I have fond memories of my visit to Sienna in Tuscany. One of my fave discoveries was the Ricciarelli biscuit which I describe as a Tuscan style macaroon (orange zest being the secret ingredient - well, not so secret!) I recently baked them for passengers on the Go West Tours as they complimented the perfectly made Vittoria coffee at Cantarella Bros. Thank you Sean!
(Delicious with coffee or Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine)
Makes approx 24
300g almond meal (finely ground almonds)
280g caster sugar
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 egg whites
25g icing sugar, extra
In a bowl, mix together almond meal, caster sugar, 100g icing sugar, baking powder and orange zest. Use your finger tips to distribute the rind evenly.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and combine with almond mix. It will be a relatively sticky mix.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Using 2 dessertspoons, make a spoon shaped mound and push onto the tray using a spoon. Continue with remaining mix, ensuring that biscuits are 3-4 cms apart to allow for spreading.
Sift the remaining icing sugar over the tops and allow the biscuits to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours to dry out slightly.
Preheat oven to 140degC and bake the biscuits for 30 minutes until light golden brown and firm to touch. (The inside will still be soft).
Remove from oven and cool on the tray. When completely cool, store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
Interesting Coffee Trivia: Cappuccino is a coffee made with espresso coffee and steamed milk foam. The name cappuccino derives from ‘capuchin’ meaning small cap. The coffee represents the habits worn by Capuchin monks.