Okay, I confess. This is a ‘cheats’ dessert.
I feel the confession is needed as I’m usually a stickler for making things from scratch. But, I have to say, I was rather intrigued by the look of this dessert and the fact that it took a short-cut wasn’t going to put me off at least giving it a try.
See, the things is… it uses marshmallows in the filling instead of gelatin and sugar. A short-cut yes… but not of the most appalling kind… is it? Actually, I was pretty thankful for how quickly the dessert came together at the end of a long day at work. I forgave myself, just this once, for this little indiscretion.
The recipe comes from Delicious.com.au and it really was pretty yummy. As you can imagine, the filling is… well… light and marshmallowy in texture. And, the taste is strongly almondy, with a hit of coffee. The almond flavour comes not only from the amaretti biscuit base, but also from the Amaretto liqueur and sliced almonds on top. Yep, it’s an almond fest, that’s for sure.
It was my first time sampling Amaretto liqueur – I really liked it, though it does add a slight bitter note to the dessert. I found that adding whipped cream alongside the tart sort of mellowed it out a bit. But, if you’re not fussed on Amaretto, or don’t have it, you could always emphasise the coffee aspect of the dessert and use something like Kahlua instead. Enjoy!
- 200-250g (7 - 8.8 oz)* amaretti biscuits
- About 95g (3.3 oz)** unsalted butter, melted
- 1 metric cup (240ml) (8.1 US fl oz) milk
- 200g (7 oz) white marshmallows
- 3 teaspoons instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
- 150ml (5 US fl oz) heavy cream
- Handful of flaked almonds
- About 25g (.9 oz) dark chocolate, to drizzle
- Cream, softly whipped
- Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F). Lightly grease a 36cm x 12cm (14 x 5 inch) loose-bottomed tart pan.
- Process the amaretti biscuits in a food processor until reduced to crumbs.
- Add the melted butter and process until the mixture just starts to clump. Test some mixture between your fingers - it should hold together, but not be wet. Press the mixture into the base and sides of the pan.
- Bake for 5 minutes or until golden. Cool.
- Combine the milk and marshmallows in a pan over a low heat and stir until the marshmallows have melted.
- Add the coffee and liqueur and stir until smooth and combined. Cool completely.
- Whisk the cream until firm (but not stiff) peaks form and fold into the marshmallow mixture.
- Pour into the tart shell and chill for 2 hours or until set.
- In a dry frypan (skillet), toast the flaked almonds gently over a low heat until crisp. Let them cool, then scatter the toasted almonds over top of the tart.
- Over a double boiler, gently melt chocolate. Once melted, let it cool for a few minutes, then pour into a piping bag with a very small round tip (I simply used a small snaplock bag and snipped off a tiny bit of the corner), and pipe backwards and forwards over the tart.
- Serve with softly whipped cream.
**The original recipe called for 125g (4.4 oz) butter. But, if you reduce the amount of crushed biscuits, the butter needs to reduce too. I used about 95g (3.3 oz), but I recommend you add just as much as needed, so that when processing it just starts to clump, and if you pinch some of the mixture between your fingers it holds together. Don't allow the mixture to become soggy.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Continuous fluorescent lighting softbox