Friday, January 07, 2005

Nuts once, Nuts twice and Nuts once again!

Click on photo to enlarge

Nuts Once: Divinity

I wasn't planning to make all these nut recipes. But then we started fund raising towards Tsunami Relief at work and so I went a bit nuts myself, and started baking away like crazy. I was trying to be more conscious not to be wasteful and so decided I would only allow myself to make things with ingredients I already had in my cupboards and my fridge. Looking in my new Kitchen Aid Recipe book, I found something called Divinity. It sounded very strange to me, I'd never seen or heard of anything like it. So I asked some questions about it on the Chowhound Home Cooking Message Board. Replies gave me not only a cultural education, but also some great tips. I ended up whipping up a a batch of it and I am assuming it turned out alright. As I have never encountered Divinity before, I am not quite sure what it should look like. Mine seemed to resemble the photograph accompanying the recipe, so I don't think I've embarrassed myself too much. Pantry supplies determined that I should use a mixture of walnuts and almonds. Let's hope they sell well at work today. The recipe I used can be found here

Click on photo to enlarge

Nuts Twice: Chocolate Almond Torte

I made this cake on Wednesday night, also from the little recipe book that came with my new Kitchen Aid. I sold slices of it at work on Thursday to make money for Tsunami Relief Funds. Until next Friday our employer will match any money that we contribute. I cut the cake into sixteen slices, asking for a minimum of $2 a slice. Colleagues were very generous, however, and I found $64 in the jar at the end of the day. That amount doubled by our employer's match means my one little cake raised $124 for a good cause. The best thing about this was that I didn't spend any extra money on the ingredients. As with the Divinity, I chose a recipe which I could make entirely from things I already had in my kitchen. Baking it helped me use up some things I might not otherwise have used for a while, like raw flaked almonds and condensed milk. The worst thing about it is that I am trying to be better about what I eat, so despite rave reviews from the purchasers and the chocolatey baking smells wafting through my apartment, I resisted the temptation to try a slice myself.

Click on photo to enlarge

...and Nuts Once Again: Marzipan Pine Nut Cookies (Panellets de Pinyons)

Ok, ok, I know I've posted about these cookies before, in fact I've made them successfully, twice. This is just a very short report to remind you: Never accidentally mistake waxed paper for parchment! These cookies may look very beautiful, but each one of them has a layer of impossible-to-remove wax paper congealed to their backside. I had to carve the paper off and then reform the remainder into Marzipan Pinenut Balls instead! Still, they seemed to go down very well with coffee at the end of our Christmas Feast

These were my short, but sweet, entries for Seattle Bon Vivant's Sugar High Friday 4 Nuts!

Paper Chef Challenge # 2, this weekend.

Check out for an announcement today. Although if anchovies get through, I am afraid I won't be able to take part.
Nuts once, Nuts twice and Nuts once again!


  • At 7/1/05 08:37, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yum, they all sound so good. I've never tried Divinity before either, so you could convince me of just about anything regarding it. You're much better than me, though, I don't think I could have resisted that Chocolate Almond Torte! :)

  • At 7/1/05 09:12, Blogger Owen said…


    Beautiful photos!

    The treats all sound good too!

    Thanks for the nod to the Paper Chef - I'll give you a heads up - no anchovies - but they will be on the list for next time again.

  • At 7/1/05 16:55, Blogger debbie koenig said…

    Holy Cow, I'm impressed! It all looks so gooooood. And the photographs are gorgeous, too.

    I never would've been able to resist that torte.

  • At 7/1/05 20:00, Blogger Sam said…

    Alice - I did try a Divinity (they are only 95 calories each) and I have to say they are ok but VERY sweet. I would prefer less sugar. I should have saved my calories for a liver of the torte, but maybe I'll make another one next week.

    Owen - no problem re the nod - I Love the paper Chef idea, but I just don't like anchovies. They made me so sick 25 years ago within hours of me arriving in France on my first trip there ever, I haven't been able to face them since.

    Debbie - thanks for the kind words (kind words to eat by!) I am still wondering how I resisted the torte, but I have to get to the gym more than once this year (yes like you - I did it once) before I will allow myself to partake of such sinful delights!

  • At 7/1/05 20:01, Blogger Sam said…

    I hate that you can't edit comments in blogger. I meant SLIVER of torte. I promise there was no liver in my creation!

  • At 7/1/05 20:54, Blogger Cathy said…

    Sam - wow, you've been busy! They all look wonderful (you know I love those cookies), but that torte looks amazing! Sorry you had trouble with the wax paper - I remember someone suggesting to me that wax paper was interchangeable with wax paper. I use wax paper for lots of things but had not tried using it in the oven - now I know not to!

  • At 8/1/05 18:19, Blogger Cathy said…

    oops - I meant interchangeable with parchment

  • At 11/1/05 07:14, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam, you have outdone yourself this time! Three desserts, all different, all exquisite looking and sounding, all made with the theme ingredient -- and you didn't go completely nuts! I'm impressed. You and Viv put me to shame with my one measly dessert concoction...and you sold yours for such an important cause, no less.

    Thanks so much for participating this month...glad to have our regular base of sugar high indulgers.

    Jennifer -


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