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Torciglione

Difficulty: 

media

 40 minutes

Ingredients per 6 People

prepared almonds, 10.5 ounces (see below for details)
vanilla sugar - better if ultrafine, 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
grated zest from an organic lemon, 1/4 teaspoon
large egg whites - better if from pastured poultry, 2
vaniglia extract - onlyif you did not use vanilla sugar, 1/2 teaspoon
2 coffee beans and some halved almonds for the decoration

Procedure

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Toss almonds into boiling water.
After one minute, drain the almonds in a
colander, then cool them under some cold water.
Twist each almond between your fingers to peel them, if you
gently squeeze the almond will pop out.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 300 F . Spread the
almonds in a single layer on a baking tray covered with a silicone baking
mat or parchment paper and bake until dry. Let them cool completely before serving.
Weigh the almonds for use in the recipe once they are cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Blend the almonds in a food processor,
together with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and lemon zest.
Do not powder the almonds: the granules give a nice varied texture to the final product.
Pour the almonds in a bowl, add the sugar left and stir. Whisk the
egg whites until soft and gently fold them with the vanilla
extract in the almond mix, which will soon get wet and sticky. I suggest you to
wet your hands before proceeding, transfer on a covered baking tray and shape into a slightly coiled snake. Press well to eliminate any empty space inside the dough.
Decorate as you like. This is the funniest part. I used coffee beans
to make the snake's eyes and an almond half as its tongue.
Bake until golden. Check after 25 minutes. In my oven it takes 30 minutes. Without moving it from the
baking mat or parchment paper, transfer the torciglione to a rack to cool.
Let it cool thoroughly before slicing.