This recipe is Vegetarian, Gluten free, Wheat free and Dairy free.
serves about 20
225 g (8 oz) 1 1/2 cups of whole skinned almonds
255 g (9 oz) 1 1/4 cups of caster (superfine) sugar
1/2 a finely grated orange
2 medium free-range egg whites
20 large glace cherries, halved
icing (confectioners') sugar to dust
Sheets of rice paper
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4
2. Put the almonds in a food processor and grind briefly.
3. Add half the caster (superfine) sugar and grind again until it becomes a powder.
4. Mix with the remaining caster (superfine) sugar and the grated orange zest.
5. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
6. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites lightly with an electric whisk, then stir the egg whites into the almond mixture to bind it.
7. Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and roll it into balls, on a board dusted with icing (confectioners') sugar.
8. Flatten the balls with a palette knife and press half a cherry into the centre of each.
9. Place them well apart on a baking sheet lined with rice paper.
10. Bake for 15 minutes or until just firm but pale golden brown.
11. Cool on the baking sheets and then trim the rice paper around the biscuits.
12. Serve the petit fours on the day of baking, dusted with icing (confectioners') sugar.
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