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Almond Cheese Cakes

ingredients

makes 18
1 cup (1/4 lb) 125 g plain flour (bread flour)
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (2 oz) 50 g Butter or Block Margarine
1 tablespoon caster sugar (superfine granulated)
1 egg yolk
2-3 x 15 ml (2-3 tablespoons) cold water

for the almond topping

3/4 stick + 1 tbsp (3 1/2 oz) 100 g butter
1/2 cup (8 Tbls) 100 g caster sugar (superfine granulated)
2 eggs, size 3, lightly beaten
1 x 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) almond essence
7/8 cup (100 g) 4 oz ground almonds
3 tbsp (25 g) plain flour

for the filling

raspberry jam

for the topping

Flaked almonds

method

18 patty tins
7,5 cm (3 in) fluted pastry cutter

1. First make the pastry cases.

2. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the fat into small pieces and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Stir into the caster sugar. Mix the egg yolk and water together and sprinkle on top of the crumbed mixture.

4. Stir, rising a broad-bladed knife, to form a stiff dough, adding a little extra water if necessary.

5. Turn on to a lightly-floured work surface and knead very lightly.

6. Roll out into a circle about 2 mm (1/16th in) thick and cut into rounds with the fluted cutter.

7. Place a round in each patty tin and put approximately 1 teaspoon raspberry jam into the centre of each.

8. Prepare the almond topping by creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and pale cream in colour.

9. Very gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition.

10. Stir in the almond essence, ground almonds and flour.

11. Put a generous heaped teaspoonful on top of each pastry case to cover the raspberry jam.

12. Sprinkle a few slivered almonds on top and bake in the pre-heated oven 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5) until well risen and pale golden brown, 20-25 minutes

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