Friday, September 11, 2015

Italian Almond Delights - Ricciarelli (Gluten free, dairy free)

These are my go to, GF baking indulgence. Super fast, from first craving to in your mouth in under half an hour, these little Italian confections use ingredients that I tend to always have in my store cupboard, make the kitchen smell divine and give you a great homemade sugar hit... and last for days.

Perfect for dainty afternoon teas, as a mid-morning coffee biscuit or an after dinner petit fours, they are grown up treats of understated elegance. I am not a fan of marzipan, but these, these... oh my. The vanilla and the lemon zest cut the almondy-ness... I have decreased the almond essence hugely... but if you hate marzipan, then leave it out altogether.

This is my version of Nigella Lawson's recipe from her How to Be a Domestic Goddess. She recommends leaving them to dry for 24 hours before baking. That has NEVER happened in our house.

2 large egg whites
225g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond essence
250g ground almonds (have an extra 50g on standby just in case the mix is too soggy)
icing sugar, for dusting
Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until they are stiff and then gradually whisk in the sugar. It will end up a bit like marshmallow fluff. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and almond essences. Then add the ground almonds, folding in with a spatula - it will become quite a dense mixture. If it is too wet to shape (see below) then add the remaining 50 g of ground almonds.
Shape tablespoonfuls into diamond shapes and place (evenly spaced) on the tray. It is a sticky mixture, and Nigella suggests dusting your hands periodically with icing sugar while you are shaping. Roll them in sieved icing sugar before putting on the baking tray.

Heat the oven 140C (slightly lower if yours is a fan oven), and cook for 20 minutes. They'll be pale and a little cracked when done. Check and see, if they are still very soft you will need to pop them back in for a little longer. Under done they are a moist and lightly chewy, the more they cook, the harder and chewier they become.

Cool and then dust with more icing sugar if you wish. They keep really well for several few days in an airtight container, but good luck getting them to last that long!

1 comment:

I love to hear your sweet thoughts!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...