Amaretti with Almond Cream

Amaretti with Almond Cream

Ingredients & Method

For the amaretti biscuits

For the almond cream

First make the amaretti biscuits. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Whisk the egg white, salt and caster sugar together in a mixing bowl until you have a thick, glossy meringue mixture with firm peaks. Fold in the ground almonds and amaretto liqueur.

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small (5mm) plain nozzle. Pipe 1cm-diameter amaretti biscuits (24–28 in total) onto the lined baking trays (giving them little peaked tops), leaving a 1cm gap between each one. Heavily dust with icing sugar and then set aside for 10 minutes.

Bake the amaretti in the oven for 15–18 minutes or until cooked and light golden in colour. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. If you are making these in advance, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a week.

When you are ready to assemble the filled biscuits, make the almond cream. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Scatter the ground almonds over the lined baking tray, then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes or until dark brown (but not burnt!), stirring the almonds twice during cooking to ensure even colouring and prevent the edges from burning (the almonds need to be cooked well until dark brown so they deliver the required taste). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Place the cream, mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and whisk together until thickened, then fold in the toasted ground almonds until combined. Transfer the almond cream to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle (or use a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped off).

To assemble, sandwich 2 amaretti biscuits together with a generous helping of the almond cream, then repeat with the rest, making a total of 12–14 cream-filled pairs. Serve immediately for afternoon tea. The sandwiched biscuits are best eaten on the day they are assembled.