Monday, 19 March 2012

Almond butter

Almond butter.  What an joy.  This has got to be the easiest thing to make.  500g almonds, toasted very lightly in the oven, then whizzed in a (brand new) blender along with about a teaspoon of sea salt and added groundnut oil.  It's worth adding the oil really slowly, it doesn't need too much.  Just enough to make into an irresistible pale caramel cream.   As you can see from the only pic I managed, it is irresistible. It was so delicious, I immediately decided to make some more, plenty more, this treat needs to be shared. Also, an experiment with cashews. The nuts covered in a little oil and sprinkled with a teaspoon of hot pimenton, mixed and roasted lightly. Spicy cashew butter. A snip.  What could go wrong.  Into the shiny blender - blend.

I say brand new, but the six months I have had this Magimix has been inspiring.  After too many years using the clunky old one I inherited from my son's student house, suddenly it was soups, pates and purees, and why not. I put all the delicious-smelling cashews into the tall glass jar and started my magic.  Bit of oil...a bit more.... a bit more.... didn't seem to be taking.  More and more, till the nuts finally came together in a thick creamy gloop.  It looked good, but the blender did seem to struggle. Now for the sterilized little jars.  I picked the heavy square jar off the base and froze in horror as the bottom fell off. Slowly the whole jar of cashew butter slid inexorably all over the base, and gracefully pooled onto the counter.  The base for some inexplicable reason had come loose, got looser, gave up.  With hands covered in an oily sticky mess, we eventually got the giggles as we tried to retrieve what we could. 

It says something for the nut butter that some of us ended up licking excess off the machine before scrubbing..  With all the excess oil in a giant pool behind, it was a serious clean up job.  And with that, the huge tray of almonds which were gently toasting, became well, over-toasted.

Into in the blender, no backing out now.  But it didn't want to know.  It whizzed a bit, slowed down, then gave up. The oil and nuts had done their worst.  A Kg of almond butter, too dark, and far too chunky. Still sublimely edible for all that, I'm jolly well handing it out anyway.