Barbara Kafka

Amaretti Wolseley

(from The Intolerant Gourmet)

Many times in my career, I have asked chefs for recipes—mostly without results.  However, when I was taken by good friends to lunch at the Wolseley restaurant on Picadilly in London, I asked the pastry chef, Regis Negrier, for his recipe for amaretti.  Much to my pleased surprise, the recipe arrived a week or so later by e-mail.

I felt like an idiot for not having thought of making amaretti for this book; but the chagrin was worth it. These are not your usual crisp, dry Italian kind but a truly luscious invention by a German chef much more like macaroons. I had to modify the recipe slightly as his used prepared marzipan paste. Both it and the American almond paste available in tubes cannot be used due to the presence of wheat. I think that this variation is just about as good as the original.

1 3/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 egg white (at room temperature)

1 tablespoon dried figs, cut into 1/8-inch dice (1-2 whole figs)

1 tablespoon dried apricots, cut into 1/8-inch dice (2-3 whole apricots)

1 tablespoon dried cranberries, cut into 1/8-inch dice

Add almonds, corn syrup, 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon of the confectioner’s sugar and egg white to a food processor and process for 3-4 minutes until well combined or the mixture looks like fine wet sand. Using a spatula, scrape contents into a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball using the palms of your hands. Roll the balls around in the remaining confectioner’s sugar until fully coated, then place them on a non-stick baking tray.
Let the amaretti dry for at least 1 hour. Place rack in the top third of the oven and pre-heat oven to 400˚ F. Bake amaretti for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12 amaretti

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