I do not really have a sweet tooth. The same cannot be said for Barth or my brother-in-law, Trent. The two men are dessert fiends, and will devour everything sweet in sight. Barth’s favourite is ice cream and he can easily eat a whole tub in one sitting, while Trent will devour chocolate-anything. My mother thrives on the philosophy that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and so readily feeds this sweet addiction every time the family visits. She makes loads of ice cream, even in winter, in a variety of flavours – vanilla, mango, strawberry, passionfruit, caramel, almond etc. The offshoot of this is that there are always plenty of leftover egg whites – and what better way to use them than to make almond bread.
The “bread” is a lighter version of biscotti, so it is crisp and not too sweet. It is one of my favourite treats to enjoy while having a cup of coffee in the morning or late at night. This is one of my mother’s staple snacks – I remember the smell of almond bread crisping up in the oven from when we were small. It turns out that Barth also has a fondness for almond bread, so this is a happy coincidence.
We are away in New Zealand on holiday this week, so instead of my usual fare, I thought I would share this almond bread recipe. It takes a day or two for the “bread” to dry out before being baked a second time, so although this is a simple recipe, you may wish to plan in advance. Enjoy it with coffee (and ice cream!). It will keep for up to a month in an air tight container.
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 125g whole unblanched almonds
- 1 cup plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 180-190C (depending on how hot your oven is).
- Beat egg whites in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form, and then add the sugar gradually. Beat in the sugar until dissolved. Fold in the flour and the almonds.
- Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased loaf tin (approx 100x200cm), and then bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the tin from the oven, and leave almond bread in tin until completely cooled. Once the bread is cold, remove from the tin, wrap in aluminium foil and set aside for 1-2 days until it dries out.
- Preheat the oven to 120-130C. Using a sharp knife, slice the almond bread into wafer thin slices. Place the slices onto an oven tray for 45 minutes or until the bread slices are completely dried out and crisp. Make sure you watch the oven, if the slices start going brown then your oven is too hot, and reduce the heat. Serve with coffee.