Sunday, 12 April 2009

Orange & Almond Biscuits

My baking skills aren't particularly great. I'm not a huge fan of desserts and this shows as I don't appear to have a natural flair for it.

I recently picked up some rose water from a Persian shop, wanting to experiment with it more. Originally I wanted to make some sort of jelly and with a half-price punnet of strawberries, I simmered them down to a puree, mixed it with some maple sugar I had, and then used agar agar flakes to make it set into a jelly. It was a bit of a disaster - the maple sugar was extremely overwhelming, and I didn't simmer the agar agar enough to dissolve it. Lumpy jelly is not good.

So, rather than rectify my mistakes, I decided to change angle. Out with the jelly and in with biscuits; this time Amaretti biscuits with rose and orange. Typically, nothing went well. I didn't realise that supermarkets weren't open on Easter Sunday, so I did away with the Amaretto and used just rose water for the liquid. Unfortunately, the rose water wasn't powerful enough to shine through the orange. Perhaps next time less orange is needed, or maybe using rose oil rather than water would help.

However, on their own right, these were delicious biscuits, especially to have with tea or coffee. They're fluffy and sweet, with the freshness of orange to lighten it.

Orange & Almond Biscuits

Makes about 15

120gr ground almonds

110gr caster sugar

2 egg whites

20ml rosewater

1 tsp orange zest

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the almonds, sugar and the rosewater and mix to a paste. Add the zest and mix to incorporate.

Grease a baking tray and line with baking parchment. Add the mixture in small blobs with a teaspoon, leaving a couple inches space around each. I did the biscuits in two batches. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container.


Kavey said...

Ooh these look delicious! Nyum!

Food Urchin said...

Pretty resourceful considering the shops were shut and they looks pretty good too. I'd have probably stopped at the jelly fail and opened another easter egg instead.

Helen said...

Ahh dammit, sorry they didn't work out rosy enough. They look like really good biscuits though - you should definitely persevere with the baking thing. Do let me know if you try rose oil - I am very curious. I wonder if it is worth having in the cupboard with the rose water too. As for the rose water - it is great with a bit of fizz and some crushed strawberries as a drink in the summer. Way to disguise your cheapo cava!

Anonymous said...

I noticed the same thing re. the strength of flavour when I used rosewater for meringues. I also had a recent disaster with jelly. Both things I've been meaning to rectify but haven't got round to.

These biscuits look great.

Niamheen said...

I hear ya on the baking! It's a science not an art and I have a tiny fear of it but I persevere :)

Good effort!