Almond London Cookies

almond london cookies main

This confectionery may look like just any ordinary homemade chocolate truffles, but don’t let your eyes fool you. This is actually the all-famous Malaysian festive cookie called ‘Almond London Cookies’!

Almond London Cookies are very popular especially when celebrating the end of the Ramadan (fasting month). Festive cookies are normally petite in Malaysia as it is common to try a few different types of cookies when visiting our friends and families over the festive season. Eating a huge cookie could possibly destroy our chances at trying out different types of cookies, so I guess that’s why people in Malaysia are more inclined to creating small cookies. And that’s why these Almond London Cookies are the size of a chocolate truffle!

Almond London Cookies are a Malaysian creation. Their tempting flavours managed to win the hearts of all the different races in Malaysia. I’m not sure where the word ‘London’ came from though.

I was introduced to this cookie by my Malay friends when I visited their homes during their festive season. Once I had a bite of this cookie, I immediately loved it and couldn’t stop eating it! I mean, who can resist the perfect combination of crunchy and fragrant toasted almonds wrapped around with buttery and crumbly sweet butter cookie that is oozed with dark decadent chocolate and topped with texture inviting roasted almond nibs? This cookie spells the best of all worlds – chocolate, cookie and confectionery heaven!

Seriously – the creator of this cookie must have been a genius!

Being a huge fan of this cookie, I sadly haven’t had these cookies for five years. Since I couldn’t find them anywhere in Australia and missed eating these cookies so much, I decided to make them myself!

After scouring the internet for recipes on how to make this delicious festive treat, I managed to come up with my own version of Almond London cookies. My version is more cost effective, rich in flavour and chocolaty. The addition of milk in my new version brings the cookie dough to the next level in terms of texture and taste.

I find that these cookies are best eaten after they left overnight to harden for their taste to develop. Though I can assure you that once you start eating these cookies – you can’t stop eating them! So if you are preparing them for guests, don’t start eating them before your guests arrive.

My best advice to you is – if you’re up and running and would like to indulge in a sweet treat yourself or would like to impress your loved ones with a sweet delight, here is my contribution to you.

Here’s my recipe:

ALMOND LONDON COOKIES
Makes approximately 52 cookies

Ingredients:
125 grams unsalted butter, softened
75 g icing sugar
1 medium sized egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
200 g plain flour
25 g rice flour
Whole almonds
300 g dark cooking chocolate
80 g slivered almonds
2-3 tbsp milk

Method:
• Preheat your oven to 170 C.
• Spread a baking tray with the whole almonds and toast them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, turning the almonds around every five minutes.
• Take them out and cool before keeping in air-tight jars.

whole almonds

• Next, dry fry the slivered almonds until lightly browned. Then chop them into rough pieces. Cool and store them in air-tight jars as well.

dry frying slivered almonds

toasted silvered almonds

Take the slivered almonds once they turned lightly brown to avoid them from burning.

• Now , start making the butter cookie dough by creaming the butter and icing sugar.

beating butter and sugar

When creaming the butter and sugar, you want to make sure the butter is softened for easier mixing.

Mixed butter and sugar

Your butter and sugar mixture should look something like this.

• After they are well combined, add the egg and vanilla essence. Continue mixing the ingredients.

Adding butter and vanilla extract

• Sift the plain flour and rice flour. Mix them in small portions into the butter mixture to form a soft dough. Then, add 2-3 tbsp milk to the dough. If the dough is too soft or sticky, add some flour. Then mix again.

Adding flour to butter mixture

Mixing the flour in small portions ensure the flour is evenly distributed to form the dough.

Finished cookie dough

Your prepared cookie dough should look something like this.

• Take about ¾ tsp cookie dough and flatten it with your hands. To make an even layer for the cookie dough, I normally like to press the sides of the dough with my fingers.
• Next, place a toasted whole almond in the centre of the flattened dough and wrap the dough around the almond. Shape the cookie dough into a small log.

whole almond on dough

Step 1: Flatten dough and place whole almond at the centre of the dough.

sealing dough step 1

Step 2: Fold the dough into half.

sealing dough step 2

Step 3: Gently enclose the dough to cover the entire almond.

shaping cookies

Step 4: Shape the dough into a small log.

cookies before baking

This is what your cookie will look like before baking them.

• Bake the cookies at a preheated oven at 175 C for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Cool cookies completely before proceeding with the chocolate coating.

cookies after baking

Your cookies should turn golden brown like this after baking.

• Melt the cooking chocolate using the bain-marie method. To do this, you need to place the chocolate in a large bowl under a smaller saucepan with simmering water and turn the gas to low heat. During this process, do not let any water get into the chocolate as this will ruin the melted chocolate texture.

melting chocolate

Melt your chocolate in a big bowl over a smaller saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let water get into it!

melted chocolate

After melting, your chocolate should look shiny like this.

• Dip the butter cookies into the melted chocolate with a spoon and transfer the cookies to the small paper cups with a fork.

dipping cookies

Gently dip and coat the entire cookie with chocolate using a spoon.

taking cookies from chocolate

Lift up the cookie with a fork so that the excess chocolate drips off.

placing cookies on paper cups

Gently place the cookie in small paper cups.

• Immediately sprinkle the cookies with chopped almonds before chocolate hardens so that the almonds will stick to the cookies.

topping cookies with nibbed almonds

• Leave the cookies to cool completely before transferring them to air tight containers.

• Enjoy eating them!
half cookie

Are you hungry yet? Maybe it’s time to start baking.

Do you love baking or cooking? How about baking cookies? Or do you just love eating?

Share your thoughts here.

Cheers,
Caroline Poh

Advertisements

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

japanese strawberry shortcake

Welcome to my food blog – ‘Delish Specials’. Since this is my first blog post, I decided – what better way to celebrate the official launch of blog than by baking a cake?

I was doing my grocery shopping the other day and managed to buy cheap strawberries at only $2 for 500g. So I decided to bake a Japanese strawberry shortcake for my blog!

The Japanese strawberry shortcake is a very famous Western-style cake available at bakeries all around Japan. The creation of this cake was first influenced by the American strawberry shortcake but was adapted to suit the local palate. Unlike the American shortcake which uses biscuit (scone-like pastry) for its base, the Japanese strawberry shortcake uses an Asian-style sponge cake base. The Japanese strawberry shortcake is a short and light sponge cake that is filled with whipped cream, strawberries and decorated with whipped cream frosting and strawberries.

Although, I am not Japanese and have not travelled to Japan before, I happened to stumble upon write-ups about this cake in several food blogs and decided to try baking this cake a few years ago and I loved it! Since then, I have been wanting to bake this cake again for a long time but was waiting for cheap strawberries to became available. My wish finally came true! So for this post, I’m will be showing you how to make a Japanese strawberry shortcake.

Below is my recipe:

For the Asian Sponge Cake, you will need:

Ingredients:

6 large eggs (at room temperature), separated

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups flour sifted with 1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  • Beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Then slowly add ½ cup sugar into the egg whites. Continue to beat the egg whites until are light, frothy and form stiff peaks.
egg white stiff peaks

This is what stiff peaks looks like. As you see, the whipped egg whites will not drop back into the bowl when the beater is lifted up.

  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until the mixture is pale, fluffy and frothy. Then beat in the canola oil, water and vanilla extract to the egg yolk mixture.
light and fluffy egg yolks

Your beaten egg yolks will look pale, fluffy and frothy like this before you add your vanilla extract.

  • Next, fold in your sifted flour and baking powder into your beaten egg yolk mixture.
  • After that, gently fold in your beaten egg whites. When you fold in your beaten egg whites, you would want to make sure that you do not stir the mixture as this will deflate the batter. This could cause your sponge to become too dense and not rise properly.
folding in egg whites

This is how you gently fold in your egg white mixture into your cake batter.

  • Line a springform pan with baking paper. Make sure to line the base as well as the sides of the pan. Lining the pan will help your cake to rise properly.
  • Pour in your cake batter into the spring form pan. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for around 50 minutes or until the top of the cake is lightly browned and fully cooked.
  • Once the cake is cooked, switch off the oven and leave the cake to cool in the oven with the oven door ajar. This ensures that the cake will not shrink too much.
  • After baking the cake, cool the cake in the cake tin and refrigerated at least for an hour to firm up the cake before removing it from the springform pan and decorating it.

For the cake filling and decorations, you will need:

Ingredient:

A small bowl of sliced fresh strawberries

1 cup double cream

1tbsp cornflour

3tbsp caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  • Cut the cake into two layers. Although you can use a serrated knife (bread knife) to cut the cake into layers, I always use this special wire cake slicer and leveller because it gives me a more accurate cake levelling. You can buy this slicer at cake specialty stores or online.
wire cake slicer and leveller

My wire cake slicer and leveller.

wire cake slicer notch

You can adjust the height of each cake layer by choosing the suitable notches on the slicer before layering your cake.

  • I always flip my cake upside down before cutting it into layers and decorating it.
slice cake

Slice the cake with the wire cake slicer and leveller.

  • Pour your double cream into a mixing bowl. Beat it until it is fairly fluffy. Then, slowly add in the sugar and continue to beat the mixture.
  • Once you have reached soft peaks, sprinkle in the cornflour and vanilla extract and continue to beat until you reach stiff peaks. Do not overbeat the mixture as it will turn into butter!
whipped cream frosting at stiff peaks

Your whipped cream texture should look something like this when it reaches stiff peaks.

whipped cream frosting on beater

The whipped cream must not drip down when you lift up the cake beater. Instead, it should stay firmly on the beater and hold its shape.

  • Place your whipped cream frosting in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
  • Next, spread the bottom cake layer with the whipped cream frosting you have just made and top it with sliced strawberries.
strawberry and cream filling

Make sure you do not fill up the sides of the strawberry shortcake because it will overflow when you sandwich it.

  • Sandwich your shortcake filling with the top cake layer.
  • Lastly, decorate your strawberry shortcake according to your own creativity with whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries.
strawberry shortcake top

This is what my Japanese strawberry shortcake looked like after decorating it.

strawberry shortcake in container

Keep cake fresh in a container.

  • Keep the strawberry shortcake refrigerated in a cake container to make sure it stays fresh and moist. This cake is best eaten within three days.
  • Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea.

Do you have a favourite cake you always bring for celebrations? Are you a sweet tooth or do you prefer savoury dishes? I would love to hear from you.

If you love savoury dishes, join me next week as I will bring you on a journey to discovering one of my favourite childhood hawker dish.

Till then… Happy baking!

Cheers,

Caroline Poh