17 September 2013

Nigella Challenge: Ricciarelli

These are fun little morsels. They're like popcorn at the movies, finished before the opening credits have ended. For all their ease of eating, they're a bit of a hassle to make as they need to be started the day before. Though, honestly each step takes no time at all so there is no reason to let the delay stop you. Just try an resist there chewy delight once you've put in a little effort (besides, you can justify th eating with all your hard work).

P.S. Avoid these if you aren't a marzipane fan. It's basically what they are!

  • 2 egg whites
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 300g almond meal
  • icing sugar, for dusting
Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until they are stiff and then gradually whisk in the sugar. It will end up a bit like that weird American marshmallow fluff stuff. Next add the lemon zest, vanilla and almond essence. Then add the almond meal - it will become quite a dense mixture.

Shape tablespoonfuls into diamond shapes and place (evenly spaced) on the trays. It is a sticky mixture, and Nigella suggests dusting your hands periodically with icing sugar while you are shaping. When thats all done, leave the trays out overnight so they can dry out.

Heat the oven 140C, and cook for 30 minutes. They'll be pale and a little cracked when done. It really doesn't matter if they are a little under done as they are a moist, chewy biscuit (I use the term loosely) though over done and they'll start to dry out.

Cool on trays and then dust with icing sugar. They keep really well for a few days in an airtight container, but good luck getting them to last that long!