Nuts Anyone?

I’ve been on holiday to Iran and have developed a taste for everything nutty.  Iran has a plethora of beautifully tasty treats, many of which incorporate nuts. So what did I spend my time doing? Eating them all, naturally.

I came back and the first question everyone asked me is “What did you learn to bake?” Erm … I didn’t learn to bake anything, I was too busy eating it all!

So, to make up for my lack of Iranian baking knowledge, I made the Mixed Nut Slices, as it’s a dessert that could definitely be Iranian if it wanted to.

I started off by preparing the dough for the base – my first ever dough! The experience wasn’t as terrifying as I imagined.  Although I did realise that my baking tray is quite a bit bigger than the recipe’s and had to add another half portion of everything to make it work.

The dough was pressed into the pre-greased baking tray and put in the oven for 20minutes. Now I know all about baking beads and still haven’t purchased any. The recipe didn’t indicate the need for any baking beads so I put my trust in the recipe.

The dough came out quite puffy (damn it, should have used baking beads!) but went back down again to its original shape after I squished it down a bit.  I also was a bit stingy on the making a ‘lip’ on the sides but figured it would be fine.

While the base was cooling I set about chopping up and preparing all the nuts.  The pistachios and almonds were roasted (and very slightly burnt) in a non-stick saucepan by tossing them over a medium heat.  The nuts were then placed on top of the pastry, ready for the topping.

The topping was made by melting the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan and adding the eggs once it had cooled slightly.  This was poured over the nuts and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Because I didn’t make a proper lip around the sides of the tin, some of the topping spilled over and made the pastry look a bit burnt, when in fact, it was just cooked well – I promise! Otherwise it turned out really well.  I left the pastry to cool before cutting into slices and shipping it off with my parents to take to a dinner party with the promise that they’d take photos and save me a slice.

They didn’t. Grrrr. But they did bring back lots of thanks and requests for more so I can imagine that it tasted good?!  I was later told that it was really crunchy and rich and something that goes amazingly with tea after dinner.

So, although I can’t give you a better description of taste, I can say that it was an easy recipe to make, will very likely last a while if stored correctly and is a great side to have with tea.

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