Showing posts with label Amaretto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amaretto. Show all posts

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Almond Pear Bread Pudding #BundtBakers

This Almond Pear Bread Pudding is a delightful twist on traditional pudding, made with thinly sliced crunchy pears and sweet almond croissants.

I’m just gonna put this out there. I don’t like pears. It’s not so much the flavor, which is nice, but the texture. Why would I eat gritty fruit when there is so much I can eat that isn’t gritty? When our Bundt Bakers host for this month proposed pears for our theme/ingredients, I groaned quietly to myself. Pears!

This was a job for The Flavour Thesaurus, (<affiliate link) a handy little book I got for Christmas last year. I flipped to Pears and there in the first paragraph, it said “Pear and Almond: A natural couple: classy and restrained. Save them from an excess of tastefulness by making an unctuous pear and almond croissant pudding.”

What a splendid idea! As you all probably know, almond croissants were originally created as a way for French bakers to offload day-old croissants by filling them with sweet almond paste, topping them with sliced almonds and syrup and baking them again. Which also makes them perfect for making bread pudding, a creation traditionally made from day old (or older) bread.

Here’s what I discovered after baking this almond pear bread pudding.
1. I like cooked pears!
2. Pears and almonds are a natural couple.
3. I should have chosen a different Bundt pan in which to bake it. The swirly pan seemed to trap all the buttered almond slices in the little edges. Next time, I’m going to use my classic Bundt pan with the nice even, open curves and I suggest you do the same.
4. My husband's colleagues love almond pear bread pudding. I send food in with him All The Time. This bread pudding was the first time he forwarded me two emails thanking me!

4 large almond croissants
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup or 200g sugar
1 cup or 240ml whole milk
1 cup or 240ml whipping cream
5 small Coscia pears – about 12 3/4 oz or 365g whole - or sub your favorite pear
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare pan:
Light coating of butter or shortening applied with pastry brush
4 tablespoons melted cooled butter
1/4 cup or 20g finely sliced almonds

Slice the croissants in about 1 inch or 2 cm pieces.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs and vanilla. Add in the cup of sugar and whisk again until the sugar starts to dissolve and the eggs lighten in color and get a bit frothy.

Add in the milk and cream and whisk again.

Add the sliced croissants to the egg bowl and push them down into the liquid.

Core and slice your pears thinly. Unless the peels are tough, there’s no need to remove them. A melon baller makes the coring much easier, if you have one.

Toss the sliced pears in a bowl with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, salt and Amaretto. Set aside.

Prepare your Bundt pan – preferably one without many nooks and crannies – by using a pastry brush to coat the inside with butter or vegetable shortening.

Drizzle the melted, cooled butter all over the pan and sprinkle in the thinly sliced almonds. Set aside.

Give the croissant bowl a gentle stir and add the pear slices to the top. Cover with cling film and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour to give the croissants more time to soak up the sweet egg mixture.

When your hour is about up, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Stir the pudding to mix in the pears. Spoon the pudding into the prepared pan. Butter the shiny side of a piece of foil and cover the Bundt pan tightly with it, buttered side down.

Put your prepared Bundt pan in a larger deep pan and fill the bottom pan halfway up with water.

Bake for 2 hours, checking occasionally and adding more water to the bottom pan, if necessary.

After 2 hours, remove from the oven and remove the foil. Return the Bundt pan to the oven, uncovered, without the pan underneath. Bake for another 30 minutes.

The almond pear bread pudding will puff up beautifully, high above the edge of the Bundt pan, but then will slowly sink back down as it cools.

Leave to cool for about 10 or 15 minutes on a wire rack. Use a non-stick surface safe spatula to loosen the bread pudding from the pan. If bits stick inside your pan, just scrape them off and sprinkle them back on top of the pudding.

Serve warm with a generous pour of thick cream. With a little more amaretto on the side, perhaps.


Many thanks to our host, Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook both for her behind-the-scenes work this month and for pushing me into realizing that I do like pears after all.

Check out all the other pear Bundts our Bundt Bakers are sharing this month:

Bundt Bakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the Bundt Bakers home page.

 Pin it! 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Almond Cherry Muffins #MuffinMonday

Toasted almonds, ground almonds and almond liqueur complement the dried cherries perfectly in this tender muffin. Superb for breakfast or teatime. 

I was thinking the other day, as I made the chocolate shot cookies, that they would also be great with almond flour, for a sort of almond shortbread. Or maybe I could substitute coconut for the oatmeal and roll them in some toasted coconut. All of these things may happen one day but meanwhile, it’s Muffin Monday so I decided to take the first idea and muffin with it. You know, like “run with it” but in a muffinly way. At the suggestion of my friend and fellow blogger, Ishita, I celebrated the fact that I now have a liquor license, which permits me to buy alcohol in Dubai, and added a little Amaretto! I also added dried cherries because almond and cherry is a classic combination and when you are making up new verbs and celebrating being 18 again at the age of 51, you have to show that you aren’t a completely crazy renegade or no one will take you seriously. That’s a fact.

Despite the expiration date, I just got the card. It seems the date starts
from your application, even if it takes them more than a month to process. 

I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour as my jumping off place.

1 cup or 200g granulated sugar
1 cup or 125g flour
1 cup or 100g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Amaretto or almond liqueur
1 cup or 140g dried cherries
1 cup or 75g shaved almonds, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and either grease your 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper liners.  (I use paper liners but give the whole thing a quick spray with Pam so that any drips will clean off easily.)

In one big mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, oil and liqueur.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

There should still be some dry flour showing. Take out a good handful of the cherries and the toasted almonds and set them aside for decorating the muffin tops. Fold the rest of the cherries and almonds into the batter.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups.

Top each with some of the reserved toasted almonds and poke a piece or two of dried cherries into the batter.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Remove from the muffin pan and finish cooling on a rack.

Enjoy! Have you muffined anything lately?

P.S. I have two giveaways ending shortly. The great Cookie Week baking package including baking ingredients, equipment and four cookbooks ends at Midnight New York time today!

And the Food Truck Road Trip - a Cookbook giveaway ends at Midnight New York time on Tuesday, that is to say tomorrow.

Don't miss your chance to enter and win! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Apple Raisin Almond Muffins #MuffinMonday

Amaretto-soaked golden raisins are nestled along with chopped tart apples and almond slivers in a delicious muffin batter and baked to golden perfection.

Here’s the thing.  I’m not a big fan of pears (can’t bear the grittiness between my teeth - is it just me?) OR dates (except for in sticky toffee pudding where you don’t even KNOW that there are dates) and that’s what today’s Muffin Monday original recipe was all about.

So then I start to substitute.  What DO I like that is similar to pears.  Apples, of course.  And for the dates?  How about some raisins?  Yeah, golden raisins would be nice.  But that seemed so bland.  What about if I soaked the raisins in something?  Now we were talking!  So I soaked the raisins in Amaretto, which led me to add almonds to the batter as well.  As I told Muffin Monday organizer, Anuradha, when I sent her my link, these muffins evolved on their own!  And all I can say is, Good job, guys!  Now I am just gonna sit back and see what my dinner ingredients do.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

Apple Raisin Almond Muffins

3 1/2 oz or 100g golden raisins
1/4 cup or 60ml Amaretto
1 1/8 cup (tightly packed) or 235g light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups or 185g flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 50g slivered almonds, divided
2 small green (or other tart) apples

Soak the raisins in the Amaretto for an hour or two or overnight if you are organized.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper cases or grease liberally.  (You may actually get more than 12 muffins out of this batter, depending on your cup size and your apple size.  My batter ending up being enough for 16 muffins.)

In a large bowl, mix together your flour, light brown sugar, salt and baking powder.

In a smaller bowl, whisk your eggs, butter and milk.

Drain the Amaretto that hasn’t soaked into the raisins into this bowl too and whisk again.

Peel, core and dice your apples.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just moistened.

Add in the raisins and two-thirds or about 1/2 cup of the almonds, reserving the rest for topping, and mix gently.

Fold in the apple pieces.  This is going to look like way too much apple and way too little batter, but it works.  Trust.

Divide the batter into the muffin cups.

Sprinkle the tops with the reserved slivered almonds.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to a rack to cool completely.