And to round up my recent Italy posts, I will leave you with a little taste of La Dolce Vita. As it is likely to be a short while before I get my next Italy fix, I thought I would attempt to make something we always associate with Italy, and something that’s good at any time of day, whether it’s with an early morning ristretto, or with a glass of Amaretto after dinner. I’m not fussy!
It’s a little bit of shame however, as homemade does of course mean that the biscuits don’t come wrapped in the feather light paper that certain brands are famous for. I reckon many a dinner party has ended with these tiny twists of paper being fashioned into cylinder shapes and set on fire, only to take to the air like moths that have danced a little too close to the flame, before drifting back down again in a mess of cinders (that’s of course if they didn’t land on your upturned face)!
There are many regional varieties of Amaretti too. Some are left out over night before baking to achieve a hard and crunchy texture, whilst others are more macaroon like. Some are made with a mixture of ground almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts, whilst the more traditional contain bitter almonds and apricot kernels. This recipe is definitely a hybrid of the two, crisp and crunchy on the outside, whilst soft and chewy in the middle. You won’t need to search for Apricot Kernels either:-
4 beaten egg whites,
340g ground almonds
340g fine sugar
40ml Amaretto Liqueur
a couple of drops of almond essence
Preheat the oven to 170DegC. Fold the ground almonds into the beaten egg whites, followed by the sugar. Add the Amarett0, and the almond essence to the mixture and spoon into a piping bag. Pipe smallish rounds onto a lined baking sheet (around an inch apart), and bake for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool, then see how many you can fit in your mouth at once…
And yes I know they look the size of babies rusks, but you will have to trust me on this one, both the cup and the espresso maker are incredibly small. It also made me laugh that after an Ewok in my last post, one of the first photos I took reminded me of another other worldly creature, with a wish to contact home…
PS. Having sent Mr R to work with the rest of these (to save me from myself you understand), I have it on good authority that they passed the taste test with a real Italian…
PPS. I found out this week I am a Bib Travel Finalist, and in very fine company too… Thanks so much if you voted for me! (: