For many of my dinner parties, I find myself making simple desserts that can be transported, just in case everyone is so full they have no room to eat them! Homemade amaretti to crumble on top of an affogato, or eat whole, are the perfect way to wrap up any dinner, particularly an Italian feast. But they are also wonderful for guests to take home as a parting gift instead.
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp almond extract
200g almond meal
50g Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
½ tsp sea salt
125g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for rolling
vanilla bean ice-cream
espresso or coffee liqueur
1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until frothy but not yet white. Add the almond extract and whisk to combine.
2. Place the almond meal, cocoa powder, salt and icing sugar in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg whites and mix to form a stiff dough.
3. Before rolling the balls, dust the palms of your hands with a little icing sugar – this will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls and roll each ball in icing sugar. Place on the prepared tray, spaced 3cm apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly golden and cracked on top. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To serve dessert, add a large scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream to a coupe or serving glass for each person. Top each dish with a shot of hot espresso, about 30ml, or a generous pour of coffee liqueur. To finish, top with crumbled chocolate amaretti.
Note: If you don’t have time to make your own amaretti, you can use store-bought amaretti, biscotti or roughly chopped dark chocolate.