June 09, 2010


Wellwellwell... who would have thought, but I have to report my first baking fail... Well, not my first in total, but my first since I started blogging. I decided to try another recipe from Not So Humble Pie. I like cocktails and the idea of transforming one (in this case Amaretto Sour) into baking appealed to me on several levels, so I decided to try Ms. Humble's Amaretto Lemon Squares. 

Since I didn't have fresh lemons at home, I decided to use limes which I had available. The other change (ultimately, the one of the decisions leading to the fail) was to substitute the normal sugar for brown sugar. At the time I thought it was a great idea, thinking about Caipirinhas and Mojitos et al., not about the brown colouring this will give my baked goods...

The other problem I had was my oven. Yes, yes, I know, you should never blame others for your own faults, but you have to understand that I work with an old gas oven, that adds a few complications to every baking process. The main disadvantage is, that the heat comes only from the bottom. Also, circulation of the hot air is inhibited if I don't push the baking tray completely to the back. The heat is very difficult to regulate (turning the switch a few millimeters leads to an increase of 20-30°C and it won't allow me to set a lower temperature than 130°C. Finally, the fact that the tray is not completely levelled, does not help either. Ok, I'll stop my rant here, but I really wish I had an oven that was a tad more modern.

So, I think that my second mistake was to leave my slices not long enough in the oven, because I was afraid that half of it might burn.

All in all, the taste was great (especially immediately after cooling down for a moment) but the look was questionable. Also, it was almost impossible to transport the soft slices. Fortunately, I didn't take pictures after I plated them at my office (along with a sign "does not taste as horrible as it looks"...).

170g flour
90g powdered sugar
0.5 tsp salt
190g butter (chilled)
50g almonds (toasted for a few minutes and ground in a food processor)

Preheat the oven to 175°C.

Line a baking tray (about 25x35cm) with parchment paper and butter the sides.

In a big bowl mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into little cubes and rub everything together between your fingers (preferably cold fingers) until everything is a fine mix (it looks a little like grated cheese). Pour the mix into the baking tray and press it down with your fingers. Bake for about 15-18min until light brown.

4 eggs
300g sugar (white sugar, NOT brown sugar...)
4 tbsp flour
1tsp corn starch
2 tbsp amaretto
180ml lime juice
0.5 tsp almond extract
60ml milk

Combine all the wet ingredients with the sugar. Sift in the flour and the corn starch and mix well. Pour onto the crust and bake for another 20min until the filling is set and does not jiggle anymore when you shake the tray a little.

Let everything cool down, remove from the pan, cut into slices and dust with powdered sugar.

As mentioned above, the slices are best eaten without any transportation in between (directly from the tray to the mouth?).


  1. I wouldn't call these a failure! They look fine. I'm sure they were delicious. Lemon and lime are two of my favorite flavors. Perhaps you shouldn't blame your oven, but oven problems are extremely frustrating, so why not? I had a really peculiar oven at one point. Eventually I got used to it--right before I moved!

  2. You're very kind, but you should have seen them the next day after I carried them to the office...