Amarena Cherry Almond Loaf

Makes 1 loaf



  • 1 cup ground almonds, or almond meal
  • 1 ¼ cups, and 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Amaretto almond liqueur
  • 1 cup Amarena cherries, drained and cut into halves


  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Amarena cherry syrup
  • 1 teaspoon melted salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons whipping, or heavy, cream

To decorate

  • Toasted flaked almonds
  • Additional Amarena cherries, drained



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare 9” x 5” inch loaf pan with baking spray, or grease with butter, and set aside until needed
  3. In a bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder. Whisk together well
  4. Beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition
  6. Add the almond liqueur and mix to combine
  7. Add ½ the flour mixture and mix briefly
  8. Add the remaining of the flour mixture and fold just until no flour spots remain
  9. Toss the cherries in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and fold in the batter
  10. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center. *If the loaf begins to brown too much before it has completed baking, cover it loosely with aluminium foil
  11. Cool 15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan. Allow to cool completely before glazing


  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, cherry syrup, and melted butter until just smooth
  2. Add in the cream one teaspoon at a time until you can pour the glaze

To finish

  1. Drizzle the glaze over your cooled loaf
  2. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and dot surplus Amarena cherries to your liking
  3. Slice and serve

Loaf will keep best for up to three days at room temperature in an air-tight container


Galette Des Rois

Makes 1 x 9″ galette



  • 1 portion rough puff pastry as per my Saskatoon Berry Pie recipe


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons cherry brandy liqueur
  • 1 Tablespoon amaretto liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 3 Tablespoons warmed orange marmalade, sieved to remove the peel

To Finish

  • 1 egg beaten with
  • 1 teaspoon milk


  1. Preheat your oven to 400F
  2. With the pastry divided into 2 as per original Saskatoon Berry Pie, roll to thickness 4mm thick. Using a 9″ plate or cake pan bottom, cut a disc shape from the pastry and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, and repeat with the second portion of pastry on a separate lined baking sheet. You should now have 2 discs of pasty chilling in the refrigerator while you move on to making the filling
  3. In a medium bowl combine the sugar and softened butter. Beat with an electric whisk until pale and well combined
  4. Add the eggs, cherry brandy, amaretto, almond extract, cornstarch and whisk until well combined
  5. Add in the ground almonds and fold to combine well
  6. Once combined, cover and chill in the refrigerator
  7. Remove one disc of chilled pastry (still on lined baking tray) from the refrigerator and brush on the warmed marmalade, leaving a 1″ border to the pastry disc
  8. Transfer your almond mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe the filling mixture on top of the marmalade, keeping the 1″ border. Using a palette knife or spatula smooth the top of the filling for any major dips or bumps
  9. Liberally wet the border area with water
  10. Remove second disc of chilled pastry from your refrigerator and careful place on top of the first filled disc (I invert the second disc whilst on it’s baking parchment baking and then peel to remove the parchment). Press the edges over the wet area to seal the edge of the pastries
  11. Using a knife (or a chopstick) push into the galette edge to crimp/ scallop it
  12. Brush the top of the galette with the finishing egg mixture until fully covered and golden. Avoid brushing the side of the galette
  13. Using a sharp knife or bakers lame, cut a decorative pattern into the top of the pasty, careful not to go the full way through
  14. Transfer to your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown (There may be some leakage of butter form the filling)
  15. Once baked remove from the oven and transfer to cooling rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing

Amaretti Morbidi

Makes 15


  • 2 1/4 cups finely ground almonds
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar


  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet or cookie tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
  • In a large bowl, whisk together ground almond, sugar and salt until well combined
  • In a mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks
  • Add beaten egg whites and almond extract to dry ingredients and stir until mixture forms a soft, sticky dough, kneading with your hands if necessary
  • Lightly dust your hands with powdered sugar. Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough into 1-inch balls. Roll into a smooth ball, then roll in powdered sugar. Arrange on your prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch of space between cookies
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are cracked and bottoms are just barely golden. Remove from oven; let cool a few minutes on the baking trays, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely
  • Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight bag or container, for up to 5 days

Quick Individual Cherry Cobbler

So I’m a sucker for cravings. Once I get something in my mind that’s it- I won’t rest until I’ve tasted it. That was that was the case with this cherry cobbler. Sure it’s a cheat’s version- using canned pin filling. But I craved it and the quicker I got it the better. Also lets face it- using canned filling cuts down on the stove-time involved in the making off this. If you feel so inclined, go right ahead with your favorite mix of cherries that you might use for your fillings. I’m definitely not one to dictate how you should run your kitchen.

The topping here is an adaption of a regular biscuit dough that I use to biscuit top stews and casseroles. Here I’ve slightly upped the sugar for a sweeter finish, adding in some cinnamon and oats for a more rustic dessert finish.

I love the flavor combination of cherries and almonds, thinking that it’s one of the best out there. Food trivia moment- both are linked by the compound Benzaldehyde, which is the second most popular flavor and fragrance after vanillin. Baking- educational too! (Darn! now I’m thinking I need to make a Cherry Bakewell…curse you infernal cravings!

With the use of pie filling these are so quick and easy that even making them in the current warmer weather can be justified. Plus adding a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top even more so!

Makes 4


  • 1 can 540ml (20 oz) cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup toasted, flaked almonds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Jumbo rolled oats
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoon Turbinado sugar


  1. Butter four 0.25L ramekins
  2. In a bowl mix the pie filling and the almond extract. Divide the pie filling equally among the ramekins
  3. Sprinkle the tops of the pie filling with the toasted almond flakes. Set them aside on a foil-lined baking sheet until later
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F
  5. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, ground cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine
  6. Add the melted butter and milk, stirring just until moistened. The biscuit batter will be quite thick and lumpy. Drop batter by heaping scoopfuls onto the filling
  7. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the biscuit dough
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until biscuits are browned and filling is hot and bubbly
  9. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Amaretto Coconut Macaroons

It’s National Macaroon Day! So let’s celebrate these li’l nuggets of sweet coconutty goodness in all their chewy, toasty glory! These are fantastic treats which can have a universal appeal since they are in effect gluten-free. Any leavening required is done via the addition of whipped egg whites.

Speaking of additions in this recipe I’ve included a gentle tipple of almond liqueur in a reference to the cookies almond based begins. I also find that the combination of coconut and almond works really well. Think of these as a pimped up version of the fondly loved Almond Joy or Bounty bars for the grown-ups!

Don’t get me wrong – these also taste great without the addition of the alcohol. The added benefit being you can get the kids involved in the making of and then reward them for their efforts. It’s smiles all round!

Amaretto Coconut Macaroons #recipe

Makes average 21


  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 can (300ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons almond liqueur
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

To Finish

  • Whole almonds, blanched and toasted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and almond liqueur a large bowl. Mix well
  3. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks
  4. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture
  5. Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch cookie scoop, or 2 teaspoons
  6. Press an almond into the top of each macaroon mound
  7. Bake for 25, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on tray for 5 minutes before peeling to remove. Place on a rack and leave to cool fully
  8. When fully cooled dip the base of each macaroon into the melted chocolate. Leave to set, upside down (chocolate side up) on a cooling rack