About a month ago, a representative of the Donsuemor Bakery, located in Alameda, California, contacted me about wanting to send me some samples of their baking products and see what I could come up with using them as a ingredients in a dessert.
First I was all up and anxious about this. I will be the first to tell you that when it comes to developing a savory recipe I’m all for it. But, developing a sweet recipe - I’m a total coward. Baking for me is the holy grail of step-by-step cooking and I rarely venture off the instructions.
But, I figure it was going to give me a challenge and I never back away from a challenge.
That is why Tom and I are having an all out war with the angry birds game in our house.
He is up by one game.
I plan on whooping his butt this weekend.
But, back to the point
After visiting their site and reading about them and seeing their offerings I was undecided between their Madeleines and French Almond Cakes.
I told the rep this.
They sent me both.
The first thing we did when we got the package was a taste test.
They had me.
Their Madeleines are soft, light and shock full of almond goodness. The French Almond Cakes we surprisingly crisp and moist. Tom and I could not eat just one, we ate 3 of each before I had to put them away or I was not going to have an ingredient for the recipe.
And that recipe eluded me for weeks. After racking my brain, reading cookbooks after cookbooks for inspirations – I was at my wits end. How hard could this be? I have almond cakes – there must be something to do with them!
I finally reached for my Flavour Thesaurus – what you don’t have a flavor thesaurus? Quick, run and get one, the best addition to your cookbook library – this book has given me so many ideas when it comes to pairing any given ingredient that I secretly call it my little kitchen genie.
Of course after I saw the most obvious pairing, my creative juices started to flow.
Almond and Lemon are perfect. It was a no brainer, considering that we all know that Tom is a lemon/citrus freak. And as for me, if I can bathe in Almonds I would – oh wait, let me show you the soap I have in my bathroom right now.
So, after much thought, I give you my take on the lemon slice, or lemon bar which ever you would like to call these. I can recomend: pucker up baby slice - but that’s just me.
I came up with my almond flour by taking 5 packages each of the Donsuemor’s Madeleine and French Almond cakes and putting them in my food processor and pulsing them up until coarse creating the perfect almond flour.
ALMOND LEMON-LIME SLICE
For the cookie bottom
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- ¾ cup of flour
- ¾ cup of grated almond flour (made from 5 to 6 individual Donsuemor products)
- 2 sticks of butter – unsalted, cold and cut into small squares
- 1 tablespoon of milk
For the topping
- 1½ tablespoon of cornstarch
- 2/3 cup of heavy cream
- 6 eggs
- 1¾ superfine sugar
- 1½ tablespoon of grated lemon and lime rind
- ¾ cup lemon and lime juice (about 3 oz of each)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a food processor, add the flours (both regular and almond), butter and milk. Pulse until the mixture comes together. Remove from the processor and press evenly into an 8x12-baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle more of the ground almond mixture on top, covering the whole thing. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Make the topping in a deep saucepan; whisk together the cornflour and 3 tablespoons of the cream until a smooth paste forms. Add the rest of the cream, then the eggs, sugar, lemon/lime juice and rinds and whisk until it comes together. Place in a medium high heat and cook, constantly whisking. It may take up to 10 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Set aside and remove the cookie base and let it cook for a bit – about 10 minutes or so. Then pour the lemon/lime topping over it. With a spatula smooth it out and then bake for about 10 minutes until the topping is just set.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
If serving immediately, slice using a knife with a hot blade (stand in a glass of bowling water then dry), dust with a light sprinkling of icing sugar and top with chopped almonds or fresh berries and cream.
If not serving straight away, cover tin tightly with cling film and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
These slice rocked our casbah! For both of us. Tom was in lemon-y heaven and begged me to cut into them and not make him wait until I took pictures of them. For me, I loved how the almond cookie base soothed the lemon’s sharpness.
The best part is that they were very easy to make and super yummy to taste.
So pucker up and go squeeze some lemons and limes and ground up some almond goodness.
Disclaimer: I received free product sample from Donsuemor. I received no monetary compensation and the views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.