You probably already noticed that I do not do reviews of restaurants. I don’t because I always think “who am I to praise or denigrate a restaurant? Who am I to risk affecting their business because of my opinion (if that would ever happen)”. After all, you all know already that I am not a chef, a baker or in any case a professionist in the food industry.
Today, however, I am giving you a product review of a product from my good friends at MaramiaFoods: Amaretti Cookies by Vicenzi.
I’m doing this review for several reasons. First, I personally know the founder/owner of Maramia Foods, David Haddad. David is a super young, professional health economist and a passionate gourmand. Wow! How’s this all possible? Well, David has been into the food industry since the day he was born. David grew up with his father roasting coffee beans, making cappuccinos already at the age of five and enjoying his mother’s amazing culinary creations and roots in the East Mediterranean. David knows his stuff AND is passionate about it…a great combo of attributes, don’t you think?
Some time ago a friend of mine introduced me to David (and here comes the second reason why I’m doing this review). David was looking for someone to help write product descriptions and review in more detail some of the products in compensation for a tasty Mediterranean/European treat. That’s when I went online to MaramiaFood and discovered what David meant by European and Mediterranean food: all my favorite products and brands since…..forever! All the stuff I usually crave for, miss from home and drool over. How could I possibly say no to the opportunity of making a recipe out of some of these products! And so begins my first product review using Amaretti Cookies by Vicenzi.
You have to know that Vicenzi was funded in Verona, which is my home town (yay!). So for me when somebody talks about Amaretti that can mean only the Amaretti by Vicenzi! That is the same brand my mom and my aunts and my grandmoms use back home. So who am I to present these as the best Amaretti on the market? Am I somehow an expert? Am I qualified to “rate” a product, to “judge” it? Yes, in this case I am because I have been using (and eating!) these cookies since when I started to have teeth! I have used them and compared to other brands. I have a lifelong history with this product and so I can confidently state that I love it!
If on top of being sure that these Amaretti cookies are the original ones and the best I’ve ever used, I also tell you that at Maramia Food you find them for less than at any other store….well, then, what would you want more? Ohhhh, right….I guess you would like the recipe of the Amaretti Semifreddo. So here it comes!
200 gr. (7 oz or 0.85 cup) Amaretti
300 ml (10 fl oz or 1 1/4 cup) heavy whipping cream
60 gr (4 tbsp) sugar
4-5 tbsp of expresso (according to tastes)
30 gr (2 tbsp) cognac
Crush the cookies in a small bowl and add the coffee and the cognac. Mix well until the cookies are pretty moist.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and add them to the amaretti mixture.
Separately whip the egg whites and the cream and add them in this order to the cookie mixture. Mix until the mixture is homogeneous but do not mix for too long or the egg whites and the cream will lose their volume
Pour the final mixture into a loaf mold or into several ramequin (you know I'm becoming a big fan of small portions so I actually used an 8x4" loaf pan and two small ramequins).
Put in the freezer and let rest for at least three hours if you like is somewhat soft or overnight if you like it very hard.
If you have troubles unmolding the semifreddo once well frozen just put the back of the pan under running water. Serve it as it is or with additional Amaretti and/or whipped cream.
Note: this is a family recipe. One of my mom's sisters used to be the big expert in Semifreddi. I tried to adapt one of her recipes to my tastes. People loved it! We invited over a couple of friends to try it out and after half an hour it was already almost gone. If you want to give it a twist you can put more or less Amaretti (according to your tastes) and some chocolate chunks. You know I'm not a big fan of chocolate and I decided to go without it. I believe it was a good idea because the final result had a nice taste of coffee contrasting the amaretti cookies.