Friday, April 15, 2011

Amaretto parfait (semifreddo)

Today I present this "Amaretto parfait" (semifreddo).
 By the term amaretto (macaroons) we mean a type of pastry made ??with almond paste, sugar, egg white, sweet almonds, bitter almonds, and apricot kernels. So I'd like to stress that we are not talking about the famous Disaronno liqueur.
 There are mainly two different versions of macaroons: the one prepared in the town of Saronno, which is crispy and crumbly and is also known all over the world; and the one prepared in the city of Sassello, a small town in the inland parts of Liguria, which is soft and nearly marzipan-like.
 Both of them are round shaped, small cap like, and have a cracked surface. We will use the one prepared in the city of Saronno.
 If you prefer, you can substitute orange liqueur with an equal dose of orange juice mixed with 3 tablespoons of water.
 Here's the recipe:

Serves 6

Macaroons 250g (9 oz)
Whipping cream 450 ml (15 fl oz)
Orange liqueur 7 tablespoons
Egg yolks 3
Sugar 50 g (2 oz)

 In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until it rise and becomes frothy (photo 1). Whip the whipping cream (photo 2), and add spoonfuls of beaten egg yolks mixture, stirring gently (photo 3). In a small bowl mix the liqueur with 3 tablespoons of water. Finely grind the macaroons, keep some aside to decorate, and add them to the previously prepared egg mixture (photo 4), stir well with a wooden spoon and then add the liqueur. Pour the mixture into a mould covered with clingfilm (photo 5), even it out (phpto 6) and let it stand for 4 hours in the freezer. Just before serving, tip the semifreddo over on a serving dish, decorate it with the kept macaroons and serve it.
 Bon appetit!

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