Thursday, June 14, 2012

Amaretti Treats

I have one of Tamasin Day-Lewis's Tart cookbooks. I picked up her newest cookbook called "Food You Can't Say No To" from the library. I thought I'd try this Amaretti recipe which required minimal effort and Mike can pop as many of these as he pleases without a Lactaid. It's like a marzipan cookie that is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Going to add this to my "staples" recipes, next to the Biscotti di prato Cath introduced me to in Philadelphia.

Amaretti Cookies
Makes about 20
200 grams ground almonds (almond meal)
200 grams vanilla sugar ( I just used regular sugar and 1/2 t. of vanilla extract)
1 tsp almond extract
3-4 egg whites
powdered sugar to sprinkle

Mix ground almonds and sugar together. Stir in almond (and vanilla extract). Gradually stir in the egg whites ( don't beat them first). The texture should be like wet sand-quite firm and not too sticky.
Roll the mexture into small balls, the size of a walnut. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten the tops slightly with your thumb. Sift powdered sugar on top and leave in cool place overnight ( or put in refrigerator for at least 1 hr) to ensure they will hold their shape and have the cracked appearance after baking.
Preheat oven to 170C. Bake amaretti for 20-25 min or until pale golden brown. Leave for a few min to allow the amaretti to firm up before putting on a cooling rack.
Notes: For Citrus Amaretti, add finely grated zest of 2 lemons and 2 oranges. Replace one of the egg whites with 1 T. lemon juice and 1 T orange juice.

There are a couple more of her recipes I want to try and perhaps you will get to them before I do. Here you go:

Summer Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Corn-utopia Salsa
Serves 4

600g flank steak
salt and pepper

for the chimichurri
small bunch of parsley, chopped
1 med. red onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 red pepper, diced or 4 roasted piquillo peppers from jar, diced
1 tomato, deseeded and finely diced
1 T oregano leaves, chopped
1 t. paprika
1 t. bay leaves, shredded
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
tiny pinch of dried chili flakes
50 mL water
100 mL olive oil
50 mL red wine vinegar
Add all ingredients together except for oil and vinegar. Let sit for 30 min. Add oil and vinegar before serving.

for the corn-utopia salsa
2 corn on the cobs, boiled for 15 min and cut off cob
3-4 tomatoes, immerse in boiled water for 30 sec, peel, deseed and dice.
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 T olive oil
Add all ingredients together.

Season flank steak with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 min on one side. Flip and grill on other side for 4 min for med-rare. Transfer to plate and rest covered with foil for 5 min. Carve against the grain very thinly. Drizzle chimichurri sauce across the meat. Accompany with salsa.

Passionfruit coconut lime sorbet
Serves 6-8
120 g. sugar
600 mL water
9 passionfruits
finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
200 mL of coconut cream, from the can
Bring sugar and water to a boil. until sugar has dissolved. Boil for 5 more min to create sugar syrup. Leave to cool.
Set aside 2 t. of passionfruit seeds. Scoop out rest of passionfruit flesh into a sieve. Press with back of a spoon to extract as much juice as you can. Take remaining pulp from sieve and warm in microwave for a couple seconds and put through sieve again. Stir sieved juice and lime juice into cooled sugar syrup along with the coconut cream. Churn in ice cream maker until slushy. Add the lime zest and reserved passion fruit seeds. Continue to churn until sorbet is firm.Serve right away or keep in sealed container in freezer, taking it out 10 min before serving to soften slightly. Eat within a week.

Riciarelli (not sure how it will be different from the Amaretti)
Makes 10-12
180 g. ground almonds
2 egg whites
15 g. flour
1/2 t baking powder
120 g. powdered sugar, pus extra for dusting
a few drops of almond extract

Preheat to 220C. Whisk egg whites until stiff. Fold in flour and baking powder. Sift powdered sugar over mixture and fold in. Add ground almonds and almond extract to make soft paste. Dust work surface generously in powdered sugar. Roll dessertspoonful of mixture into oblong shape using palm of hand. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 min until golden and slightly cracked on surface, yet soft inside. Cool.


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