A lovely weekend back home with my family, involving plenty of good food and a wonderful Christening, (Yes, I finally have my first Godchild, Harry, and he is utterly gorgeous!) resulted in no daylight time in my own kitchen. Therefore, I was forced to invade the family kitchen and whip up something quick, simple, yet oh so good!
Is it just me, or are almonds just the best thing ever? Not only do they taste amazing in their natural raw state (and apparently lower your cholesterol), but they’re also a dream cake ingredient, the perfect addition to granola, essential for a beautiful macaroon (I simply must master these soon!) and the key ingredient of my all time favourite, frangipane. But what’s more, roast them up, drizzle them with honey and spices, and you’ve got something seriously special on your hands.
This was my first attempt at home roasted nuts, but I needn’t have worried, it really is simple. As long as you set your kitchen timer and don’t abandon them, there’s very little risk of them burning, they’ll just turn a slightly darker brown, their taste will be intensified and your kitchen will smell amazing!
Once they’ve had an initial roast, the almonds are smothered in honey and spices and roasted a second time. I decided to go with what, in America, is affectionately known as ‘Pumpkin Spice’. If you used this expression in the UK, you would be on the receiving end of a blank stare (unless you happen to be talking to a Starbucks obsessive). However, if you chose instead to describe them as ‘Christmas Spices’ there might be a little less confusion.
I’m basically talking about the classic combo of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. You can vary the level of spices according to personal taste, but these babies can take quite a bit before it becomes too much. I was a little too light on the spice, so I’ve included a little more in the recipe, but even with a smaller quantity they tasted sensational, starting with a sweet honey crunch and ending with a warm waft of Christmassy spice. Yum!
Spiced Honey Roast Almonds
Inspired by Joy the Baker (as so many things are!)
200g raw unsalted almonds
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 Fan / 400 F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment on top with a little olive oil. Spread the nuts out on the paper in an even layer. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes (set your timer!). I turned my tin around once halfway through, as the heat in the oven was a little uneven.
While the nuts are in the oven, mix your spices together in a small bowl.
Remove the almonds from the oven and drizzle over the honey, stir them around to get them all fully coated, then sprinkle on the spices and stir again. Spread the nuts back out and pop the tray into the oven for a further 8 minutes (set your timer again!!).
Remove from the oven and immediately put the nuts onto a large plate. If you leave them on the parchment paper they’ll get totally stuck. I stirred my almonds regularly as they cooled to prevent them from clumping together.
Once cool, the almonds can be stored in an airtight container for about 2 weeks, but I doubt they’ll last that long!