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Recipe: How to make these Swedish ‘mandelflarn’

Almond tuiles are tasty, elegant and easy to make. Interested? Then food writer John Duxbury has the perfect recipe for you.

Recipe: How to make these Swedish 'mandelflarn'
Almond tuiles, in Swedish: mandelflarn. Photo: Swedish food

Summary

Makes about 18 tuiles (or 'mandelflarn' in Swedish)

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Ingredients

50g (1/2 cup*) almonds, shelled weight

50g (4tbsp) butter

50g (4tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar

1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

1/2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp ljus sirup or any other light coloured sirup

*Don't mix the units!

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF, gas 5, fan 160ºC) and line a large baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.

2. Chop the almonds coarsely, using a sharp knife or a food processor.

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat. Remove the pan from the heat once the butter has melted.

4. Add the sugar, flour, milk and ljus sirap. Beat until smooth. Stir in the chopped almonds. Replace the pan on the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to very low, just enough to keep the mixture warm until you have used it all up.

5. Using about 1½ teaspoons per tuile, spoon the mixture on to the prepared baking tray, allowing 6 tuiles per sheet with plenty of space between each one. (Unlike classic French tuile, there is no need to spread the mixture out as it will spread out by itself as it cooks.) Bake for 6- 8 minutes, until the tuiles are golden brown.

6. a) For flat tuiles: allow to cool on the tray for a minute or so and then use a palette knife to transfer them to a board to cool completely.

6. b)For shaped tuiles: allow the tuiles to cool for a minute or so, loosen with a palette knife and then shape them on a greased rolling pin or brandy snap cone moulds, with the upper surface on the outside. When firm, transfer them to cooling rack to cool completely. (If the tuiles cool too much while still on the baking tray and become too brittle to mould, return the tray to the oven for a moment to soften them.)

7. Repeat steps 5-6, until you have used up all the mixture.

8. When the tuiles are cold, store them in an airtight container. For maximum crispness, consume within 24 hours.

Tips

– Swedes normally use ljus sirap (light syrup) when making mandelflarn, but any light coloured syrup, such as golden syrup, can be used instead.

– Allow plenty of space for the mixture to spread, so don’t bake more than 6 at once.

– After baking, the biscuits can be left to cool on a flat surface or shaped on greased rolling pins or on brandy snap cone moulds. (Note: almond tuiles are too brittle to roll into classic ‘cigar’ shapes.)

– If you are shaping the tuiles, bake the mixture in three batches, otherwise some are likely to harden before you get a chance to shape them!

Serving suggestion

Almond tuiles go particularly well with ice cream, such as with bilberry ice cream (wild blueberry ice cream).

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.

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The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager’s dream

Although parts of Sweden are still under snow at this time of year, spring is in full swing here in Skåne in the south of Sweden. Here are The Local's top tips for what you can forage in the great outdoors this season.

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager's dream

You might already have your go-to svampställe where you forage mushrooms in autumn, but mushrooms aren’t the only thing you can forage in Sweden. The season for fruits and berries hasn’t quite started yet, but there is a wide range of produce on offer if you know where to look.

Obviously, all of these plants grow in the wild, meaning it’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly before you use them. You should also be respectful of nature and of other would-be foragers when you’re out foraging, and make sure not to take more than your fair share to ensure there’s enough for everyone.

As with all foraged foods, only pick and eat what you know. The plants in this guide do not look similar to any poisonous plants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry – or ask someone who knows for help.

Additionally, avoid foraging plants close to the roadside or in other areas which could be more polluted. If you haven’t tried any of these plants before, start in small doses to make sure you don’t react negatively to them.

Wild garlic plants in a park in Alnarpsparken, Skåne. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Wild garlic

These pungent green leaves are just starting to pop up in shady wooded areas, and may even hang around as late as June in some areas. Wild garlic or ramsons, known as ramslök in Swedish, smell strongly of garlic and have wide, flat, pointed leaves which grow low to the ground.

The whole plant is edible: leaves, flowers and the bulbs underground – although try not to harvest too many bulbs or the plants won’t grow back next year.

The leaves have a very strong garlic taste which gets weaker once cooked. Common recipes for wild garlic include pesto and herb butter or herbed oil, but it can generally be used instead of traditional garlic in most recipes. If you’re cooking wild garlic, add it to the dish at the last possible moment so it still retains some flavour.

You can also preserve the flower buds and seed capsules as wild garlic capers, known as ramslökskapris in Swedish, which will then keep for up to a year.

Stinging nettles. Wear gloves when harvesting these to protect yourself from their needles. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Stinging nettles

Brännässlor or stinging nettles need to be cooked before eating to remove their sting, although blanching them for a couple of seconds in boiling water should do the trick. For the same reason, make sure you wear good gardening gloves when you pick them so you don’t get stung.

Nettles often grow in the same conditions as wild garlic – shady woodlands, and are often regarded as weeds.

The younger leaves are best – they can get stringy and tough as they get older.

A very traditional use for brännässlor in Sweden is nässelsoppa, a bright green soup made from blanched nettles, often topped with a boiled or poached egg.

Some Swedes may also remember eating stuvade nässlor with salmon around Easter, where the nettles are cooked with cream, butter and milk. If you can’t get hold of nettles, they can be replaced with spinach for a similar result.

You can also dry nettles and use them to make tea, or use blanched nettles to make nettle pesto.

Kirskål or ground elder, another popular foraged green for this time of year.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Ground elder

Ground elder is known as kirskål in Swedish, and can be used much in the same way as spinach. It also grows in shady areas, and is an invasive species, meaning that you shouldn’t be too worried about foraging too much of it (you might even find some in your garden!).

It is quite common in parks and old gardens, but can also be found in wooded areas. The stems and older leaves can be bitter, so try to focus on foraging the tender, younger leaves.

Ground elder has been cultivated in Sweden since at least 500BC, and has been historically used as a medicinal herb and as a vegetable. This is one of the reasons it can be found in old gardens near Swedish castles or country homes, as it was grown for use in cooking.

Kirskål is available from March to September, although it is best eaten earlier in the season.

As mentioned, ground elder can replace spinach in many recipes – you could also use it for pesto, in a quiche or salad, or to make ground elder soup.

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