In a departure from my usual format, I have not cooked these myself. This plate of lovely deliciousness was made by my friend Louise and brought to a recent party in my garden. They are so very good, it is difficult to resist eating the lot in one gulp, but they are quite rich. They are the perfect home made treat to take along to thank your host: they look elegant, taste spectacular, and are moist and almondy inside.
Louise is herself of Italian heritage and she’s a great cook. She uses the recipe from Vincenzo’s Plate – he has a website and YouTube channel, and he cooks from his home in Sydney. He’s got some wonderful recipes on the site and classifies this as “easy”.
I’ve slightly modified to fit my format, but thanks, Vincenzo, for this great recipe.
Makes about 30 little biscuits Timings: 30 minutes preparation, at least an hour to rest (or overnight) then about 30 minutes to shape and bake.
Whisk the egg whites until firm and add the almond essence. Continue to whisk to mix them together.
Mix the ground almonds and caster sugar together thoroughly in a large bowl and add the egg whites. Using a metal spoon, mix up together, then use your hands to get you to a dough-like consistency – you are not trying to make it into a firm ball, just a dough.
If you need to, add some extra ground almonds at this point – the dough should not be very wet and sticky. Depending on the size and freshness of the eggs you used, you might need a little more ground almonds.
Rest the dough for at least an hour in the fridge and up to overnight.
Pre heat your oven to 180°C and line a large flat baking sheet with baking parchment. Put your icing sugar into a flattish bowl.
Scoop about a teaspoonful of mixture into your hand, roll it into a ball and plunk it into the bowl of icing sugar. Keep doing this and rolling the balls of mixture in the icing sugar. Put them one by one onto the baking sheet, leaving a space between them. When the sheet is full, push your hand down onto each ball to flatten it slightly – the dough will crack very slightly which gives the amaretti their typical appearance and texture.
Sprinkle with a little more icing sugar and bake for about 15 minutes – checking after 12 minutes.
When cool you can wrap them individually in a twist of tissue paper and put them in a little gift bag to take to your friend.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.