Saturday, 24 September 2011

CHOCOLATE AMARETTI BISCUITS

I've sent Other Half off to Twickenham to buy buffalo milk coffee ice cream from Laverstoke Park Farm shop. This ice cream really does have to be tried to be believed. It is truly the most deliciously creamy and wonderful ice cream I have ever eaten - and I'm not normally a fan of shop-bought ice cream, even the most upmarket kind. Its strong coffee, almost espresso, flavour makes it a wonderful accompaniment to a rich chocolate cake or chocolate brownies. To ring the changes, because I am always making chocolate brownies as a pudding when people come round for supper, I've made chocolate amaretti biscuits. These are not those crunchy almond biscuits you sometimes get with a cappuccino in your local Italian cafe. No, these are amaretti morbidi, or soft amaretti, and I have blogged about them before, in a different form (Sour Cherry Amaretti). People often think that such sweetmeats are difficult to make, but they are not. In fact, I knocked out these biscuits in 5 minutes (not including cooking time), and they are great if you've got some egg whites left over. This recipe, very slightly adapted, comes from Nigella Express

2 eggs whites, beaten to soft meringue texture
175g icing sugar
200g ground almonds
30g cocoa powder

Oven 180C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or Bake O'Glide.

Add the almonds, icing sugar and cocoa to the beaten egg whites and stir well. You will end up with a rather sticky mixture.

To make the amaretti, dip your hands in a bowl of water and form a ball about the size of a walnut from the mixture. Place on the baking sheet and flatten very slightly. Repeat until you have used up all the mixture. These amaretti do not spread much in cooking. Cook for about 10-15 mins, until the surface is slightly cracked. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar for that extra-cheffy look!

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