We are already in the third week of the Vegan Month of Food and yes, I skipped the first two days of this week. I guess I needed a little cake sabbatical. Plus, sometimes life just gets in your way and a day is much too short when you have to divide it between work, spending time with your family, and other things. But enough with the lame excuses already, today I am back, armed with flour, sugar, fat, and more sugar. I hope you will enjoy the following treats as today’s recipe and the next ones are all childhood favourites of mine. And they are all coworker tested, too.
All of these childhood favourites were and are still available at the bakery right next to my parents house in Northern Germany. On Sunday afternoons my father would often go there and buy cakes or pastries so we could eat them for coffee, as that sweet afternoon snack was called. One of my favourite pastries were these Mandelhörnchen (almond crescends). They are made from marzipan, topped with sliced almonds, and dipped in dark chocolate. If you bite into them they are chewy, but then the marzipan melts in your mouth right away. And then you taste the crispy roasted almonds and the bittersweet chocolate. I love all those contrasts in one baked good. The recipe is from a cookbook called Koch- und Backhits der 60er. I adapted and veganised it.
Note to those who are gluten-free: This recipe calls for 50 g of regular flour. It’s used for binding, but this might work without it. I haven’t tried, but maybe adding more starch or something like glutinous rice flour might give you the same results as regular wheat flour.
Mandelhörnchen (yields 17)
200 g (7 oz) marzipan
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
75 ml (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) soy milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
50 g (1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon) flour
100 g (3.5 oz) sliced almonds
150 g (5.3 oz) chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the marzipan into small cubes and place in a bowl. Add sugar and soy milk. Mash with a spoon until the mixture is smooth. (You can also use a hand held mixer or blender for this step.) Add starch, baking powder, and flour. Use a hand held mixer to beat into a smooth paste. Fill into a a pastry bag with a large, whide mouthed tip attached. Pipe on a baking sheet in the form of crescents. Your crescents will look like bent sausages at this point, but they should spread and flatten out while baking. So make sure not to place them to close together! Sprinkle with almonds and carefully press some of the almonds into the crescents. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for about ten minutes. Transfer to a cookie rack to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate and dip the crescents into the marzipan. Place on a sheet of parchment paper to dry.