Friday, 15 February 2013

Cantuccinis- full of flavour but no fat

Yesterday was Officially The Most Romantic Day Of The Year and men everywhere were sweating over their obnoxiously overpriced menus "designed to be romantically shared"  and  feeling cornered to propose.

The Gentleman was out of the country on business and I celebrated the day... alone. Instead of his snoring I was kept awake half the night by the copulating cats in the neighbourhood. Judging by the noise levels some Grand Emotions were felt there, too. Though I think they might be pain instead of passion and larger than life love...

I'm never entirely comfortable in this house alone. Courtesy of the thrillers that for large part constitute our movie archive I'm convinced that the  serial-killing sociopath-rapist is just outside the window.

The Gentleman is a bit uneasy about leaving me here alone, too. Not for the chivalrous reasons you might concoct in your head right now, but for the fear of the state that the kitchen will be in, after I've been let off the leash for days on end.

But... once the cat's away, the mice will bake away! Today he's coming back and what would be a better welcome home that cantuccinis, Italian almond biscuits he loves.

The recipe originally found its way to my archives through an ex- colleague of mine. It was met with some scepticism and exuberance by the women in the office. "What do you mean? There's absolutely no fat in these?!" And true it is- there isn't.

The original recipe used dried figs, but since I didn't have any, I replaced them with apricots, which also contribute to the sunny appearance of these wonderful things. In an attempt to flirt with carbohydrate- conscious lifestyle, I replaced 1 dl of flour with 1 dl of finely ground oats. If you want to accentuate the almondy notes, add a dash of Amaretto. Lemon and orange can also be substituted with any citrus fruits you happen to have.

Makes appr. 25

3 dl all purpose flour
50 g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
1 ¾ dl sugar
1 tl vanilla sugar
100 g peeled almonds
100 g dried figs/
other dried fruits
2 eggs
the zest of 1 orange
the zest of 1 lemon

Mix the dry ingredients. Dice the figs into small cubes.

Add the almonds, figs, zests and finally the eggs. Mix well. 

(Don't be alarmed, the consistency is supposed  to be fairly runny and very sticky.)

With floured hands, divide the mixture into 2. Shape in into 2 oblong patties (appr. 20 cm x 5 cm).

Bake at 175° for appr. 30 minutes.

Let cool for a while and then, with a very sharp knife,  cut diagonally into slices of appr. 1 cm thick.

Place them back on the tray, with the cut side facing up. Bake for further 5-10 minutes, until dry.

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