The perfect accompaniment to dishes both savoury and sweet, Helen, our Food Editor's, Vanilla Cinnamon Candied Almonds are a sure crowd pleaser. Quick and easy, the recipe takes the simple almond, and transforms it for Christmas entertaining. And just quietly, we think they fit in quite nicely on this cheese platter below. Mmmm cheese.
500g natural almonds
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
25g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan forced oven) and line a large oven tray with baking paper.
2. Spread the raw almonds on the tray in a single layer and roast for 10-12 minutes until the almonds are fragrant and their oil is released. Allow them the cool on the tray.
3. In a medium saucepan place the caster sugar along with the water and vanilla. Stir over a medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved allow the syrup to cook, without stirring, until the temperature of the mixture reaches 125C on a candy thermometer.
4. Add the almonds and stir quickly so that the syrup coats the almonds. Add the butter and ground cinnamon and quickly stir until the almonds are coated in the mixture and no syrup remains.
5. Place the almonds on the lined tray again and immediately separate them using two forks. Allow to cool on the tray. To keep the almonds fresh, store them in a storage jar or airtight container until ready to serve.