Chocolate almond bars are devilishly rich and buttery. These lovely pastries are perfect for a tea party – their elegant shapes and toppings are too pretty not to share. Just as delicious without the ganache and almonds.
Chocolate almond bars
- Beat the butter, icing sugar, egg, milk, vanilla extract and rind together.
- Mix the flour and almonds into the butter mixture and knead to a workable dough.
- Roll the dough with your hands to make a long thin roll, about 2,5cm in width, and then press flat. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and leave for 2 hours in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Cut the strips of dough into 3cm-long pieces. Place them on greased baking trays and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack with a palette knife.
- For the ganache, place the chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to scalding point then pour it over the chocolate, stirring to blend until the chocolate is melted.
- Drizzle the nuts with the Frangelico and sprinkle with the icing sugar. Toast the nuts until golden brown.
- Place the nuts on the biscuits and drizzle over the ganache. Allow the chocolate to set before storing the biscuits in an airtight container.
80g icing sugar, sifted
1ml vanilla extract
rind of 1 lemon, grated
250g cake flour, sifted
100g blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
120g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
120ml fresh cream
100g slivered almonds
icing sugar, to garnish
Cook's tips: • Scalding means heating the water close to boiling point. • When melting chocolate over water, don’t allow the water to boil as it heats the chocolate to above 40°C, which changes the texture of the chocolate. • Butter should always be at room temperature. Cold hard butter does not cream as easily when you incorporate it with sugar, and will result in flat cookies. • Do not use imitation vanilla extract, use the real thing – it really does make a difference.