Almond biscuits

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Part 1 – language

A. Recipe story

I got this recipe from the highly experienced chef at “Le 5 Terre” – en.ristorantele5terre.com – I made their website and everything you see in it: text, pictures, etc. These biscuits, called Cantucci in Italian, are a Tuscan speciality and are often dunked into Vin Santo. They are served after dinner as a dessert or, if you have a large appetite, even after a first dessert. I have many memories connected to Italian food. It reminds me of my native land. Cantucci remind me of when I was working as a lawyer in Milan. This restaurant is right next to my old work, so I used to eat them almost everyday!

(Donatella Lenocci)

B. Language focus

Look at how Donatella describes her memories:

  1. I have many memories connected to Italian food…
  2. It reminds me of my native land. / Cantucci remind me of when…
  3. …I used to eat them almost every day.

1. memories (plural noun)

This usually collocates with have. Donatella says I have many memories connected to Italian food. This example shows that memories combines with connected to and a noun (Italian food).

  • I have many memories connected to Italian food.
  • She has many memories connected to the old house.
  • Mr Smith had many memories connected to the car.

Task 1: What are your most important memories connected to? Do you have memories connected to any particular cuisines or food? What other objects are your memories connected to?

2. remind (regular verb)

This needs an object after it. Donatella says It reminds me/Cantucci remind me. When talking about memories, it also needs of.

The two examples show different words after of. The first example is with a noun.

  • It reminds me of my native land.
  • They remind him of his grandfather.
  • That noise reminds me of my dog.

Task 2a: What do rain, the smell of tea or coffee, sand and candles remind you of?

The second example is with a clause.

  • Cantucci remind me of when I was working as a lawyer in Milan.
  • This novel reminds me of when I was living in Los Angeles.
  • The weather reminded him of when he was in the army.

Task 2b: Describe the food and drink that reminds you of special times or events in your life. Give at least three examples. Think about birthdays, religious festivals or places you have visited.

3. used to (modal verb)

This needs another verb after it. The example shows that the verb is present form.

  • I used to eat them almost everyday!
  • My brother and I used to play football from morning to night.
  • The cat used to sleep on the sofa.

Task 3: What food and drink did you use to like that you don’t like now? What food and drink did you use to dislike that you do like now?

C. Task response

Part 2 – recipe

D. Ingredients

  • 1kg ’00’ flour
  • 700g caster sugar
  • 500g almonds
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 orange
  • 1 7g packet of dessert yeast (or substitute self-raising flour)
  • 1 vanilla pod (or substitute a few drops of vanilla essence)

E. Method

You need to create three separate mixtures.

  1. Begin by cracking open the 6 eggs, dividing their whites from the yolks. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and while you are whisking add the juice of the orange plus its zest. When it is dense, add the almonds.
  2. Mix the flour with the yeast and the vanilla (if you are using the self-raising flour there is no need to do anything here and the vanilla essence can be put in mixture 1).
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  4. Combine the three mixtures. Shape the final mixture into a ball and leave it to rest for about 15 minutes.
  5. Form the ball mixture into long, thin lines of biscuit dough and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  6. Lightly beat the seventh egg with a fork, and brush over the dough to glaze.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180° for about 30 minutes (it depends on the size of the lines you made) or when they seem to be cooked.
  8. Take them out of the oven and cut them diagonally into pieces about 1cm long (you may want to use some gloves or leave them to cool a little down first) and put them back in the oven for another about 10 minutes until well toasted.
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