Grinding Nuts

Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague

Kaffeehaus

By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

Many of these recipes call for ground nuts. A rotary nut grinder (also called a nut mill) is a standard tool in central European kitchens, but is not considered a must in the States. However, with the advent of gluten-free baking, this implement has become easier to find. You can substitute almond or hazelnut flour (also easier to obtain since this book’s first edition) by weight for the ground nuts in a recipe.

I have given instructions for grinding nuts in a food processor in the recipes where this isn’t a compromise, even though hand-ground nuts do have a lighter texture that combines well in batters. (In the Walnut Torte, the nuts must be ground with a hand grinder.) Processor-ground nuts tend to release their oils; too much grinding and you’ll have nut butter. To protect against this, grind the nuts with a portion of the recipe’s flour or sugar, which acts as a buffer. The texture is not quite as fine as hand-ground nuts, but a food processor is very fast and convenient. If you prefer to grind the nuts by hand in a recipe with processor instructions, simply return the flour or sugar that would have been used to grind the nuts in the processor to the balance of the ingredients in the recipe.

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