Growing up in India we are no strangers to desserts made from dry fruits and nuts. I have a soft spot for kaju katli. It’s the one dessert I can eat a boxful of without a care for the calories. Over the years no nut came close to the love I had for the cashew… that was until I tasted a pastine di mandorle, or an almond pastry for those of us who aren’t Sicilian!
You can get these soft, little, almond biscuits at almost every pasticceria in Sicily. So imagine my surprise when someone mentioned you now get them in India. My first reaction, if I have to be honest, was an eye-roll. Here we go, yet another “diploma holder” trying to recreate European desserts with our non-free-range eggs. Boy was I wrong!
Mirella Fiore is a half-Sicilian jewellery designer turned pasticciere. She came to Mumbai with a truck load of traditional recipes from both her Italian and Sicilian grandmothers. She’s teamed up with fellow food lover Kaveer Shahani and together they run Dolcemi. A Mumbai-based heaven for sweet treats.
These almond biscuitsvary from oven to oven. Some are round, others the shape of a crescent moon; some are sticky little sweets while others more marzipan than biscuit. I like its simplest recipe the best. It’s also the way Dolcemi make it – slightly crisp on the outside, giving way to a dense, chewy heart.
Who knew a little ground almond, icing sugar, lemon zest and eggs could create such a taste explosion! Have it with an espresso for a quick escape into la dolce vita.
Pastine di mandorleby Dolcemi is available for Rs. 300/100gms online at dolcemi.in and on 9029017000.