Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Leaves from The Walnut Tree: Cooking of a Lifetime

Leaves from The Walnut Tree

By Ann Taruschio and Franco Taruschio

Published 1993

  • About


  • 1 kg/ lb almonds
  • 600 g/1 lb 4 oz sugar
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 small cup espresso coffee
  • flour
  • rice paper


    Blanch the almonds and peel them, toast them in the oven until they are golden all over. Process them in the food processor until they are finely crushed. Transfer the almonds to a bowl and add all the other ingredients, except for the flour and rice paper. Mix thoroughly together.

    Put a layer of flour ½ cm/¼ in thick on a large baking tray and cover with rice paper. Mould the almond mixture into the form of a wriggling snake on the rice paper. Bake in an oven set at 160°C/300°F/gas 2 for an hour, or until it has hardened off. Remove the snake from the oven and leave to cool.

    To decorate. When cooled, paint the snake with 2 egg whites whipped with a little sugar, sprinkle with some chocolate hundreds and thousands and silver dragées. Use 2 glacé cherry halves for the eyes and a blanched almond for the tongue. Flash in the oven for a minute or two to dry the egg white. Lift gently from the flour and trim off excess rice paper. The snake keeps well for quite a few days.