Bertoni's on Darling in Balmain was my absolute favourite.
Not least because I fell in love with their almond biscotti.
Imagine my delight when Trudie and David, the fab friends we were staying with, presented us with "I only eat at Bertoni.", This book is a visual feast of all that the Bertoni family serve to the lucky residents of Balmain.
So today, I'm in Beijing imagining I am back in Sydney, baking Amaretti di Mamma ... Mamma's almond biscuits.
Mmmm, I wish you could smell the sweet almond fragrance wafting out from the kitchen where they sit cooling. Well instead why not have a go yourself? They are so easy to make and just perfect for coffee, tea, dessert and any other excuse to nibble on another one.
Recipe from "I only eat Bertoni", available from Amazon in April.
Amaretti di mamma
100g (1 lb) caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)
500g (1lb) ground almonds
1Tbsp vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
4 egg whites (mine were small)
100g (3 oz icing sugar for rolling
Oven preheat 160C, 325F, gas mark 3
1. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix caster sugar, ground almonds, vanilla sugar together with your hands.
3. Add vanilla extract and almond essence ( do not use artificial flavouring). Then add egg whites, one by one, making sure mixture is not too wet. (It should come off your fingers and not be sticky).
4. Sprinkle a generous amount of icing sugar on to a clean work surface. Take a handful of the almond mixture and roll into a sausage (about 2-3cm in diameter) and then roll the sausage in icing sugar. Cut the sausage into 2cm long pieces.
5. Turn the sections on end and then press gently down to form a rounded shape. Place onto the lined baking sheet, about 2cm apart. I baked them for around 10 minutes, longer than the recipe says. Just keep and eye on them and when they start to crack on the surface and have pale golden tinges, take them out and cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy with a lovely cup of coffee, a nice cup of tea or a refreshing glass of Vin Santo. Why not.. it's almost the weekend.
Check out Bertoni on their soon to be revamped website.