August 17, 2010

Amaretti Semifreddo and my first product review

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!

Amaretti Semifreddo

200 gr. (7 oz or 0.85 cup) Amaretti
5 eggs 
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.

Amaretti Semifreddo on Foodista


  1. I love that you used a family recipe! I have never had this but it looks DELICIOUS!!!

  2. this looks so good! I love those little cookies. so crunchy and sweet. yum!

  3. Thanks for the review, looks very delicious

  4. Amaretti cookies bring me right back to being little too! Thank for sharing, can't wait to try this one!

  5. This just looks so beautiful! I am not a big frozen dessert fan, but my kids would love it!

  6. These look so decadent and delicious! A family recipe can't go wrong. Thank you for sharing (=

  7. I LOVE amaretti cookies. In fact, I had some in my Greek yogurt this morning. I crumbled a couple of cookies. So good. This caught my eye while eating it. I bet I would love this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Mmmm, I love the flavor of amaretti cookies. I'll have to give them a whirl!

  9. I have a recipe on my site that makes cookies really similar to these and they are delicious, perfect with coffee or mixed into recipes like this. I love your semifreddo, and you are reminding me that I have been wanting to make one for awhile now! Thanks for sharing, and for the product review. :)

  10. @foodalution and @Lisa: I like using family recipes when I'm making desserts I have known since ever! Sometimes I do not have a real recipe written down and I make several attempts until I find the perfect mix (perfect according to my tastes of course!)
    @Lauren @Jennifurla @Heather @Cilantropist: yeah amaretti are very particular light and crunchy and so tasteful! They fit well in many desserts and snacks!
    @Gina: totally bringing back to childhood...but aren't childhood's flavors the one we find comfort in?
    @Kim: I have to admit I am not a big fan of frozen desserts even...I don't even particularly love gelato that much....but I do love this semifreddo and yes, it's great for kids 'cause you can change the taste so easily and make it a different dessert every time without much work
    @Trish: uhhhh in the Greek I'm seriously having a craving for tomorrow breakfast. That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  11. This is insanely delicious looking! And I love the sound of the cookies. You did a great review of them and I love them in your semifreddo!

  12. Holy cow... looks super yummy.

  13. Hokey smokie, girl! You have me drooling and it's still morning. This is an incredible recipe. Thank you SO much for sharing a family recipe. Those end up being the absolute best in the world.

  14. I have not tried amaretti cookies but your semifreddo looks irresistible. Thanks very much for sharing.

  15. Always wanted to make semifreddo but never got down to it. This might be the one I try!

  16. What a lovely late summer treat - I adore amaretti! you have a favorite amaretti recipe? :)

  17. @Christiane: yes, I strongly believe that family recipes are the best. I think that the simple fact of making something that have memories for you help you get better results
    @MaryMoh: ohh if you haven't tried amaretti you really should. They are a very special cookie
    @Simran: I'm not an avid consumer and frequent maker of semifreddo but I do love this recipe
    @Patty: I actually do not have a favorite amaretti recipe...I honestly really buy this brand since when I can remember


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