06 January 2009

Mandelmusslor, redux

It surprised me (some) and amused me (much) to find a hit to my entry on Mandelmusslor via the google.se translation page.

In other words, this visitor found my page and ran it through the Google translator for Swedish.

Considering how many Swedish sites I have gone through, spade and shovel, with the help of a dictionary, and indeed how many I went through looking specifically for a recipe for Mandelmusslor because I could not find a recipe in English, this seems a bit backwards.

(I do not really read Swedish, but between the German I took in high school and my general affinity for language, I can get by if I have a decent dictionary at hand).

Parsing out the search terms as best I can, it looks like the hit came in via a search for Mandelmusslor made with almond extract. Which indeed, my recipe is, and the Swedish recipes I was working from were not.

It was a compromise. I am not always proud of making compromises in my cooking but sometimes it's just what has to be done. Every single Mandelmusslor recipe I looked at told me to use a mix of sweet and bitter almonds to make the cookie shells.

Bitter almonds weren't readily available, but I am aware that they have a stronger, more almond-y aroma than sweet almonds do. I am also aware that they're used to make almond extract -- because of that more potent fragrance.

And so, in the absence of bitter almonds, I adjusted the quantity of sweet almonds up, to keep the texture of the dough approximately the same, and compensated for the loss of flavour by adding the extract.

I have no idea what a traditionalist Swede would think of this, but as desserts went, my little almond tarts were a success. Somehow, the not-very-sweet cookies and the decidedly tart creme fraiche and cloudberry jam went together into something very wonderful.

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