sour cherry amaretti

That biscuit tin of mine always needs replenishing. I was hunting through my favourite baking bibles last weekend looking for something quick and simple to make. These amaretti from Ottolenghi the Cookbook, fitted the bill. I checked the cupboards and all the ingredients were at hand so once I returned from the shops, I whipped up a batch. 

I had some almond meal in the cupboard so instead of toasting whole almonds and grinding them into meal as Ottolenghi suggested, I toasted the almond meal. Once the almond meal was cool I went ahead and followed the recipe. An unexpected dinner invitation meant the first batch went to another home so I made another batch last Sunday. 

The amaretti were delicious but I found the first batch were a little sticky and a bit too sweet. I tweaked the recipe a little and that's the recipe I'll be sharing with you. I also had some candied blood orange in the fridge so I chopped up a piece and added it to the mixture. If you want the original proportions, you can find them here. I've since made the ameretti without toasting the almond meal and honestly I didn't notice any difference.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Sour Cherry Amaretti, adapted from Ottolenghi. Makes 24.
220g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
Pinch of salt
60g dried sour cherries, roughly chopped
1 piece candied orange rind, coarsely chopped (optional)
90g egg whites (approx. 2 large eggs)
2 tsp honey
Plenty of icing sugar for rolling

Heat the oven to 180°C. Place the ground almonds on a small oven tray. Toast the almond meal in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. You’ll need to stir the mixture a few times to make sure it toasts evenly. Set aside to cool.

Mix the cooled ground almonds, sugar, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl with your fingertips. Add the cherries and orange peel (if using) and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites until they reach a soft meringue consistency. Add the honey and whisk until firm. Gently fold into the almond mixture until it forms a soft paste.

Using a tablespoon, form the mixture into 24 irregular shapes then roll in icing sugar. Arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for about 15 minutes until they have slightly coloured but still remain relatively pale and chewy in the centre. Leave to cool before storing in a sealed jar.

These little amarettis are absolute flavour bombs and they might just have become my favourite new sweet treat. I have some hazelnut meal in the fridge and I can't with to try this recipe using a different nut meal and a different dried fruit or perhaps some coarsely chopped chocolate.

I hope you get a chance to try these little gems. I've got a feeling I might be making a few of these for Christmas!

See you all again next week.

Bye for now,


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