Sunday, August 8, 2010

Honey... A Natural Aphrodisiac

"From the Kama Sutra to the Perfumed Garden to the Bible, honey has been connected with love, sex, and sensuality extraordinaire since the beginning of time. In the fifth century B.C. Hippocrates prescribed it for sexual vigor, and tradition in India calls for a bridegroom to receive honey on his wedding day. Newlyweds typically go on a honeymoon, a practice that stems from an ancient tradition of couples going into seclusion and drinking a honey concoction until the first new moon of their marriage. Psychologically, honey encompasses sensuality. The very word, honey, conjures up golden images of the dripping, sticky, viscous substance, of honeybees, honeysuckle, and all things sweet." - The New Intercourses

I know what you're thinking, this blog just got a lot more interesting. Well maybe. The quote above comes from a cookbook that I received last year for Christmas from Jeremy. As far as cookbooks go, it's about 3 stars, missing one of my most important criteria for a cookbook... pictures. However, as a book, it's quite interesting. And it does have a few good recipes, including the one I'm about to tell you about... Honey-Almond Delight.

This is my second time making this snack, and it was a huge hit at work last time I made it. In fact, I was sure that I already blogged about this, but I couldn't find the post, so here's hoping this isn't a repeat. Below you'll find the recipe for this tasty snack. It also goes great with some ice cream.


The Prep:
Line a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.
Make room in your fridge for said pan.

Set out the following ingredients:
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 lb), chilled, cut into small chunks
1 large egg
3/4 tsp almond extract

In a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and salt. (If you don't have a food processor you can still do this in a bowl with a pastry cutter, or, if your food processor is small like mine, do this in two batches then combine together). Next add the butter and pulse until the mixture is combine and resembles coarse meal.

Whisk the egg and almond extract together in a small bowl, then add to the food processor. Pulse until the dough starts to come together.

Next you'll spread the dough mixture onto the lined pan. The best way I found to do this, and ensure an even layer, is to rip it into little pieces and place it on the tray.

Then use your hands to pat down the dough flat.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until you are ready to use.

Once ready, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge and, using a fork, prick the dough. This will help prevent air bubbles from forming, so don't be afraid to make too many holes.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until it turns a light golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 lb)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound sliced almonds (I use the sliced blanched almonds from the bulk foods section at the grocery store)

In a medium sauce pan, combine the brown sugar, sugar, honey, and butter over medium heat.

Once the butter is fully disolved, turn up the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes without stirring. You are making a carmel sauce.

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the heavy cream and the almonds. At this point the mixture will become very thick.

Spread the topping over the crust with a spatula. Then bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until bubbly and a nice golden color.

Let the dessert cool, then cut into triangles. Be sure to use a sharp knife when doing this and to press the knife down instead of dragging it. Otherwise you'll pull the almond top right off the shortbread.
You can store these in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If you can wait that long.

(sorry, I just couldn't get a nice picture of this final piece. The lighting was all wrong)

No comments: