50g white (granulated) sugar
180ml hot, freshly brewed espresso coffee
100ml single cream
RICCIARELLI makes 20 biscuits / Active time 20 mins / Inactive time 1 hr 15 mins
250g blanched almonds (or almond meal, see note)
220g caster sugar
zest of ½ lemon
zest of ½ orange
65g egg white (from about 3–4 eggs)
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
pinch of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
icing sugar, for coating

This is a great dessert for after lunch on a hot summer’s day. Serve with a chilled nip of amaretto or Frangelico for an affogato-like experience. This dessert is also great with Ricciarelli (see recipe).


A perfect end-of-dinner biscuit that sits as happily alongside a glass of amaro as it does a cup of tea or coffee. These biscuits are best made a day ahead, so are perfect for entertaining. This is also an excellent recipe to keep in mind for when you have an excess of egg whites.

A sophisticated biscuit to indulge your childhood nostalgia, this version of ricciarelli is all chew and tenderness, propped up with notes of almond and undertones of citrus zest. These biscuits hail from Siena, where they were traditionally reserved for Christmas time, but they are related to the better-known macaroon. The almond-oval shape is thought to have been inspired by the shape of the Sultan’s slippers – a biscuit literally designed to tell a story, in this case, of the Crusades in the Holy Land. Do not feel you need to have such tales of grandeur or conquests to indulge.

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2.Dissolve the sugar in the hot coffee and pour it into a small, shallow dish. Leave it to cool, then place it in your freezer.
3.After the first hour in the freezer, take a fork to the granita and stir it to break up any ice crystals that have formed.
4.Do this every 30–60 minutes, until you have a slushy-like texture.
5.You can then leave this in the freezer until you’re ready to serve.
6.Place your dessert glasses into the freezer so they’re nice and cold.
7.Just before serving, lightly whip the cream by hand, so you can easily control how far you take it.
8.You want something that holds its shape but only just.
9.To serve, scoop the granita into your chilled dessert glasses and top with whipped cream.
11.Blitz the almonds, sugar and citrus zests together in a food processor until it turns to citrus-scented almond meal (if using almond meal, simply mix these ingredients together in a mixing bowl).
12.Transfer to a mixing bowl and add in the egg white, bicarbonate of soda, salt and almond extract. Stir to combine until a thick dough forms.
13.Shape the dough into 20 small balls, then toss them through the icing sugar to coat well.
14.Place the biscuits on a baking-paper-lined baking tray and leave them on your bench for about an hour to dry.
15.Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced.
16.After drying, press the biscuits to flatten them slightly and shape into an oval.
17.This should create some cracking on the surface, which is ideal.
18.Bake for 12–14 minutes, until the biscuits under the icing sugar appear golden brown.
19.Remove the biscuits from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Images and text from
Recipes for a Lifetime of
Beautiful Cooking by Danielle
Alvarez with Libby Travers,
photography by Alan Benson.
Murdoch Books RRP $55.