There is a stall at Borough Market in London that sells legendary doughnuts, but I recently branched out and tried one of their perfectly dusted, aptly named ‘Amaretti di Southwark’. Sticky like marzipan and a far cry from artiﬁcial, crunchy impostors; I knew from the moment I tried these, walking along the southern bank of the River Thames, that they would be a ﬁrm favourite and that I had to come up with my own version. Be sure to coat the biscuits liberally in icing sugar so they crack properly in the oven. They make great gifts.
Martha Collison's Amaretti biscuits
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes
Makes: about 30 biscuits
2 egg whites 150g caster sugar
175g ground almonds
1 tbsp amaretto liqueur (or a few drops of almond extract)
Icing sugar, to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3 and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.
2. Put the egg whites in a large, clean grease-free bowl and whisk with an electric hand-held whisk or manual balloon whisk until stiff peaks form. Be warned that whisking them by hand will take considerably more time and effort!
3. Gently fold the sugar, almonds and amaretto liqueur or almond extract into the mixture, until a thick paste forms.
4. Roll the mixture into small balls using your hands, then coat each ball liberally in icing sugar – you should make about 30 biscuits – and place them on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 15–20 minutes until golden brown and cracked on top. The biscuits will keep well, stored in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.
Bake miniature amaretti biscuits to use as decorations for cakes or cute snacks by rolling tiny balls of the mixture. Bake in the same way as above, reducing the cooking time to 10 minutes.