the bottom of a 30 x 23 x 4cm baking tin. Brush the tin liberally with melted butter before popping in the baking parchment.
2 Knead the marzipan to soften it. Roll it between two pieces of baking parchment to fit the baking tin. Set aside.
3 Put the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds, sugar and almond extract, then add the melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the grated orange zest to the mixture if using and mix well.
4 Pour half of the mixture into the tin, and smooth over with a palette knife. Gently place the rolled-out marzipan on top.
5 Pour over the remaining cake mixture and smooth over, taking care to cover the marzipan completely.
6 Sprinkle the chopped almonds over the top.
7 Bake for 30 minutes, until the top and sides are a light golden colour. To check, push the cake away from the edge of the tin with a palette knife and have a peek.
8 Cut into small squares. This can be served either warm or cold.
The Honeybuns Gluten-Free Baking Book by Emma Goss-Custard (Pavilion). Order a copy for £11.99 with free UK p&p (save £3) from guardianbookshop.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.
Pistachio and ham salad
This is based on a traditional Armenian recipe of pistachios, soured cream and shredded chicken breasts. Chopped ham with salted pistachios gives more exciting results.
175g halloumi, washed and cut into 1cm cubes
4 small eating apples, cored and cut into 1cm cubes
500g cooked ham, cut into 1cm pieces (or cooked chicken breast, shredded)
250g celery, cut into ½ cm slices
2 spring onions, including green heads, cut into ½ cm pieces
175g shelled pistachios
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
For the dressing
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
4 tbsp chives, chopped
4 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1 In a large bowl, toss together the halloumi, apples, ham, celery, spring onions and pistachios.
2 To make the dressing, whisk the yoghurt and mayonnaise until well blended. Add the mustard, lemon juice and herbs, then mix well.
3 Pour the yoghurt mayonnaise over the salad, together with the lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Mix well then place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for around an hour.
4 Garnish with the turmeric and serve.
The Yoghurt Cookbook by Arto Der Haroutunian (Grub Street). Order a copy for £11.99 with free UK p&p (save £3) from guardianbookshop.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.
A quick and easy parfait with a delicate nutty flavour. The key is to carefully toast the hazelnuts in the oven, creating that perfectly nuanced nuttiness.
300ml whipping cream
90g caster sugar
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Spread the nuts on to a large baking tray and toast them in the middle of the oven for 6-8 minutes, watching them carefully.
2 Let the hazelnuts cool down a bit, and then rub off most of the brown skin (don't worry if you can't get it all off). Finely chop half the nuts, and roughly chop the other half. Set aside.
3 Separate the egg yolks from the whites and place into two bowls. Whip the cream until thick, but not stiff.
4 Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy. Fold in the chopped nuts and all of the whipped cream.
5 Finally, beat the egg whites until stiff using a perfectly clean whisk.
6 Use a spatula to gently fold half the beaten egg white into the nut mixture, then gradually and gently fold in the rest.
7 Pour into a loaf tin (about 1½ litre capacity) and freeze. Cut into slices to serve.
Under the Walnut Tree by Fanny Bergenström and Anna Bergenström (Hardie Grant). Order a copy for £16 with free UK p&p (save £4) from guardianbookshop.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.
Raw nut butter
One of the best things to spread on your bread first thing in the morning is a homemade nut butter. They're indulgent and fantastically good for you. Choose good-quality, very fresh raw walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or cashews. If you like, you can soak or sprout the nuts first. If you do this, make sure they have completely dried before processing them. Roasting the nuts first is another way to vary the flavour of your butter, giving you a deeper taste and creamier texture.
Makes 1 jar
420g nuts of your choice
Raw honey (optional)
1 Process the nuts in a food processor until you obtain a creamy paste that the blade moves smoothly through. At first you will need to stop frequently to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula. As the nuts are whizzing round, you can drizzle in a little raw honey or water to help turn it into an emulsified butter.
2 Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Adapted from Leon Breakfast & Brunch (Conran Octopus). Order a copy for £5.59 with free UK p&p (save £1.40) from guardianbookshop.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.
A quick-and-easy take on florentines that thumbs its nose at formality. Just slide the whole florentine out of its baking tin on to a chunky wooden board and pop it in the centre of the table for guests to break bits off.
Melted butter, for brushing
300g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp almond oil
200g condensed milk
115g natural colour glace cherries, chopped
75g dried cranberries
50g mixed candied peel
½ tsp salt
50g almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
40g whole peanuts, toasted
25g pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
25g sunflower seeds, toasted
1 Cut a rectangle of baking parchment to line the bottom of a 30 x 23 x 4cm baking tin. Pop the parchment into the tin and brush it and the tin liberally with melted butter.
2 Melt the chocolate with the almond oil in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring until smooth (or in a microwave). Spread the melted chocolate evenly all over the bottom of the tin. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or until completely set.
3 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the condensed milk into a mixing bowl and add the glace cherries, cranberries, raisins, mixed peel and salt. Mix together gently with a wooden spoon, then add the toasted almonds, peanuts, pistachios and sunflower seeds and mix well.
4 Spread the mixture over the set chocolate. Bake for 15–17 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown. Leave to cool, then return to the fridge for 2 hours to reset the chocolate.
5 To serve, turn out on to a board and peel off the baking parchment.
The Honeybuns Gluten-Free Baking Book by Emma Goss-Custard (Pavilion)
Lemon cashew parsley dip
This delicious dip is great with plenty of fresh, raw vegetable crudites or scooped into crisp chicory leaves. You can also thin it out with extra oil and lemon juice, drizzle it over baked fish and roast chicken, or toss it through salads. Parsley and lemon are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, while raw cashews are creamy and nutritious, especially when soaked in water beforehand with a pinch of salt, ideally for 4-6 hours.
80g raw cashews
100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 large handfuls of fresh parsley leaves, approx 45g
1 medium garlic clove
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp water
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 Blend all the ingredients together and serve in a bowl with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.
Recipe supplied by hemsleyandhemsley.com
Date, walnut and pecan loaf
It really couldn't be any easier to make this loaf. You could use walnut flour, as well as a few whole walnuts, for extra texture and taste. It can be baked as a cake, but it works really well as a loaf, which you can then slice and spread with a little butter. Keep in an airtight tin.
175g pitted dates, chopped
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
50g pecans, roughly chopped
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g wholegrain spelt flour, sifted
3 heaped tsp baking powder
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp salt
1 Put the honey, 550ml water, the dates, walnuts and pecans in a medium saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
2 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease and flour a 22 x 12cm loaf tin.
3 Stir the bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, orange and lemon zest and juice, and the salt into the cooled date mixture. Fold everything together until thoroughly combined.
4 Spoon into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose (Kyle Books). Order a copy for £13.49 with free UK p&p (save £5.50) from guardianbookshop.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.
Walnut pate en croute
This easy recipe has been popular ever since it was invented more than 30 years ago, but it still has the "wow" factor of the early days and is a great choice when you want to make a special meal. It also freezes well after being assembled but before baking.
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
100g button mushrooms, sliced
50g walnuts, chopped
175g cashews (or almonds), finely ground
125g unsweetened chestnut puree
50g cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp brandy
A good pinch of paprika
A good pinch of dried thyme
Salt and black pepper
375g ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
1 To make the pate, fry the onion and celery in the oil and butter for 7-10 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
2 Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts, ground cashews, chestnut puree cheese, egg, brandy, paprika and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool a little.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Unroll the puff pastry on a board, or straight on to the tin you'll bake it on. Put the pate mixture in the centre in a loaf shape.
4 Make diagonal cuts in the pastry each side of the pate, then fold them up and over to encase it in a pastry lattice. Brush beaten egg and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
5 Cranberry and/or horseradish sauce is a great accompaniment. You can also make a tasty veggie gravy by browning a chopped onion in oil and butter, then adding a little flour. When it turns brown, add a crushed garlic clove and veggie stock, a dash of red wine, and seasoning. Simmer until thickened a little, add shoyu soy sauce to colour and flavour it before pureeing to make it smooth.
Recipe supplied by Rose Elliot, roseelliot.com
Chipotle-lime mixed nuts
You can play around with the flavours of this recipe, as it works with any combination of nuts. Chipotle powder is great for its smoky spiciness, but you could just as easily use regular chilli, cayenne pepper, Chinese five spice or garam masala . Just remember, you want something sweet, something spicy, something zesty, salty and a touch of acidity.
About 500g mixed nuts, such as almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans
3 tsp salt
Zest of 2 limes
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp chipotle powder
2 egg whites
2 tbsp lime juice
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
2 Muddle the zest and salt in a large bowl using the back of a wooden spoon until they have turned into a paste. Add the brown sugar and chipotle powder and mix well.
3 Whisk in the egg whites. Add the nuts and mix until all of them have been well coated with the paste.
4 Place the nuts in a layer on a baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
5 Remove the nuts from the oven, sprinkle them with lime juice and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.
Recipe supplied by Elise Bauer, simplyrecipes.com
Gluten-free nut crackers
Thin, crispy and gluten-free, this is one of those rare snacks that only contains good stuff – and it tastes really, really good. You can make these with any nuts and seeds. They work perfectly as party snacks or together with a cheese platter after dinner. If you skip the salt and top them with sesame seeds, they make an ideal breakfast.
Makes around 30-40
300g of mixed nuts and seeds
2 tbsp water
¾ tsp sea salt
More seeds for sprinkling
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2 Finely grind the nuts in a blender. Add the egg, water and sea salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms quite a stiff dough.
3 Divide the dough into two and place each piece directly on the parchment papers. Roll them out into two rectangles, about 2-3mm thick. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, use a piece of parchment paper to cover the dough while you roll it out.
4 Cut the dough into slices or squares, spray them with a little bit of water and top with the seeds.
5 Bake for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the oven as the crackers burn easily.
Recipe supplied by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl,greenkitchenstories.com
From : http://www.theguardian.com/