• Ingredients: 32
  • Serves: 30

Chinese almond cakes with all-purpose flour, double-acting baking powder, lard, 1/2 vegetable shortening, sugar, almond extract, beaten egg, blanched whole almonds for garnish.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 1/2 vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 tbsps. beaten egg
  • 30 blanched whole almonds for garnish

For the meringue layers

  • 2/3 cup shelled natural pistachio nuts
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsps. sugar
  • 2 tsps. cornstarch
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt if using unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 2 drops of green food coloring if desired

For the filling

  • 10 shelled natural pistachio nuts, blanched and peeled, for garnish

For topping

  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted lightly and cooled

For assembly and decoration

  • Assorted berries and cut fruit
  • cut fruit

For mango ravioli

To cook fish and assemble dish

  • Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer

Espresso chocolate chunk:

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tsp. espresso powder

Very berry:

Peppermint fudge:

  • 3 tbsps. fudge sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies

Directions

  1. Step 1 Into a bowl sift together the flour and the baking powder and blend in the lard, the vegetable shortening, and the sugar until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

    For this step you will need

  2. Step 2 Stir in the almond extract, the egg, and 1 tablespoon water, or enough to form the mixture into a soft dough, knead the dough several times, and let it stand in a cool place for 5 minutes.

    For this step you will need

  3. Step 3 Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and press them down with the palm of the hand to form cakes about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Step 4 Press an almond into the center of each cake and bake the cakes in batches on floured baking sheets in the middle of a preheated 375°F.
  5. Step 5 oven for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 300°F. and bake the cakes for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until they are light golden brown.

    For this step you will need