Italian mini cake BOCCONOTTO - Bocconotti

Mini Italian cake specialties created in the Abruzzi region of Italy. 
Chocolate and almonds rise to the occasion with a blazing start to our newest year.

After dreaming of a winter snow trickle during Christmas...
a wonderland of white finally pounded earlier this week.

Our neighbourly snowman came out tall and proud to greet us.

Grateful for having these scenes right by our doorstep...
I thought to share our lovely eye candy.

This family recipe was originally memorable.
However, through the years my expectations have changed.  
With a few small modifications...
this recipe finally meets my sweet tooth through respectable tweaks ;o)

mini-Italian cakes
BOCCONOTTI ...in Muffin forms
Specialty created in the Abruzzi region of Italy.  

Makes 12 muffin type cakes  
...or if you have the moulds...makes about ~ 20 Bocconotti tartelettes


(American / Metric measures)

PASTRY DOUGH:  (aka 'Pasta Frolla')
. 1-3/4 cups (165g) Cake flour *
. 6 Tbsps. (115g) granulated sugar
. 3 Tbsps. (50ml) e.v.Olive oil 
. 3 Tbsps. (50ml) grapeseed oil 
. 6 xLarge egg yolks
. 6.2 oz. (175g) roasted almonds 
. 6.2 oz. (175g) bittersweet 70% chocolate, chopped
. 5.9 oz. (175g) granulated sugar
. 1/4 tsp. (1.25ml) ground cinnamon spice
. 6 xLarge egg whites 
. small pinch of sea salt
. 1-1/2 tsps. (7.5ml) Grand Marnier (or other fruit liquor)
. 1 lemon or orange, finely zested

* Acceptable substitute for the Italian '00' flour

Pastry Dough:
1. Put the flour and sugar in a food processor.  Pulse several times to blend.  Add the oils and pulse 4-5 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
2. With the food processor running, add the egg yolks through the feed tube.  Process just until the dough begins to come together and retracts from the walls of the bowl.  
3. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour or up to 24 hours. If for more than one hour, you will need to soften the dough slightly by removing it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using it.
Filling: (can be made ahead)
4. Put the first four ingredients into a large food processor and grind together finely.  Set aside.
5. In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff (not dry) peaks.
6. Fold the chocolate-almond mix gently and gradually into the beaten egg whites without deflating them.  Add the lemon or orange zest and liquor last.
7. Grease each muffin cavity.   Roll out the dough and divide equally to measure about the size of a golf ball.  Use fingers to press it into and against the edges of each cavity.  Place pan onto a baking sheet and then place a heaping tablespoon of the filling into each dough filled cavity. 
8. Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.  Position rack in the center of the oven. 
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the dough is golden. Adjust timing down about 5 minutes if baking with tartelette moulds.
10. Once removed from the oven, cool them on a rack. When cool, remove them and dust with powdered sugar.  Store in an airtight container for about a week or freeze them wrapped within parchment paper and into a freezer bag for about three months.

After some holiday binges, this shared treat may not be best for a weight loss management...however, in great moderation...why not keep these treats at hands reach to celebrate the New year ;o)

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.