Baci di dama (Hazelnut cookies)
- 57 min
The almond crumble (sbrisolona) is a traditional almond cake from Lombardy, the pride of the city of Mantua: it is a hard, crumbly, and richly flavored cake that is made and served in coarse pieces. Its name in Italian means "crumbs". Maestro Iginio Massari has put his hands in the dough for us, showing us how easy it is to prepare this cake of humble origins that is much appreciated abroad, so much so as to be part of the Italian culinary heritage.
To prepare the almond crumble you will need unpeeled almond flour 1. Place the flour 00, yeast 2 and corn flour 3 on the work surface
with the almond flour 4. Create the classic mound 5. In the middle, place the butter, salt 6,
eggs 7 and sugar 8. Start working the ingredients placed in the middle with your hands 9.
Add the maraschino 10 and coarsely chopped raw almonds 11. Keep kneading with your hands, and add the seeds from the vanilla bean. Work the dry ingredients in a cross shape, bringing the ingredients from the outside to the inside, handling and mixing them with the rest 12.
You will obtain a homogeneous consistency in a few moments 13. Now transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with baking paper and push it down with your hands 14. Place in the freezer to let the dough cool for at least 4 hours. As soon as the dough is rigid, you can prepare the crumbs. 15
Place a cooling rack with 1/2 inch (1 cm) square holes on a bowl, cut the dough into pieces and crumble it by passing it through the grater 16. This way you will obtain big crumbs 17. Take a flared aluminum mold measuring 13 inches (32 cm) on the surface and 11 inches (28 cm) on the bottom; place a circle of baking paper inside and pour the crumbs in 18.
Spread them gently without pressing 19. Cook in a static oven preheated to 340°F (170°C) for 45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool 20 before removing it from the mold and serving 21.
The almond crumble (sbrisolona) can be stored for 1-2 weeks under a glass cloche at room temperature, or can be frozen for a maximum of 2 months.
The uncooked dough can also be frozen for about 2 months.
If you don't have a cooling rack to make the dough crumbs, you can use a wide mesh strainer.
Accompany the sbrisolona with some Muscato dessert wine.