Dark ricciarelli macaroons with Nutella®
Toast the almonds for a few minutes in the oven pre-heated to 100°C, then put them in the food mixer with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and keep it aside until it cools. Sieve the rest of the icing sugar with the bitter cocoa into a large bowl. Beat the egg whites with a few drops of bitter almond extract until stiff. Add the other 2 prepared mixtures, mix them all together, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to rest overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Take the mixture out of the fridge, leave it at room temperature for 15 minutes and place it onto the work surface, sprinkled with some icing sugar. Knead the dough to form a sausage and split that into twenty little balls. Coat the little balls of dough in a dish filled with icing sugar, turning them around to make sure they are completely covered.
Transfer the little balls onto a baking tray covered with baking paper, gently squash them down and bake in a hot oven for approximately 20 minutes until cracks form on the surface of the biscuits. Take the baking tray out from the oven and let the biscuits cool for 5 minutes, then arrange them on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.
Arrange the ricciarelli on a tray, sprinkle them with some more icing sugar and serve with 15 g of Nutella® per portion (2-3 biscuits).
Ricciarelli is a typical sweet treat from Siena, with ancient Eastern origins. Legend says that it was the knight Ricciardetto Della Gherardesca who introduced these as a sweet treat when he returned from the Crusades to his castle near Volterra. They went on to evolve into several varieties, one of these being the recipe for dark ricciarelli macaroons with Nutella®.