Known as baci di dama in their country of origin, these delicate Italian biscuits are so elegant that friends will think you have brought them back from a pasticceria in Piedmont, where they are said to have first been created.They are easy to make and wonderful with a simple bowl of strawberries or ice cream.
- 75g ground almonds
- 50g whole almonds, toasted
- 125g caster sugar
- 125g unsalted butter, softened and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 125g plain flour, sifted
- 200g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids, broken into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Mark 4 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Put the ground and whole almonds in a food processor with 2 teaspoons of the caster sugar and whizz tomake afine powder. If you don’t have a food processor, replace 25 g of the caster sugar with icing sugar and replace the whole almonds withmore ground almonds.
Add the butter, vanilla, salt and remaining caster sugar to the mixture and cream together. Whizz or stir in the flour until well combined and a dough starts to form.
Using your hands, roll the dough into 20 cherry-sized balls and place on the prepared trays, spacing them at least 3 cm apart. Bake for 10–15 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool on the trays for about 5 minutes, then use a palette knife to transfer them to a wire rack.
When the biscuits are completely cold, melt the chocolate. Allowto cool a little, then spread about a teaspoonful over the underside of one biscuit and pop another biscuit on top to make a sandwich. Place on a sheet of greaseproof paper and repeat with the remaining biscuits. Try to resist eating them until the chocolate has completely set.