Great new discovery, combining fruit with nuts in a new exciting way! Fudge desserts are not common in Croatia. I like the way they are easy to prepare and you can play with the ingredients for special twists.
We tried this dessert as a part of learning Indian recipes for Holi, a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the “Festival of Love”, the “Festival of Colors”, and the “Festival of Spring”, a few years back with our Google+ foodie community. Thanks Anu Nagaraja for this wonderful recipe. It was a pleasant surprise and a combination of mango and almonds was perfect! 😃
We followed the recipe closely, except we didn’t use saffron strands.
I don’t know how that affects the taste, but it was great like this… and we ate it all pretty fast!
- 260 g (1 cup) of mango puree or mango pulp from fresh mango (any sweet mango which is less fibrous)
- 90 g (1 cup) ground almonds
- 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp of cardamom powder
- 6 – 8 each roughly sliced/chopped pistachios and almonds (we used hickory smoked almonds)
- Peel the mango and cut it into cubes.
- In a deep thick bottomed pan cook the mango with sugar on low heat.
- Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for another minute and then add ground almonds, powdered cardamom and half the quantity of chopped nuts.
- Cook stirring well. You will notice that the mixture thickens. Keep cooking and stirring until it begins to come together like a ball but not too firm.
- Pour the cooked mixture on a baking sheet.
- Spread the mixture using the back of a spoon or a palate knife.
- Sprinkle over the rest of the chopped nuts, press them down gently so that they stick on the surface.
- Cool completely before cutting into small cubes. We put it in a freezer for an hour.
Before serving garnish with nuts if you like 😃
What is your favorite fudge dessert?
Although Istria is most famous for its delicious seafood, fish, olive oil and wine, it has a few dessert gems. This Istrian Cake is one of those gems, made from favorite Istrian ingredients such as almonds, lemons and curd. Moist and super tasty traditional cake that you can try in your own kitchen and get a little bit of taste of Croatia 🙂
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In addition to the original recipe, after I finished the cake and chilled it, I smeared it with apricot jam and sprinkled with almond shavings. If you cannot get a hold of fresh curd, ricotta would make a perfect substitute.
Tools you need
- Mixing bowls. Before you can put the ingredients into the round baking pan, you need to mix them somewhere. Mixing bowls to the rescue! Make sure bowls you use are adequately sized. There are few things worse than overflowing bowls.
- Round baking pan to make your cake look perfectly round 😀
- Measuring spoons to, you know, measure things with them
- Kitchen scale because baking is a fine art and perfection is a little bit more reachable when you quantify things; alternatively, you can use cups, in which case…
- Measuring cups. Sometimes when you buy measuring cups, measuring spoons come with them
- Spatula makes mixing things into other things easier
- Electric mixer for ultimate combining of your ingredients
- Zester to zest lemon zest (is there a way to use zest in that sentence again?)
- Lemon squeezer. You could just use your hands to squeeze lemons if you want to get your hands juicy. Or you could use a lemon squeezer to keep your germs and lemon pits out of the cake. And possibly look fancy while doing it.
- Kitchen mittens. Things get hot in the oven. ‘Nuff said.
- 250 g (2 cups) curd
- 250 g (2¾ cups) ground almonds
- 200 g (14 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp pastry flour
- 2 tbsp honey
- 6 eggs separated
- 250 g (1¾ cups) brown sugar
- 10 g (4 tsp) vanilla sugar
- juice of 2 lemons
- zest of four lemons
- Combine almonds with ⅓ of sugar, flour and lemon zest and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat with electric mixer, butter with remaining sugar until sugar is dissolved.
- Add egg yolks to butter and sugar mixture.
- With spatula in a separate bowl combine curd with lemon juice and honey and mix in to the butter/sugar mixture.
- Add almond mixture to curd and butter mixture.
- Beat egg whites until stiff and gently stir in with spatula into the rest of the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the greased round baking pan.
- Bake at 150 °C (300 °F) for 40 min or until the crust gets golden.
- After the cake cools completely, smear the apricot jam on top and sprinkle with almond shavings if you wish.
Serve chilled 😀
What is your favorite almond cake?