Jul 15, 2008

"PLAN B" AMARETTI

As I may have already made it clear through my blog- I have a passion for Italy and all things Italian, with their food making it in my top 3 things to love about Italy (I will let you guess what the other two are… ;-) ).

One of the things I love most are Amaretti, the Italian macaroons which once again in comparison with French macarons represent that simplicity sometimes works best. Maybe comparing Amaretti vs French macarons even encapsulates the whole stereotype idea of Italian vs. French cuisine, where in the latter it is generally about refined sophistication and fancy techniques, whereas in Italy you can cook up the most delicious generous warm-hearted meals from basic, simple ingredients. Well just to let you know- whether its Amaretti or French macarons, I have never really successfully been able to make either one…something evil and tricky about egg white and almond based recipes I would think!
Above: Pale faced Amaretti that don't exacty look like proper Amaretti... but the ganache (below) comes to save the day!
So anyway, recently I was on the pursuit of “the” perfect Amaretti recipe hoping that finally this time I would reach almond ecstasy. Well, with no surprise something went wrong in the process. Now I don’t know what exactly, but the appearance of the cookies did not turn out to be the way picture perfect Amaretti look like. The texture and the taste however were fabulous- but as I am a bit of a perfectionist who full heartedly believes in the importance of “eating with the eyes”, I decided it may be a good idea to dress up those plain looking Italian delights to make them look more appealing. To tell you the truth- in the perfect world, what I should had been blogging about were chocolate coated Amaretti with a maraschino cherry hidden in the center (that was Plan A)… but when making it, I had some ehem...“complications” which then led me to plan B- which is what I present today. Nothing more then chocolate dipped Amaretti decorated with crushed almonds. Simple, but a success with all those who tasted them- and best enjoyed with a cup of coffee, the Italian way if possible.



Recipe for Amaretti (amaretti morbidi to be precise- these are the lovely soft ones)

200gr powdered almonds
50 gr bitter almonds
300 gr icing sugar
3 egg whites
30 ml Amaretto liquor
Some sugar on the side to roll the amaretti in

For the ganache:
Dark chocolate melted in heated liquid cream, stirred until smooth and silky...mmm!

Making it:
Preheat oven to 160 C. Grind the bitter almonds. Then grind the bitter almonds, powdered almonds and icing sugar all together. Whisk the egg whites until they become stiff. Then gently fold in the powdered almonds, bitter almonds, icing sugar and Amaretto liquor. Mix everything together working from the outside towards the center. On a baking tray (covered with parchment paper), form little balls of amaretti which are then rolled in sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, and then check to see if they need more time. Mine took 15 minutes exactly- in the past I used to over bake and they would turn out hard once they cooled out of the oven. Remove from oven, let cool but immediately then store in an airtight container if you want to maintain softness and chewiness! Optionally, you can dip one side of the amaretti in the chocolate ganache, and sprinkle over crushed almonds.
P.S: Next time I promise to blog on something more "creative" and unique... This time I was only in the mood for something Italian and sweet...!

17 comments:

Peter M said...

Amaretti and Greek Amygdalota are two of favourite cookies. I think I'll have one with my morning coffee.

linda said...

I love the look of the French and the taste of the Italian.
You turned it into something even more delicious! Yay for plan B!

Peter G said...

Yes Marianna..anything with egg whites scares me in baking too. However I think you did a beautiful job. I love the ganache on the side with the crushed almonds...great thinking! Hope you're well xxx

matt wright said...

These look seriously good. My problem is that I have a complete phobia of baking, but I reckon I might takle these, since I love macaroons.

Zita said...

Ooh... how I love amaretti, but this "plan B" look deliciously crunchy too :)

Kevin said...

Those looks so good!

Alexa said...

Those look so tasty. I enjoyed all the beautiful pictures your blog has to offer: a real treat!

Latifa said...

i too love evrything italian!

Katie said...

Yum! Those look wonderful. I love your blog!

K and S said...

beautiful blog you have!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Irresistible. That's why there's an award waiting for you on my site. Have a delicious day!

STYLE AND THE CITY . COM - PARIS said...

dear Marianna

thank you very very much for your kind words

i am so glad that you love my street style photos from Paris

you know what ?
if i find a place to sleep in london during the fashion week, we'll do some street style shooting together ?
would you like ?

cheers from Paris

Kamel
STYLE AND THE CITY . COM - PARIS

Darius T. Williams said...

I love those cookies...I don't bake...what time should I be over? LOL

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Daziano said...

That's perfection!!!

And I totally agree with your vision of Italian cuisine.

Just read my post:
http://italialicious.blogspot.com/2008/08/everything-italian-tastes-better.html

Su-Lin said...

Hi! Just to let you know that I've awarded you the Brillante Weblog Premio 2008!

Rachel Ducker said...

I love your detail and presentation! I come to see your beautiful photos and recipes!

Simply Great!

Duckey x

diva said...

egg whites are tricky indeed! love amarettis with a good cuppa that's been laced with Amaretto. these look lovely. x