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Estonian Candied Almonds

----- Original Message ----- 
From: andrea 
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 1:43 AM
Subject: Estonian Candied Almonds

Good morning, Uncle Phaedrus!

I was wondering if you might be able to help me.  I'm on my way home from my 
Baltic cruise honeymoon . . . along the way, we stopped in Tallinn, Estonia. 
While we were in the Old Town there, we kept seeing young women dressed in 
medieval-inspired costumes.  They manned these large carts from which they 
were selling candied almonds.  They had a large wok like pan in which they 
stirred sticky almonds and kept offering samples.  Well, I tried a sample. 
It was good.  So we bought a pack of the almonds--they were even better when 
the coating had hardened.  I was hoping that I might be able to recreate them 
when I get home.

They reminded me a bit of pfeffernusse cookies, so I think they must have some 
black pepper in them.  I believe I also detected cinnamon (that's what I could 
smell), ginger, and some other holiday-like spice.  They were also sweet, so I 
suspect there was some sugar involved (to make the coating).

Thanks for your help!

Hello Andrea,

Best I can tell, those candied almond carts in Tallinn are operated by a famous restaurant there called "Olde Hansa" and another company called "Maias Munk" ("Gourmet Monk"). Their recipes do not appear to be available, nor does a generic recipe for "Estonian candied almonds" or "Tallinn candied almonds" . However, there is a recipe here that is said to be similar:

Spicy Sugared Almonds

I found that photos of the Maias Munk almond vendors, who seem always to be very attractive young women in red robes, are popular with tourists. There are several such photos on the web, and I was able to look closely at packages of the almonds in some of these photos. The only name on the packages seems to be "Mandel", which is simply the Estonian word for "almond".

There is a similar, although less spicy, Swedish confection called "brända mandlar" or candied cinnamon almonds, for which there is a recipe here:

Candied Cinnamon Almonds


Gateau Breton

----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 4:50 PM
Subject: Gateau Breton from Old Bon Appetit

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

I haven't corresponded with you in a very long time.  I am currently looking 
for a Bon Appetit 1978 to 1980 (possibly spring issues) recipe I use to make. 
It was called Gateau Breton and it was featured as a dessert for a French Bistro. 
I thought I had safely put away the recipe, but I cannot find the spiral I wrote 
the recipe in.  My reason for so desperately wanting this recipe because it was 
always a treat for me as a one of a kind birthday cake for me and it is so wonderful 
to eat.  I do remember the recipe called for 6 eggs, almonds (ground), a little flour 
and Kirsch. I'm still looking in my garage I have the Kirsch...but it doesn't taste 
that great for a drink. LOL

Thanks a lot,

Roxana from New Mexico

Hi Roxana,

I have no special way to locate recipes from back issues of magazines. I found only two Gateau Breton recipes from Bon Appetit on the web, and neither has almonds or kirsch. One from 1994 had hazelnuts. The other had no nuts at all. Neither had kirsch.

I see that you posted this same request on the Epicurious message board in 2007, with no success.:

I tried searching for just a Gateau Breton recipe that had ground almonds and kirsch, with no mention of Bon Appetit, and I found one here - from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" by Rose Levy Beranbaum:

Gateau Breton

I suggest that you try that recipe.


Gingerbread Poppyseed Cake

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lorrie"
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 10:51 AM
Subject: gingerbread/poppy seed cake

> About 15 - 20 years ago I came across a recipe in the New York Times  
> for a gingerbread cake with poppy seeds.  It had candied ginger in it  
> as well.  The frosting was a cream cheese frosting which also (as I  
> remember) had candied ginger in it as well.  It was delicious!  Sadly,  
> I lost the recipe and have been unable to find it again.  If I had to  
> guess I would say it was in the Times in the winter months (I made it  
> for Valentine's Day) maybe in either 1990, 91 or 92.  I would so  
> appreciate it if you could help me.  It was the best gingerbread cake  
> I have ever had.
> Thanks,
> Lorrie

Hello Lorrie,

Sorry, I had no success locating this.


Lemonade for a Crowd

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Constance 
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2010 10:27 AM
Subject: Seeking a recipe called "Lemonade for a Crowd"

Hi there.

I'm looking for a recipe I've never had, and have never seen. (I know, great start).

An older friend is trying to find a recipe she made for years - any time she had to 
prepare anything for a large group.  She knows the recipe as "Lemonade for a Crowd".

The ingredients she remembers - 3 lemons, and cream of tarter.  It made 5 Gallons. 
She can't remember ratios, and she can't remember what else was in it - but she 
knows it was only 3 lemons; that was the appeal, it was *cheap* to make (I'm guessing 
sugar wasn't $3/kg then).  This was a standard circa 1965 - everyone knew how to make 
it.  You made the concentrate in advance (lemons, sugar, cream of tarter etc) then 
added it to water and ice as needed - but the recipe she had made a total of 5 (imperial) 

I've searched your archive, I've "googled" - I even broke down and tried using "Bing". 
The closest I found was a recipe that has 6 lemons, citric acid and cream of tarter, 
but she's positive it's not the same one (we're going to try it this weekend and see 
how close it is).  

I can't find anything else even close (I even tried Googling "lemonaid" just in case). 
While I don't remember ever tasting it (I may have. I do, sadly enough, vaguely remember 
1965), one thing I can tell you about it is that given the way this woman drinks her 
coffee and iced tea, this lemonade would have had *flavour*, but not have been too sweet.



Constance .

Hi Constance,

I have exhausted every source that I know, with no success.

It's difficult for me to imagine 3 lemons imparting enough flavor to make 5 gallons of lemonade.

I'll post this on my site. Perhaps a reader can help.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Constance 
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 9:19 PM
Subject: Follow Up: Re: Seeking a recipe called "Lemonade for a Crowd"

Just a quick FYI - I actually found one, and it actually works.  

Now will this compare to what Great Aunt Bea served on the swing when you were a babe? 
No. Not even close.
Is it better than $0.49/tin frozen discount?  Yep... no funky aftertaste.
Is it cheap to make - depends on where you live 
(I'm in Canada, sugar is cheap, lemons - not so much)

But, the big question - did it work quenching the thirst of 20 plus people? 
It did, and quite well. 

So, may I present a very basic recipe for "Lemonade for a Crowd", on the off chance 
that anyone actually ever again asks you for one. 
I'm tweaking - but this is the recipe as I used it last weekend.

3 Lemons - (I'm sure more wouldn't hurt but three works)
3 Tbsp Citric Acid
2 Tbsp Cream of tarter
8 cups of sugar

In a large pot mix the sugar, Citric acid, Cream of tarter, and the zest of all the 
lemons. (I used a dollar store zester and had no problems). Over this pour 5 cups of 
boiling water.  Mix until the sugar dissolves.   Cover and completely ignore for at 
least 3 hours - the longer the better.  Bottle and refrigerate until needed.

To use - blend with cold water and ice.  I made a total of 5 Imperial gallons out of it. 

I'll be tweaking as I go - I suspect a bit sweeter, not to mention more lemons, would 
go over with the younger crowd; I was thinking of adding a lime or two next batch; and 
I may up the cream of tarter a tad.  

In two weeks, it's going to be served to a group of slave labour - I mean University 
students- who are helping me.  I imagine by the end of the weekend I'll be able to tell 
you if it's any good with booze.

I've been tweaking the Lemonade for a Crowd recipe (it's been a fun summer) and have discovered 
if you boil the sugar and water together, allow to cool a bit then add the citric and tartaric acid, 
you get a better result.   So the updated recipe is:

Juice three lemons.  Set the juice aside, and chop up the lemons.  
In a large pot, toss the lemons in with 8 cups of sugar.  (you can let this sit awhile, 
you don't have to, but it does help the flavour - not long, and hour or two)
Add 8 cups of COLD water and bring all this to a boil.
Leave it at a rolling boil for at least five minutes - and be careful, "molten" isn't too strong a 
word for the temperature. Remove from heat. Allow to sit five to ten minutes - just so it's slightly cooler.

Add   3 TBSP Citric Acid (don't worry about exact measurements here - this is the one you can play with)
          2 TBSP Cream of Tarter (or if you can find it, use a TBSP Tartaric Acid - you'll get a lot more "pucker" for the buck)
          The juice from your lemons. 

let this sit at least an hour.  Now the tweaking - taste it, it will be strong, but you'll be able to get the idea -   
If you need more "lemon" add more Citric acid (tsp at a time).  If you want more "pucker", add Cream of Tarter.

Let it sit until cool, but don't refrigerate yet.   Once it's cooled completely, strain and refrigerate. 
(use cheesecloth and squeeze all you can out of the lemons)

At this point, if you want, you can add a few tablespoons of RealLemon - this will give you more of the traditional Lemonade look 
(cloudy and yellowish), but it really doesn't do much otherwise.   I had one person add yellow food colouring, 
but all that did was turn it a colour that made me cringe.  I have also added lime juice for variety - worked well.  OJ - not so much

This will keep well, forever.  Simply add desired amount of water (glass or pitcher) and serve.    
The recipe should make 3 to 5 gallons depending on how strong you like the flavour.  

Again, not as good as "real", but a thousand times better than powder and the 4/$1 frozen, it's dead cheap to make, 
you know what's in it, and it passed the Teenager test.

(loyal fan)

I'm still cynical. 90% of the flavor here is, as you said, coming from the citric acid and cream of tartar, not those 3 lemons. "Artificial flavorings"...

Caramel Frappucino

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Norma 
To: phaedrus 
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 5:45 AM
Subject: Recipe 911

Hi Phaedrus...  It's Norma again and am I ever having a recipe 911!  It's hot 
and funds just won't support a trip to Starbucks or even McDonalds every day 
for that wonderful, refreshing beverage...  Caramel Frappe.  YUM... just saying 
the name makes my mouth water and my stomach growl for one. 

If possible, could you PLEASE locate a recipe for the McDonalds Caramel Frappe 
AND the Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino??  I've found a few while searching online 
but none seem to match up to those I purchase.  

You've never let me down before so I'm confident that you'll come through for me 
this time, too.

Thanks SOOO much and have a wonderful day!!

Hello Norma,

Just so I won't send you the same ones, which ones have you already tried?


Hey there... Me again!  (Norma)

The ones I've tried (thus far) are found on the following sites...

I sure hope you have a well-spring of web sites that can offer this recipe . 
hopefully one that will be more like what my taste buds are craving.

Thank You SO much!!

Hi Norma,

Those McDonald's and Starbucks recipes are"secret". They aren't available anywhere. Even if you had the "real" recipes, you wouldn't be able to make these at home, because McDonald's and Starbucks use pre-made flavorings to make these, and you can't get those same exact flavorings. All you or I can do is look for copycats. Copycat recipes use ingredients that anyone can get, and they try to come as close as possible to the taste, but they aren't the "real" recipe. So, I can't get THE recipe for you. I can't even tell you which copycat is the closest. You'll have to try them all and decide which one you like the best.

The best that I can do for you is to give you a couple of suggestions. See below.


For the McDonald's:

10 ounces milk or water
1 envelope of frappease*
caramel sauce to taste
4 ounces of espresso or 8 ounces of coffee 
blend till creamy (about 30 seconds)
top with whip cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

*Frappease is a powder mixture that is available on the Internet and in coffee 
supply stores. It has a creamy like flavor and gives a frappe it's creamy texture. 
For the Starbuck's:


1/2 cup cold coffee
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups ice
3 tablespoons caramel sundae syrup
whipped cream


1. Combine all ingredients into electric blender.
2. Blend drink until ice is crushed and drink is smooth.
3. Serve in coffee cups and top with whipped cream and caramel syrup (if desired).
4. Add straw for ease in drinking.


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Phaedrus