Italian mini cake BOCCONOTTO - Bocconotti

Mini Italian cake specialties inspired from 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
 Mini cake specialties inspired from the Abruzzi region of Italy. 
Makes 12 muffin type cakes  
...or if you have the moulds...it will yield about ~ 20 Bocconotti tartelettes


Note: I have come back to re-vamp this recipe.  
I also prefer to follow the Metric measures.
However, the American measures come out pretty darn close.


(American / Metric measures)

DOUGH - 'Pasta Frolla':
(aka Sweet Short crust pastry with oil)
. 6 xLarge egg yolks       
. 7 Tbsps. (105g) granulated sugar
. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) e.v. Olive oil
. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) grapeseed oil   
. 1-1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp. (213g) All Purpose flour

. 6.2 oz. (175g) lightly roasted almonds       
. 6.2 oz. (175g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped   
. 12 Tbsps. (180g) granulated sugar
. 1/4 tsp. (1.25ml) ground cinnamon spice
. 6 xLarge egg whites
. pinch of sea salt

. 1 medium orange, finely zested
. 2 tsp. (10ml) Grand Marnier (or other Orange liquor)

. Dusting of icing sugar (optional)


Pastry Dough:
1. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until foamy and creamy.  Then, beat in the oil(s) for a few minutes more.
2. Gradually sift in the flour.  Only keep beating until all traces of flour have disappeared.
With a spatula, finish combining by then scraping the dough onto a plastic wrap.  Refrigerate, covered for about 1 hour or up to 24 hours.  Note: If  for more than 1 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)
3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.  Put the first 4 ingredients into a food processor and grind together finely.  Set aside.
4. In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff (not dry) peaks.
5. Fold the chocolate-almond mix gently and gradually into the beaten egg whites without deflating them.  Add the orange zest and liquor last.

. Oil the muffin pan surface and cavities generously. 
. Position the rack in the center of the oven.
. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. 

6. Weigh the pastry dough and divide equally to roll them out into the size of ping pong balls.  Use your fingers to press each ball into and against the edges of each cavity.  Place pan onto a baking sheet and then fill each cavity evenly with the filling.


. BAKE for 27 minutes.  
Adjust timing down about 5 minutes if baking with the special tartelette moulds. 

. Once removed from the oven, cool them completely on a rack.  
When cool, remove them very gently with a sharp edge.

They can be dusted with icing sugar.  
Store them 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.