This is a busy time of year so I selected a recipe that was quick but would help me with my Christmas preparations. I am making candy, specifically Chocolate Almonds, using Mrs. J. Lang’s recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I made half the recipe so I used 1/2 cup of blanched almonds, four squares of chocolate, 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of boiling water. I roasted the almonds on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 7 minutes.
While the almonds roasted I melted the chocolate squares in a small saucepan along with the butter and water. I was very surprised to see water included as I remember being warned not to let water come in contact with melting chocolate to prevent the chocolate “seizing”. However, it worked fine so maybe it isn’t a problem when the water is there from the beginning. Once the chocolate coating was ready, I added the roasted almonds. I stirred until they were coated and then removed them to a sheet of waxed paper. I wasn’t sure if the recipe intended these to be individually coated almonds or more like almond clusters. The direction to drop seemed to suit both ideas so I tried each of them. I let them cool before sampling.
Mary Ann (Anna Maria) Dopp and John Adolph Lang were married in 1883 according to the Waterloo Region Generations website. John was born in 1855 and Mary Ann in 1863. He was already a tanner by the time they married. By the 1901 census they have three daughters and two sons plus two young female servants (Barbara and Magdelena Mosser). In 1911 the family lives at 24 Water Street North in Berlin with a servant named Hattie Siess. Just one daughter and two sons remain at home. John continues in the tanning business. In fact some of the Lang Tannery buildings are still standing and have been repurposed for headquarters for high tech companies and a restaurant bar.
The recipe was easy to make but I don’t know if I did something wrong. My chocolate didn’t set up well. The almonds looked good and tasted very nice but the chocolate was sticky and difficult to remove from the paper. One of my favourite tastes is roasted almond and chocolate so I liked these but I’d have to refine the technique to make them company ready.
Mrs. J. Lang
Blanch the almonds by pouring boiling water on them and let them stand 2 or 3 minutes, roast them in oven, dip them in the following receipt for chocolate coating and drop on a paper.
Chocolate Coating — 1/2 pound of sweet chocolate, 2 level tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons boiling water.