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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Amaretto Biscuit Tortoni

Tortoni is a great frozen dessert to serve after any large meal. There always seems to be room for this light tasty dessert and I don’t recall anyone passing up a serving no matter how full they were.

I’ve made recipes that include Coffee, Chocolate Biscuit and the traditional Amaretto Biscuit flavoured tortoni that have been enjoyed by many over the past years.

You will find that tortoni is relatively easy to prepare and when presented creatively actually looks so much more labour intensive than it really is.

While preparing this post I wondered how this delicious dessert got its name and a quick reference to my trusted Food Dictionary revealed the facts.

This wonderful dessert was created by and named after Signor Tortoni an Italian immigrant during the 1800s. He also ran a popular Parisian eatery and ice cream parlour (also his namesake) that apparently attracted the who’s who of French society.

I’m so glad he shared his recipe!

Amaretto Biscuit Tortoni

¼ cup blanched almonds
2 ounces amaretti (Italian almond cookies about 20)
2 cups 35% cream
1 cup powdered sugar (sift after measuring)
2 tablespoons Amaretto liquor
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Toast almonds in a 350 degree oven until lightly golden 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Let cool slightly and place in a food processor or blender until finely ground then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Place cookies in processor and grind fine, add to almonds and mix well. (Reserve 2 tablespoons for topping)
  4. Whip the cream with half the powdered sugar until stiff then fold in the cookie almond mixture and the amaretto liquor.
  5. In a separate bowl beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
  6. Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar, continue beating until stiff and glossy.
  7. Fold beaten egg whites into whipped cream mixture.
  8. Place 12 paper muffin cups in a muffin tin. With pastry bag or spoon fill cups with tortoni mixture then sprinkle reserved crumbs over top of each one.
  9. Freeze until firm, 5 hours to overnight, remove from muffin tin and store in a tightly covered container in the freezer.
  10. These can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months and can be served directly from the freezer.
Notes Tips and Suggestions
  • If you don’t happen to have Amaretto liquor on hand, add 2 tablespoons of brandy or any other neutral tasting liquor plus 1 teaspoon of almond extract.
  • For long storage, after frozen, wrap individually with plastic wrap and store in tightly covered container in freezer.

Great Tip on a Bag

It's been said that “we eat with our eyes first” and are often attracted to a dish by its presentation. Certainly, if it doesn’t pass “eye inspection” the taste buds may be turned off and we could possibly miss an incredible taste experience!

I’ve found the pastry bag and a few basic tips to be an invaluable tool in my kitchen.

Besides being great for decorating cakes and cookies it helps make the presentation of many foods appealing to the eye and easier to prepare.

These bags come in various sizes and the tips for decorating come in many sizes and decorative shapes. Although disposable bags are available, it’s worth investing in a good quality bag that is washable and will last a very long time.

For those who don’t own one, a good place to start is a 10 or 12 inch pastry bag and a large star and plain tip. These will help you prepare not only desserts but even make the presentation of a dish like twice baked potatoes something to be proud of.

The pastry bag and large star tip makes piping the tortoni into the paper cups so much easier than spooning it in and does wonders for the presentation.

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