If you have been to Tuscany then you may have tried Ricciarelli. You may remember that a few weeks ago I went on a Red Letter Days Tuscan Cookery Class in London. We made an array of wonderful dishes, but I knew it was the Ricciarelli soft Sienese biscuits that my boys would love the most. After the course we were emailed the recipes from the day. All I can say is that it is amazing how quickly you forget things and the recipe seemed like it was written in another language. Rather than using bitter almonds I added some almond extract as I remember that being an option. Whilst they may not have looked quite as good as the ones we made on the course, the boys loved them and scoffed them immediately, so I must have been doing something right!
If you would like to try them, then here is the recipe.
100g ground sweet almonds
a drop of almond extract
85g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
13g caster sugar
2 large egg whites
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Cover the baking sheet with greaseproof paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the caster sugar, flour, almonds, half the icing sugar and baking powder.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff adding the icing sugar as you go. Fold into the almond-sugar mixture.
Take 2 spoons and form quenelles by pushing the mixture between two spoons and then dropping them gently into a bowl of the remaining icing sugar to coat them. This was so much easier when I did it on the course!
Remove each quenelle and place on the baking sheet, spaced apart.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.
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