Monday, September 6, 2010

Tartine's Almond Rochers

The moving/settling in is nearly complete.  My room is finally neat and tidy and my mind is finally starting to feel more at ease.  This is good news because now I can return my focus back to what's really important... baking!

Almond Rochers 3

I was at a bookstore looking for a gluten-free baking book in preparation for a baking session I'll be having this weekend with a friend of mine that can't eat flour at the moment.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find one in the store.  I was browsing around the cookbooks section and stumbled on a bakebook I've been eying for a really long time but never got around to getting.  It's called Tartine.  From the moment I picked up the book I knew it was something special.  It's a bakery up in San Fransisco that I've never heard of but there was just something about it that grabbed my attention.

So, with the 40% coupon I was ready to use for the gluten-free baking book... was used on Tartine.  I also got The Modern Baker which was in the bargain books section for... get this... $5.99.  That was another book I was eying for a while too.  I walked out of there with 2 books for $30.  Needless to say I was ecstatic.

Tartine Cookbook

Today, I thought I'd attempt at something in one of the books I bought and I was looking through Tartine, I found a recipe that was pretty dang easy: the Almond Rochers recipe.  With only 5 ingredients and an approximate time of about 30 minutes.. I was sold.

Almond Rochers
Yields about 30
4 oz (1 cup + 2 TBSP) Sliced Almonds, toasted and cooled, then broken into small pieces

2 Large Egg Whites (room temperature)
4 oz (1 cup) Powdered Sugar
Pinch Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2-3 tsp Coffee Extract (Trablit), Optional

First, toast the almonds in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until it gets golden brown.

Prepare a double boiler by simmering water in a pot large enough to fit a stainless steel bowl or the bowl of your standing mixer.  

Pour the egg whites, powdered sugar, and salt into the stainless steel bowl and mix well with the whip attachment.
Egg Whites with Sugar
Place the bowl in the boiler and heat the mixture until it's warm/slightly hot to the touch.  
NOTE: In the book it says to make sure NOT to let the bowl touch the water... but I immerse it and I've never had a problem.  Just make sure to watch it.

Whip the mixture until stiff peaks form.
Stiff Peaks

Add in the sliced almonds and vanilla.  DO NOT add it before it's whipped!

I wanted it to add a bit more flavor so I added about 1 tsp of Trablit, a coffee extract.

It turns out it wasn't enough so I suggest either 2 tsp or even 1 tablespoon.  But this isn't in the original recipe.  I added that in there to give it a hint of coffee flavor.

Mix thoroughly and spoon or pipe them out about 1 inch in diameter.

In the book they piped it which made it look a lot more impressive but it's not necessary.  To save time and more dish washing I just used 2 spoons to scoop.  One to scoop and the other to scrape off.

Prop the door to the oven with a wooden spoon and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
Wooden Spoon
The outside will be hard but the inside will feel a bit soft.  Let cool for about 5 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack.  Otherwise, it might get soggy.

Unlike Parisian Macarons, these meringue-type cookies are supposed to crack so don't freak out if it starts to look something like an aftermath of a devastating earthquake.

Almond Rochers

It wasn't as yummy as I was expecting it to be.  But I think it's partly because I didn't put enough coffee extract in (I was really looking for a strong coffee taste) as well as the almond slices being too big.  That might just be my own preference but next time I think I'll either chop them smaller (I just used my hands to break it up) or try ground almonds.  And... maybe drizzle on some chocolate.  Chocolate makes everything better.  =D

Almond Rochers 2

All in all, a great simple recipe that I will most likely do again.. with my own adjustments mentioned earlier.  I've never made meringue with powdered sugar before.  It's good to know!

Oh yeah.. hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day!  I know I did.  


  1. looks delish... r these like the meringue? idea how to spell it. but u kno what i mean. coffee flavored?! so who gets to eat ur goodies after????

  2. OMG! Nads, i went to tartine earlier this yr and had this rhubarb quickbread type thing that was seriously the best baked good i've ever put in my mouth, ever. i cant stop thinking about it. ive been yearning for that cookbook ever since!

    as for gluten free baking:

    check out that blog. i think there are a couple of other popular gluten-free baking blogs i see pop up frequently, but i tend to gloss over them, but i'll let you know when i come across them again :)

  3. how about toffee pieces too? is there gluten in toffee? toffee/coffee, lol. umm, did you know that there's gluten in soy sauce? my brother has celiac's disease (he can't have any gluten what so ever). it really sucks.

    1. San-Jay makes gluten free Tamari sauce which we use since going gluten free

    2. San-Jay makes gluten free Tamari sauce which we use since going gluten free

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