The Advent season has started!

29Nov09

First day of Advent!  Time to make something heavenly: Gebrannte Mandeln (Caramelized almonds). You can prepare them at home, no special equipment needed. Only a stove, a pot, a wooden spoon and some parchment paper.

After some attempts years ago, I noted the best mix of sugar, almonds, and water. Before, I once had tried to make gebrannte Mandeln with my sister. The result was more like something from hell than from heaven: some almonds floating in a black, bubbling hot brew which smelled burned – but with the mix I give you here, it works well.

you’ll need:
200 g almonds (no need to hull them)
100 g sugar
50 ml water
1/2 tsp cinnamom

Put some parchment paper on a table (the table shouldn’t be heat-sensitive). Heat the sugar and the water in a large pot, add the cinnamom. Let it boil for some minutes, add the almonds. Continue boiling and stir once in a while. After some time the water will evaporate and moist sugar will cover the almonds. Don’t stop now! Everything’s perfect! Just continue stirring – now you should stir nonstop. The sugar will start to caramelize. As soon as all of the almonds are covered by caramelized sugar (don’t caramelize for too much time – they become bitter then) put them on the parchment paper. Use two forks to separate them from each other. Don’t try to use your fingers – it will hurt, the sugar is very hot!! Let them cool and they are ready to serve.

If you watch your pot now: don’t get desperate. There’s no reason for it. Just fill the pot with water. Wait some hours. Change the water. Wait some hours. Now the caramel should have gone. If not: change the water. Wait some hours…

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