What is Amandine?
Amandine is a word used to describe a number of different dishes, both specifically and in general terms. There is a type of Romanian cake known as an amandine that is predominantly chocolate but includes an almond flavored filling. In French cuisine, amandine is used to describe the use of almonds in decorating or flavoring a dish and is often used in the names of many dishes, much as au gratin is used to specify what to expect from the dish. Many chefs and cooks in the United States have anglicized the word and often used “almondine” to describe the use of almonds in a dish.
In reference to Romanian cooking, an amandine is a specific type of cake that can also be made as a number of small cakes as well. It is typically a chocolate sponge cake that usually consists of two layers, with a filling between them. This filling is usually almond flavored and lends the dessert its name. The entire cake is then often covered with chocolate frosting or with a frosting similarly flavored with almond extract and can be garnished with lightly toasted almond slices.
When used in describing a larger type or flavor of cooking, amandine is typically used to refer to the inclusion of almonds as a major ingredient or a garnish to the dish. For example, trout amandine is a common dish in which trout, or really any other type of similar fish, is battered or breaded then cooked on both sides. A sauce is then made by melting butter and adding a small amount of citric acid such as lemon juice, and sliced almonds, which are lightly browned in the butter. This sauce is then spooned over the fish and served. For an even stronger flavor, crushed almonds could also be used as part of the breading for the fish.
Many other foods, especially vegetables, can include almonds to increase the flavor and texture of the dish in a way that is minimalistic and healthy. Broccoli amandine is especially popular, and simply adding lightly toasted almonds to green vegetables or a salad can introduce a much deeper and richer flavor profile. The use of the word “amandine” to describe a dish may also be helpful for those with food allergies who need to avoid ingesting almonds. Tree nut allergies are among the most common types of food allergies, and those with tree nut allergies may experience allergic reactions when eating almonds.
I love eating biscotti amandine. It is so good with coffee or dipped in chocolate, and it’s not hard to make.
I preheat my oven to 325, and I cream 8 tablespoons of butter with three-fourths cup of sugar. I beat 2 large eggs into the mix, and then I add one teaspoon of almond extract.
Next, I stir in two cups of self-rising flour. Then, I add three-fourths cup of toasted sliced almonds. I divide the dough into three equal sections and roll it out on wax paper into two-inch logs. I put them on a greased cookie sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes.
After they cool slightly, I slice them diagonally into half-inch pieces. Then, I put them back on the cookie sheet and bake them for seven minutes on each side. This gets them slightly toasted.
I found a wonderful sweet amandine recipe for cherry almond chocolate chunks. The ingredient list is minimal, yet they have so much flavor.
First, you toast one and a half cups of almonds at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, stirring them after 4 minutes. Then, you melt 20 oz. of bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler.
Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and oil it a little to keep the chocolate from sticking. Take the melted chocolate off the eye and mix in a cup of dried cherries, the almonds, and half a teaspoon of sea salt. Pour it into the pan, and press it down evenly.
Chill it for an hour in the refrigerator. When it becomes solid, you can lift it out by the foil, peel it away, and put the block on a plate to cut it. Keep the chunks refrigerated. That’s all there is to this recipe.
Romanian amandine cake sounds delicious! Anything that combines chocolate with almonds has to be great.
It makes me think of black forest cake, which is a rich chocolate cake with cherries. Almond extract tastes a lot like cherries to me, so I imagine that amandine would have a hint of that flavor.
Since sponge cake absorbs flavors really well, I imagine that this cake soaks up the almond filling and chocolate frosting to deliver a strong taste. I made a regular yellow sponge cake once with cherry filling and frosting, and the flavors soaked through the whole thing. It really intensified the taste.
I have a delicious and simple recipe for green beans amandine. It makes a great side dish to serve with everything from beef to fish.
I start with green beans that have been trimmed and washed. I put them in a pot and cover them with water. Then, I boil them for about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, I melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet. I put in two tablespoons of olive oil, two cloves of chopped garlic, and about one-fourth cup of sliced almonds. I cook and stir this mixture until the almonds start to brown.
Then, I drain the beans and put them in the skillet. I add one-fourth teaspoon of salt, a dash of black pepper, and one teaspoon of lemon juice. I stir it all up, making sure everything gets coated in the oil and seasonings. Then, it is ready to eat.
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