Anything almond flavoured is a bit of an obsession of mine. My favourite drink is an amaretto sours and I absolutely adore soft, squidgy almond macaroons - just like these 'amaretti morbidi'.
In the past I have had to learn to curb my enthusiasm for treats such as these, for two reasons. Firstly, I have found it rare for shops to stock the truly 'soft' amaretti that I prefer. Secondly, when I have chanced to happen upon them, my delight has usually been dampened by the expensive price.
So, when a friend made some of these for me as a Christmas gift last year, I begged her to give me the recipe, in order to put an end to my amaretti embargo. You will need the following:
* 180g ground almonds
*120g caster sugar
* Grated zest of one lemon
*1/2 tsp natural almond extract
* 1 pinch of salt
* 2 egg whites
* 1 tbsp honey
* Flaked almonds for rolling
* Icing sugar for rolling
Firstly, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Grate the zest of one lemon and mix this together with the ground almonds, caster sugar, salt and almond extract. Rub the mixture together with your finger tips.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites and honey and whisk until soft peaks form, like so...
You will now need to combine both your wet and dry mixtures. Fold the wet into the dry with a large metal spoon until you get a paste.
Roll the paste into small round balls of about 20grams in weight. Roll each ball on a plate of flaked almonds and then a plate of icing sugar.
Place the amaretti on the tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 12-16 minutes in the oven.
When you remove the amaretti from the oven they should be a light golden colour and still be chewy on the inside. This may take a bit of experimentation to perfect - my first attempt were browned on the base, although still tasted delicious.