My Mint Mojito and roasted ALMOND snack

Loads of perky fresh mint, lime and aged rum blended well with a touch of sweetness.
Egg white based, sweet and salty roasted almonds made a perfect partner.

As busy as we can get catching up on weekend chores...
we do try to enjoy interesting corners of our city of Montreal.

This tiny part of de Castelneau street, East (near little Italy) has turned on its charm.

That day we were received with a generous bouquet of mint from my mother-in-law's garden.
I'm still in awe at how fast these plants furnish the garden...and yes they are invasive.
That's not why she's always ready with bouquet in hand ;o)

How could I not think of making us one of...
our favourite summer afternoon refreshments ;o)

Winding through urban garden settings led to a relaxing afternoon promenade.
It was time to release ourselves back into our comfy routines of relaxing on our balcony.

I already had snacks made from a few weeks ago...
added a few crackers and we were set.

Supper could certainly wait a few more hours...
now, it was time to wind down.

My Mint Mojito
serves 2 glasses
note: use the weight measuring cup for the first 4 ingredients.

Printer version

(American / Metric measures)

. 24 large, fresh Mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
. 1/4 cup (55g) organic cane sugar
. 1/4 cup (50ml) dark, aged Rum (5+)
. 1/4 cup (50ml) fresh lime juice (2 small limes)
. 1 can (355ml) of sparkling water
. 6 regular sized ice-cubes

. At the bottom of a medium sized pitcher, add the sugar with the mint leaves over top.  With a fork, poke and squash the extracted essential oils of the mint. 
. Add the Rum and lime juice.  
. Stir and cover the pitcher to place into refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.
. Pour the sparkling water and stir.  
. In each glass, add the ice-cubes and then evenly pour the liquid mix through a small sieve in order to avoid pouring small pieces of mint.
. Lastly, garnish with extra mint.  Salute ;o)

. Add an extra 1/8 cup of frozen orange concentrate or simply, 1/4 cup orange juice.


roasted (savoury-sweet) flavoured
makes 2-1/2 cups (400g)

(American / Metric measures)

. 2-1/2 cups (400g) raw almonds
. 1 large (45ml) egg white 
. 2 tsps. (10ml) granulated sugar
. 1-1/2 tsps. (7.5ml) sea salt
. 1 tsp. (5ml) granulated garlic powder

. Pre-heat oven to 300F/150C/Gas2. 
. Position rack in the center of the oven.
. Prepare a large parchment lined baking pan.

. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy.  
. Add and coat the almonds.  Set for 2 minutes only.
. Add the seasoning and combine.
. Spread out the mixed almonds onto the parchment sheet and bake for an initial 20 minutes.  Afterwards, remove from the oven to break up and flip the almonds with the aid of a spatula.  Bake for another 20 minutes.
.  Cool the pan completely before serving or storing in an airtight, glass container.  These can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a month.

Most of us work very hard to get through our week...why not take a little deserved time off.

Whether it's playing tourist in our own part of the world or laying back with a refreshment and can certainly make it part of a small, pleasurable ritual ;o)

Here's to enjoying part of our short Summer time.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Here's other related recipes that may be of interest:
- cold Espresso Coffee AMARETTO Latté
- LIMONCELLO light adapted 

Almond Chestnut CHERRY upside down cake

Ruby red cherries find themselves in the company of Gluten free flours.
Splashes of Amaretto and vanilla bring out the best that cherries can offer in a cake.

Crazy for cherries

This is how we are depicted in our family.
Without hesitation, we can have them for every meal of the day.
Come place a great bowl of cherries at the table and just see what happens.
A slightly uncontrollable flock of usually well behaved persons grabbing at cherries.
I think pigeons pecking at bread crumbs are better behaved.  
Alright, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little...or am I?

Packed with incredible nutrients...the CHERRY:
. Helps improve eyesight with its beta-carotenes.
. Eases joint pain with its anti-inflammatory qualities.
. Keeps cholesterol at bay with its soluble fiber rich pectin.
. Improves sleep with its naturally occurring melatonin hormone. 
. Protects the colon with its quercetin, an anti-carcinogenic flavanoid. great perk...1 cup (250ml) of pitted cherries has only 97 calories!
What a great excuse to keep enjoying fresh cherries ;o)

Now, baking with them is a little tougher for me to handle.
Why?..How could I let go of those delicious ruby reds from their luscious fresh bites?

Up until now, the only time I've cooked cherries was for a jam with Amaretto.
That's only because the cherries were not to my expectation.  
A little sugar and voila...the cherries perked up.
Well, I decided to apply the same pick me up in this scrumptious upside down cake.

CHERRY torte cake
 with...Almond and Chestnut flour 

upside down cake

note...A variation to Gluten-free:  
Replace the same amount in All-Purpose flour and eliminate the apple cider vinegar.

serves 8-10

(American / Metric measures)

. 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter
. 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) fresh lemon juice
. 35 medium cherries, pitted and halved

. 3/4 cup (75g) Almond flour
. 3/4 cup (115g) Chestnut flour
. 1/4 cup (27g) Tapioca flour (aka Tapioca starch)
. 2 tsps. (10ml) baking powder (GF)
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) sea salt
. 1/2 cup (125ml) grapeseed oil
. 3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar
. 3 large eggs
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) pure Vanilla extract
. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) Amaretto liquor
. 1/2 cup (125ml) evaporated milk
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) apple cider vinegar

Garnish (optional):
. 1/8 cup (30g) raw, sliced almonds, lightly toasted 

. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. 
. Grease only the sides of a 9-inch (23cm) round cake pan.

. In the cake pan, place the butter, brown sugar and lemon juice together.  Once the oven is heated, place the pan in for 5 minutes until it bubbles.  Remove pan and start placing the cherries (cut side up) in a concentric circle.
. Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt into a bowl or piece of parchment paper.  Set aside.
. In a large bowl, beat the oil and sugar until smooth.  
. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla and Amaretto. 
. Now, add half of the dry ingredients on low speed until blended.   Add and blend in the milk and apple cider vinegar.   Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.  . Gently pour the batter onto the cherry base.
. Bake for about 45 minutes.
. Remove the cake pan from the oven and onto a rack for about 5 minutes.  Lightly pass a thin spatula around the cake.  Afterwards, invert it on a serving platter and leave it alone for another 5 minutes before uncovering it.
. In the meantime, place the almonds into the oven or a stovetop to lightly roast for only 3 minutes.  Watch them carefully.
. Evenly distribute the toasted almonds over the center of the cake.   Serve it at room temperature.  The cake will keep lightly covered at room temperature for about three days without drying out.  Enjoy.

Since cherries barely increase my blood sugar levels ... I'll take full advantage of keeping them close by.   If by chance they aren't to my liking ... I'll give them up into another baked delight ... Cherry clafouti perhaps?

Enjoy the sweet freshness gifted by mother nature.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Here's other Gluten-Free cake tortes you may want to try:
- Apple Pecan Raisin spice torte cake
- APPLE and Almond cake torte
- Chocolate Almond TORTA CAPRESE flourless cake 
- Citrus Chocolate Coconut Ginger Nut flourless torte cake
- CLEMENTINE CHOCO NUT flourless torte cake
- FIG and NUT torte cake
- ORANGE spice ALMOND flourless torte cake
- Pineapple and Spice reversed torte cake
- PLUM buttermilk torte cake
- Port Fig Yogurt torte cake
- Ricotta Orange Chocolate torte cake