Tag Archives: almond meal

Mamma Rosa’s amaretti

Mamma Rosa is one of the queens of Italian biscuit making – her range is quite diverse and they are all pretty sensational and outdo a lot of pasticcerie.  This one is a classic she’s been making for years and while she’d written down the recipe for me in a book, nothing better than having a first hand lesson.


8 egg whites at room temperature
500g caster sugar
2 tbps. baking powder
2 tbsp. almond extract
1kg almond meal
250g flaked almonds
Icing sugar for dusting

Making them
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius fan forced
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, gradually adding caster sugar until well combined and thick and fluffy
3. Add the baking powder, almond extract and almond meal and fold together with a wooden spoon until combined
4. Place the flaked almonds into a bowl or tray. Using a dinner sized spoon, scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture into the flaked almonds, roll, very gently shape and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. You need a very light hand for this, you don’t want the flaked almonds pressed into the mixture, they are more like an outside coating. Dust liberally with icing sugar

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until very lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Today’s Cake – Orange and Semolina Cake


My husband bought home a beautiful bag of navel oranges recently.  I’ve always got semolina in the cupboard, so when I saw this cake by Neil Perry in Good Food that used both, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Its a lovely cake for afternoon tea.  The recipe calls for golden caster sugar which is made from unrefined sugar and a pale brown colour.  If you have a Thomas Dux or other speciality food store nearby, ask if they stock Billingtons – they make every kind of sugar under the sun.  If not, just substitute normal white caster sugar.

115g golden caster sugar
65ml vegetable oil
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
4 eggs
100ml milk
40ml orange flower water
225g fine semolina
3 tsp baking powder
115g almond meal

Orange Syrup
285g caster sugar
425ml water
4 pieces of orange peel (use a peeler)
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp orange flower water

Making it
1. To make the syrup put the caster sugar, water and orange peel in a small saucepan. Set over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and allow it to bubble for 15-20 minutes to make a sticky syrup. Transfer into a jug and remove the orange peel. Add the juices and orange flower water. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC and line a 20cm x 30cm rectangular baking tin with baking paper.

3. For the cake, whisk the sugar, oil and orange zest together in an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each, until thick and foamy. Mix in the milk and orange flower water.

4. Combine the semolina and baking powder. Beat into the cake mixture, then add the ground almonds. Pour into the baking tin, making sure mixture is level. Place tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until it is golden and just cooked.

5. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a skewer, prick holes in the top and slowly pour over 1 1/2 cups of syrup. When cool, slice and serve with remaining syrup if desired.

Today’s Cake – Semolina and Pear Cake

I’ve been making this little cake for years, and it always goes down well. You need nice ripe pears for this, so given that they are usually sold rock solid, you’ll need to buy them a few days in advance to give them time to ripen. Alternatively you could poach them.

DSC02596 (2)_marked

6 eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. almond meal
2/3 cup fine semolina
Icing sugar, for dusting

200ml thickened cream
2 tbsp. pear puree
1 tbsp. icing sugar
2 ripe pears

Making it

1. Pre heat oven to 180 C. Grease a 19cm springform cake tin and line base and sides with baking paper.
2. In a bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff
3. In a separate bowl, whip yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add lemon rind and lemon juice and whip for a few seconds
4. Fold in almond meal and lemon juice. Then fold in egg whites until well combined. Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too much during baking cover with foil.
5. Remove from oven, leave in tin for 5 minutes then allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool use a serrated knife to slice in half.
6. To make the filling, in a bowl whip the cream and icing sugar until firm. Fold in the pear puree.
7. Peel, core and slice the two pears into half cm slices. Layer the slices on the bottom half of the cake, top with cream, then the top half of the cake. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

DSC02602 (2)