Tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

14/06/2010

tart cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

tart cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

I found this recipe in my sweet notes yesterday.  I recalled making this once and liked how simple its procedure is, no special equipment required not even a mixer, and it tastes very good.

I decide to make it again to share with dinner guests this evening, also to re-test this recipe and to just have some sweets around for sudden midnight craving.

The original recipe calls for spelt flour which I did not have so used whole wheat pastry instead when I made it the first time.   And I am very excited about using amaranth flour for this bake.

I should mention that I convert the original vegan recipe into non-vegan one by adding an egg and substituting called-for oil with butter.  I don’t usually have yogurt around so liberally use either milk/2 percent Lactaid , sour milk (1 cup of milk:1 Tablespoon of   fresh lemon juice) or this favorite So Delicious® Coconut Milk.

It is supposed to be of dense texture  but the agave nectar and the egg alone transform this into cake-y bites.  Truth is I don’t really know what it would taste like but I like how mine turns out.

It is simple but best ingredients are key here so don’t skimp on any and try this first to see how you like it before substituting other fruits and nuts of your choice.

The combination of macadamia nuts and tart cherries is very good.  The macadamia bits add a nice texture to the bite: it tastes as if it has coconut pieces in it.

And the amaranth flour contributes an intense flavoured batter, a nutty aroma during its bake, and indeed a surprising nutty bite.

This would be  my second time using whole grain flour in sweets.  I think it gives a pleasant nutty taste to the palate so think I’ll try to use more whole grain flour in future recipes.

One last thing, I also reduced the sugar a bit as the original recipe stated that it’s pretty sweet; I used a combination of agave nectar and natural sugar.

Anyhow, here is the recipe and how I make it.

Tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

By Mily| February 20, 2009 – 21:07

Adapted from here

Ingredients (adapted from this recipe):

  • 100 g agave nectar
  • 50 g/1/3 C evaporated cane juice
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g/¼ C butter, melted and cool
  • 1/3 Cup yogurt, milk or coconut milk is a good substitution
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100 g unbleached wheat flour
  • 120 g amaranth flour, whole spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 80 g/½ Cup Macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 80 g/1/2 Cup dried cherries

Equipment: a 7 x 7 inch square or 8-inch round baking pan

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 7 x 7-inch or an 8-inch round baking dish with butter.

2.  Mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt ) together.

3. Chopped the nuts and mix the dried cherries with a little flour mixture to separate them into pieces.

coarsely chopped Macadamia & tart cherries

coarsely chopped Macadamia & tart cherries

4. Mix the egg and sugar until the mixture reaches a light yellow color.  Add the melted butter, yogurt and vanilla extract to the sugar & egg mixture and stir until combined.

mixing wet ingredients

mixing wet ingredients

5.  Sift the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Then fold in almost all the nuts and the cherries in the batter.

the mixed batter with nuts and cherry bits

the mixed batter with nuts and cherry bits

6.  Spread it in the baking dish, sprinkle with the rest of the nut and baked for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

batter in the baking pan

batter in the baking pan

7.  Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then take it out and cool on rack.  Enjoy it warm or at room temperature.

baked tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Round

baked tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Round

The squares had a golden color due to the agave nectar.  It’s quite moist with bursting bits of tart cherry and the richness of macadamia nuts.  Yum!

I must admit I enjoy the square much more at breakfast with a cup of red tea, with or without milk.  I hope you will give this a try and enjoy eating it as much as I do.

tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

tart Cherry Macadamia Amaranth Squares

Note to Self:  Remember to adjust the leavening agents when baking at 5000 feet or higher.

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