Saturday, 11 July 2009

Italian Candy Bars

I work as a babysitter for a wonderful Dutch-Italian family. They eat very healthily except when Italian Grandpa comes to visit! Italian Grandpa learnt to cook when his wife passed away a few years ago. I thought he loved cooking because he's constantly making tomato sauces, gelati, bread and the Italian Candy Bars pictured above(I apologise for the lousy picture) but he says that he almost never cooks when he's home (as he lives alone). He enjoys cooking for his son and daughter- I guess that's one of the ways he shows he cares.

I don't have a lot of experience with Italian food- I only know the typical pastas, risotos, desserts, meats and so on which you find at Italian restaurants. Eating with this family made me realize that home cooked Italian food (of course, every family is different) is simple and most of all, fresh. The vegetables used are always in season and in its prime- the tomatoes are almost bursting out of their skins with tomato-ey goodness, the red peppers are sweet and juicy...

These bars are a staple at their home. While walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and whatever other nuts you can find can be used, Italian Grandpa usually utilizes almonds (I believe it's my boss' favourite!). It's VERY easy to make.

Recipe (Francesco G.)

300g almonds, chopped in larg-ish chunks using a food processor
150g raw cane sugar
1 egg

Mix everything together. Leave in 200 degrees celscious oven for about an hour (or until done.). It should be hard like a crunchy candy bars. Please take note that it WILL stick to the pan- I'm not sure if baking paper will help (I'm worried it might get stuck?) as I forgot and had to pry the bars off the pan;) Italian Grandpa uses a porcelain deep plate.


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