Tuesday, 24 December 2013

SPECULAAS - Sugar and Spice And All Things Nice

Dont you love the smells associated with this time of the year. A kitchen full of cinnamon and spice, the aromas enhanced by being in the oven and wafts throughout the whole house. Lucky yesterday was a lovely cool day for cooking and with the weather warming up again, it was necessary to get in and do some serious baking ( in between the food shopping and present hunting and dropping off the car for repairs and the kids off at friends places) phew I'm tired just talking about it!
Anyway I managed to churn out a couple of batches of speculaas and some meringues - all very slow cooking items. Today its cake - red velvet,  for a burst of Christmas cheer.

The recipe if you feel so inclined.... better late than never.

450g plain flour
350g butter
225g soft brown sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
15 g speculaas spice (2 1/2 tablespoons)
50 g almonds

Peel almonds (pour boiling water over skins to lift and pop out almond)
split almond body in half
Sieve dry ingredients to mix thoroughly
Add butter ( cut into small pieces)
Knead into supple ball(I do this in my Kenwood with the K beater on slow until combined and then squish into a ball)
Dust flat surface with flour and roll dough to about 1/2 cm thickness
Cut shape and decorate with almond
Brush some egg and milk over dough if you want a glossier looking biscuit (personally I dont bother)
Cook  in over 30 - 40 minutes at 180 degrees as per recipe. ( I do mine at 150 degrees over an hour but I tend to make the pastry thinner)

Green meringues trees for on top of the fruit salad

And progress on the bucket bag

Cheers and Merry Christmas to you and yours

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