Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Hereford in the Snow

Last Friday evening, we suddenly realised that we had run out of amaretti biscuits at Ponte Vecchio. Our Italian supplier was due to deliver a few days later; so although we were not worried about the situation, we did wonder what we were going to give people with their coffee. We like to give a couple with all types of coffee and you can imagine that during this cold weather, L has been spending a considerable proportion of a working evening frothing the milk and making sure the crema on the coffee is second to none.

Of course, the answer was easy - to make some amaretti of our own and serve them instead. Not only were these delightfully simple, but they used up a few of the egg whites that I stash in the freezer when I've made a custard based ice cream.

I also couldn't resist sharing a few more pictures of the snow with you. We have had some spectacular snow over the last two days. 
 Forgive me for the food analogy, but yesterday, a few hours of light snow really seemed as though it could have been icing sugar being dusted over a cake.
 Today we enjoyed rime, essentially frozen fog, and this looked like glitter falling down from the sky. I've never known anything like it. 
These two snowy episodes have also produced some of the most satisfying snow I have ever known. It is so easy to be disappointed by snow a few hours after you have watched it fall - either by turning to an ugly slush that is easily washed away, or by freezing so hard that you don't leave the house for fear of ending up with a rather bruised bottom!
This snow is different, it's better. It is crisp and even. No danger of falling, no threat of a painful snowball coming straight at your face. 

Just take a look at this........
Rime gathered on the lime trees
Not quite Narnia
Bird tracks on the ice sheets
Who would want to swim in that?

And before we all forget the original point of this post:

Amaretti biscuits

340g ground almonds
340g caster sugar
4 egg whites
1 tbsp amaretto liquor (we use Disaronno at the restaurant)

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
In a large bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.
Quickly whisk in the sugar, amaretto and ground almonds, being careful not to beat the air out of the mixture. You should have a smooth paste.
Place some greaseproof paper on a baking sheet lightly brushed with butter or use a silicone mat to line the tray.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with just the coupler (no nozzle) attached, or use a teaspoon, to place small heaps of the mixture approximately 2cm/¾in apart.
Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the baking tray a few minutes after the biscuits come out of the oven and finish cooling on a cooling rack.


  1. Wow! Where is the second photo taken? It's so beautiful. You're posting amazing recipes at the moment. Yum yum yum.

  2. What a lovely Blog, the recipes are great and the photos beautiful, I miss the snow and the cold weather so much

  3. The second photo is looking down stream on the swimming pool side of the river, opposite the castle green. You'd never know it was Hereford, or in the middle of town for that matter. I'm very excited to post the Christmas cake recipe soon. Keep your eyes peeled and thank you for your lovely comments!

  4. It looked just like that near me - although I'm more southern. These biscuits look like just the thing to warm you up when it's like that outside.

  5. Hello, Alice! Thank you so much for your kind visit. I love your blog! I see so many wonderful recipes and photos here. The biscuits sound wonderful but your snow-covered tree photos are amazing!


  6. What stunning photographs. That's amazing, ice on the river - is it the Wye? the biscuits look good too - on my list for xmas gifts this year, but I always have a long list for xmas gifts which somehow never seem to materialise.