“Sweet the memory is to me of a land beyond the sea,
Where the waves and mountains meet, where amid her mulberry-trees
Sits Amalfi in the heat, bathing ever her white feet
In the tideless summer seas.”
Amalfi by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1875
The Amalfi Coast. One of the most beautiful stretches of coastline. Whenever I need to have my fix of its beauty, I watch The Talented Mr Ripley. Cut into the mountains, the Strada Statale hangs on enormous cliffs descending to the deep blue sea, echoing the final scene of The Italian Job. Zio Mario took Mum and I on a whistle-stop tour around the coastline one Summer which we punctuated with a pit-stop at the Pasticceria Andrea Pansa in Amalfi town to taste the delicacies. This is the recipe for Florentini which are film status using am-dram skill.
30g (1oz) unsalted butter * 85g (3oz) caster sugar * 85g (3oz) glace cherries, sliced * 85g (3oz) candied peel * 115g (4oz) flaked almonds * 30g (1oz) double cream * 200g (7oz) chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
Pre-heat the oven to 150oC/300oF/Gas Mark 2. Melt the butter and add the sugar, stirring constantly for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Add the cherries, candied peel and almonds and mix well. Stir in the cream.
Place the mixture in small heaps on 2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment, allowing room for them to spread; 8 per tray. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. To make perfect circles, pull in the edges and shape with a biscuit cutter. Leave on the baking tray until cool. Once cool, carefully flip the florentinis over.
Put the chocolate into a bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave until just melted, stirring occasionally. Spread each biscuit with the warm chocolate to thickly coat one half only. Leave on a sheet of baking parchment until the chocolate sets hard.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.