Pour boiling water over the almonds and leave for 5 minutes. Remove in batches with a slotted spoon, push them out of their skins (do this in front of a wall as they tend to pop out and irritatingly skitter about the floor) and roast to golden brown. While this is going on melt the sugar in a smallish pan over heat with the water, swirling until the sugar dissolves. Boil the syrup until it just starts to smoke and turns a mid-brown colour. Add the nuts and turn the lot out on to a flat, oiled surface – preferably not the kitchen table (the back of a roasting in or a tin tray will do). Let cool for half an hour, break into bits, and pulverize in a food processor.
© 2001 Stephen Bull. All rights reserved.